REVIEW – FIRST IMPRESSION ON QUATRO THRUSTERS LS 102/82 (2013)

I recently bought the Quatro Thrusters LS 102 and 82 after 7 years of sailing Starboard (Evo’s 90/75, Quad 87/74). Before that time I was sailing custom-boards for a long time. After some problems with the durability of my SB Quads I decided to try something new, thinking about Goya Quads (104 and 84) and Quatro Quads (110 and 84) as they ‘ve shown great results on the tests of last year (2012). I got caught by the new Quatro Thrusters LS after speaking with Jamie Knox on our Brandon Bay-trip about the advantages of thrusters, reading the website of Quatro and getting some advice from Jeroen Boelema from the Essential Store who is also distributing both brands in the Benelux. I decided to give it a go, after consulting one of my surfbuddies (Griff) who also switched from SB to a Quatro Thruster 82. So, after making a great deal with Jeroen Boelema, two brand new boards are shining in my living room waiting to get punished! A 102 floater to ride waves in minimal conditions and a 82 as my do-it-all-board form 5,4 to 4,0 overpowered.

My profile; I’m 86 kilos, I’m quite experienced, sailing mainly at the Northsea (Scheveningen/Wijk aan Zee) for 25 years and try to stick about 100 sessions a year since I moved to Scheveningen 4 years ago. I love waveriding, I am able to go down the line and into the pocket with some aerials now and then. I’m close to sticking backloops and love to jump also but more in a controlled way. I use a quiver of NP Atlas 6,2/5,4/4,7/4,0 from 17 to 40+ knots.

On the land; the boards look radical in my opinion, they look quite small with a nice pintail. Soft but strong pads and nice, quite small but high straps compared to the wide Drake straps of my SB. They feel light and look exclusive, somebody really took care to make them look ‘swag’. The bottom has some big double concaves almost all the way to the tail which has a slight V as I see it. The colour is personal, I got used to the wood of SB and this is something else. The longer I look, the more I love them ;)!

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On the water; I sailed the 102 three times now in underpowered conditions with 5,4 and in well powered conditions with 6,2. THE BOARD IS F*CKING AMAZING!!! I was a SB-fan for years but compared to my 87 Quads (I had the 2011 and 2012 version) it planes faster, floats better and feels as small as a sub-90 liters board. On the wave it accelerates when you pressure the rail, speeding up the bottom turn. As my Quad felt a little sluggish in slow waves the Quatro feels light and alive which gives me more speed when going for the topturn. And then? 100+ liters in a topturn? NO PROBLEM!!! The board turns on a dime when riding the backfoot and carves and grips when spraying and going down the line, truly amazing. The volume is great though, making it a great low wind wave machine but a nice bump-and-jumper also when powered up. No problem for me riding this baby up to 23-25 knots with 5,4 and 2m+ waves just as I hoped for. Even a bigger sail 6,7 or so is no problem I think, making the range even bigger.

I only sailed the 82 once last week (big sunday 28 november 2012) in overpowered 4,0 conditions with gusts up to 45 knots and more. As the low end of the 102 is just as I hoped for, so is the high end of my 82. With strong winds and with waves increasing up to logo high, the board never seemed to loose control, staying easy to control and well balanced. I had a lot of problems making smooth gybes in overpowered conditions with my quads (87 and 74), it felt like they were overfinned, lifting the board and breaking out in the turns. The Quatro stays on the rail like you switch to auto pilot. I never made so many easy gybes in 40 knots wind. On the wave the same as the 102 but with the advantage of a little smaller board, tighter carving turns going down the line. You can really push this board and it feels very confident and easy. In the air it felt the same as my SB quad 74 which was great jumping-machine when powered up. But….the 82 planes much, much faster giving me more waves. It definitely fits better with my 86 kilos where the 74 SB quad was a little small. My crossover sail is 5,4 now, making my range bigger. Man, I’m in love with these boards, now they only have to take the beatings and be strong enough to last me a long time!! Time will tell.

You can find all details on the Essential Store website.

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[Update 16.12.2012]

I had a sweet session last weekend with the Quatro Thruster 102 in some perfect sideshore conditions and waist to shoulder high waves.

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Here’s some video footage of that day.

And a second impression of the 102 during a supersweet-session last week;

Do you want more Quatro reviews? Then why not check out the Quatro Quad LS (2013) review.

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31 Comments to "REVIEW – FIRST IMPRESSION ON QUATRO THRUSTERS LS 102/82 (2013)"

  1. Edwin van S. says:

    great revieuw there Jacco, would love not to test thruster 102, but just have a whole session on it some day lol :P
    CU on the water !

  2. Jacco says:

    NP Edwin, but uhh a whole session, keeping me off the water for that long? Ok, suppose we go out for a roadtrip, and it just happened that you forgot your board. After crying and begging for an hour, promising you’re gonna take pictures for an hour I might decide that you’re going to have an hour session. Let’s compare it to some kind of callgirl-service, hahaha!

  3. David says:

    Hi Jacco,

    Awesome boards! Congrats!
    Have you ever sailed the Quatro Tempo? If so, how do the Thrusters compare to the Tempo? I’ve read somewhere that these boards might even feel a lot like the Tempo in terms of speed and acceleration. I’ve been looking at the Tempo and the LS Quads for Wijk/Ijmuiden. And now these boards show up! I’m still learning in the waves, so looking for a good board that is forgiving but also provides me the ability to grow.

    Cheers!

  4. Jacco says:

    David, I shared your question about the Tempo, so I’ll get back to that later. I think the board will not be the limiting factor in progressing if you watch Levi rip this thing. Big advantage, you can ride bigger, giving you more float, early planing and so more waves! I changed from 74/87 to 82/102, gaining on high end in terms of acceleration without loss of control AND in low end in terms of float and early planing without loosing the waveriding characteristics of a smaller board. As top-end speed is not important in wave-riding I think it will definitely fit you. At least it’s worth trying!

  5. Chuck says:

    Jacco,

    Thanks for the great Quatro LS Thruster review! I have been waiting for sometime for a well written review on these boards and am really excited to hear how much you like them and how well they perform. I am 91 kg’s and since I will only be getting one Quatro it is going to be the LS 92 liter thruster since I already have a larger light wind wave board.
    Did you get a chance to ride them in side on conditions? Where I live we get more side-on and side-shore than DTL side-off days so a board that will also perform well in those conditions is important. Any reason to sail them with single fin only?

    Otherwise wish I would have had one several years ago when I lived in Belgium and used to sail at Wissant and Nieupoort, BE!

    Chuck
    Virginia, USA

  6. Jacco says:

    Hi Chuck, most of the time the wind is side to side-on in the Netherlands but since I have the boards for just about the week we didn’t get those conditions yet. We do have a lot of current though. Going upwind is no problem, I found my quads not the best in going upwind and my feeling is that the Quatro Thruster is better mostly because it planes sooner. I had no problem getting upwind at all so again, they work great. I think I’m not gonna sail them singlefin although I will try a bigger centerfin to see if I could extend the planingrange to sub 17 knots with a bigger sail. In singlefin-mode you wil probably get a better top end speed but I/m not interested in that. I will post an update on the performance if I have more info on that.

  7. Griffioen says:

    Great review, these boards rock!!

  8. steve says:

    …why did you chose the Quatro thruster over the Goya quad?

  9. Jacco says:

    Hi Steve, curiosity mainly. After reading the characteristics at the Quatro-website I was looking for a board that would plane and accelerate faster compared to my SB Quads and give me a little more speed in the bottomturn ’cause I love aerials. Jamie Knox also explained me his vision on the future of windsurfboards. People using one board (thrusters) with just an extra set of fins. The thrusters combine speed with maneuverability and compared to my SB Quads without concessions on looseness. The bigger board is just my floater but if I would only sail in 21 knots and more I would probably have a one-board solution with the 82. So, I can’t compare it to the Quatro or Goya Quads. Since some of my Boardkings-buddies are riding the quads I know that they are very pleased with the boards. Peter just bought the Quatro Quad 110, a board I took in consideration, a big floater and hopefully a low-wind-wave-riding-machine also. He’ll definitely write a review soon. I took a little risk but I was convinced that the board couldn’t be a mistake and my curiosity and the fact that not many people are riding these thrusters yet made it exciting. Up till now, that excitement is very alive!

  10. Jacco says:

    Gusty 25+ knots session today in messy waves. 5,4 overpowered now and then but the 102 played it perfect.

    I’m posting my sessions on Sessionlogs;

    http://www.sessionlogs.com/jacco_bergsma/sessions

    Today (15 december) down the line with sideoff 20-28 knots in waist to headhigh waves. The 102 with 5,4 was brilliant, doing aerials and fullspeed carves. The best 90l+ board I’ve ever had!

  11. Peter says:

    Nice update with video Jacco!

  12. Lars says:

    Wow. Great review. Thanks. I am a (also) Quatro convert. :-)
    We just spent 3 months on Maui, so I had a fair share of trying some of the quads from Quatro and Goya in several sizes. Francisco, Keith and Pascal are magnificent to let you try. I ended up owning the LS Quads 75 and 85, and the Fanatic 81 Quad (2013). I only took the 75 home, though. So, I can contribute some of my insights. I am rather new to waves, but rather experienced in any kind of wind conditions. Been sailing and windsurfing for more than 20 yrs, just to give you an idea, that I am not the Hookipa guy, just the regular enthused office guy… :-)
    I (82kg) got myself a 84 Twin (the Tempo? I guess, David?), based on reviews only – and THEN I read your review … Ooops.
    So, all the time I am thinking “Should I have, maybe …” You know, the nagging. I think your 82/102 would be my perfect combo, as well.
    Whatever: I haven’t really had the chance to take the Twin out in real waves. Just a bit in the South of France. I really like it. The jibing & turning is magnificent, I just want to kick and ride every water curb that is not flat (seems to be a Quatro-thing!), the planning is also very good, even going up-wind is ok (some of my buddies worried, as they think Twins are bad for onshore) – and the surprise: it is an incredible super-strong wind board. Even easier than the 75 Quad! I used it in Leucate with 40kn+ w/ 3.7. I nailed every jibe full-powered. Really impressive. I used to have a Fanatic FW86 that feels way more up-powered and is so much more difficult to jibe even with an extra small fin. I don’t miss the bit faster ride vs. the versatility/turnability of my Twin.
    So, now I am thinking about the “big” board. The 102 Thruster is on top of my short list (your review put it there). I would love to have a direct comparison with the new Fanatic Freewave 105 (also Tri, now), as I also would use it on lakes. Anyone?
    Also, I am just converting from North Ice to Hero, after thoroughly testing it in 4.2. I would have never believed that a 4-batten sail will add so much more fun to ripping – and it holds up well in over-power. I was worried about that a bit… And, you really do get to ride almost a size smaller.
    What sails are you using?

    • Jacco says:

      Hi Lars, thnx for adding info about the Tempo! Did you check out the vids I made of the 102 Thruster 102 yet? The sails I use are NP Atlas 2012 (6,2/5,4/4,7/4,0) and before that I used to sail North (Ice) for a long time as well. The Atlas gives me more power and makes me pane somewhat sooner. Now, with more volume that advantage gives me more waves. The 102 can also be sailed singlefin with probably better top-end speed and, with a bigger fin and a 6,7 sail, earlier planing as well. Didn’t try that yet though but I will probably try to sail a North Natural 7,5 on it with a 20cm centerfin as I stil have that sail in my quiver, just to see if I can get it into plane in 16 knots or so. I think it will work out fine in lakes as the speed of the board is great but I haven’t sailed it with a big sail in light winds yet. In the vid you can see me racing against a SB Quad, beating it in speed and upwind-capacities.

  13. David says:

    Hi Lars,

    Thx for the info on the Twin! I’m still a bit confused by all the choices we have nowadays. I was in Maui 2 months ago and rented Starbaord gear from Bart. I tried every board he had. To be honest, I absolutely hated the SB Evo Twin. It just took so much effort to get planing. Thats not something I take lightly on our North Sea. I think it has a lot to do with the shape though. As rounded as a banana…

    I also tried the SB Quad. That was a lot better. Planed nice and quickly and tons of control. It just dashed upwind! I used the Kode a lot though. A bit of a classic wave shape. Single fin, going upwind in heavy current was a pain. Something the Quad just didn’t seem to botter.

    I know SB is not Quatro, but this is the limited experience I have on multifin boards. My current choice tends to lean a bit more towards the LS Quad.

    Cheers!
    David

  14. Edwin says:

    Thanks Jacco for letting me have a spin on the Thruster 82! For about an half hour ive been using his Thruster82 at the Zandmotor. The swell was unfortunately quite minimal at the time. Used sailsize 4.6 5-Oceans, ridersweight 86kg. My quick impression of this board: comparing it with my LS85, it felt smaller (it is ofcourse 3liters less.) the thruster82 had more grip then my ls85, the thruster was faster, had better upwind reach. But then again id have to admit the LS85 felt more loose under my feeth, and in small mushy waves turns better. (a feeling that i prefer)The thruster had more speed and lift. great jumping machine and for the bigger waves should be perfect. The waves were as i said minimal so preffered my LS85 over the Thruster. Nonetheless its a great board and it probably works even better in greater conditions. CU on the water Jacco! Mahalo~ Edwin

  15. [...] and Peter did reviews of their Quatro Thruster LS and Quad LS a few weeks ago. We thought it would be nice to switch their boards to see what the [...]

  16. Jacco says:

    So, after the comparison of the 82 Thruster and 84 Quad I tried something else on my 102. I put a 22,5cm Angulo middefin in and rigged a 7,5 freeride-sail (North Natural with North Platinum mast) in 15-18 knots conditions to check out the ‘lowest-end’ of the 102. No problem at all! The board got on plane in the blink of an eye, acclerated to good speed, handled the chop without problem and never lost grip even when I pushed the fins. I left the middle-fin in and had a session yesterday being well-powered with 5,4. It seemed the bigger fin got me on plane even sooner and when riding waves I didn’t find the board loosing on manoeuvrability. Today, I bought mysef a 22cm MFC Alround Wave middlefin and I’m going to put that in for the coming sessions and then change back to the standard 18cm MFC to fee the changes.

  17. Griff says:

    Hi Jacco,

    I moved the centerfin max to the front and that loosens the board a lot, more snappy

    Give it a try :-)

    Cheers,

    Griff

  18. Jacco says:

    Yep, I already moved the fin forward in the 102, haven’t tried that on the 82 but probably will do that also. I’m thinking of putting the original 18 cm fin of the 102 in the 82 which has originally a 17cm middlefin. With my weight I think I gain a bit in early planing and, by putting the middlefin forward, to gain some in manoeuvrabiity. I find that when I do’nt pressure the rails enough and lean inside, the board tends to stay in a straight line. Putting the fin in front coud cover my mistakes a bit ;)!

  19. Jacco says:

    I’ve put a 22cm MFC freewave fin in to test the 102 with a 7,5 North Natural. No probem to freeride this board with a bigger sail also. So, it’s quite a can-do-it-all board!

  20. Andrew says:

    Hi

    Just wondering how you are finding the board with bigger centre fin. I see the new 2014 sphere which is the same board just a different colour is now running a 21 cm centre and two 10cm mini tuttles. I have the thruster 102 2013 and wondering about fin setup.

    Regards

    Andy

    • Jacco says:

      Hi Andy, the board handls bigger sails better, and looses only a little on looseness. I sailed a 7,5m on it an that is about the limit as I see it. I left the sidefins in though, maybe even a 24/25 cm fin will work as a single fin also. The board is great and even better in the high end. Sailing overpowered on 4,7 and waveriding like crazy. In my new sailquiver KS3′s, my biggest sail will be a 5,2, freeriding wil still be possible as I’ll keep my 6,2 but I prefer supping when the wind is too low for wavesurfing.

  21. Andy says:

    Cheers Jacco what size centre fin are you running at the moment in thruster setup? I take it you still enjoy the board. I have just purchased this over a goya quad 104. Hope I have made the right choice.

    Andy

  22. Jacco says:

    The standard centerfin of the 2013 model was 18 cm. I just checked on the Quatro website that the 2014 102l model has a 21 cm centerfin. The extra fin I bought was 22 cm. 21 cm will work fine but a smaller centerfin is possible on 5,3 and smaller, I find it just a bit more loose and alive but I can understand the reason why they went up in size. More lowend and only a little loss in the highend. I still love the board, haha and it is even more comfy to ride on 4,7 compared to my 82. For jumping and more extreme conditions I take the 82 but I will ride the 102 on a 4,0 also, just to check out if the board still works on my smallest sails. We’ll be up to Brandon Bay next week, hope to get great conditions! Cheers!

  23. Jacco says:

    Last week in Brandon Bay I sailed the 102 in a 25-40+ knots sideoff session with 2m+ waves. It was a little choppy and if it would have been cleaner I could have sailed without a problem on 4,0 maxed. The board had some trouble handling the chop during the turns but hey….maxed out on 4,0! I would have a one-board-solution with a 92l and looking back on the sessions with my Quatro’s; I prefer the 102 over the 82 sailing on 4,7 and use my bigtoy on 90% of my sessions. I could even sell my 82 and stil have my medecin up to 40 knots. One last remark though, my 82 is better controlable when jumping.

  24. Dennis Grootaers says:

    Beste Jacco,

    Dank voor de duidelijke review. Ik heb een vraag. Ik ben voornemens om een Quatro Thruster aan te schaffen maar twijfel over het volume. Ik ben een redelijk ervaren surfer maar vaar voornamelijk slalom op binnenwater. Vanaf een knoop of 20 stap ik afhankelijk van de condities over op freewave (RRD freestyle wave 91). Komend jaar wil ik echter vaker op zee gaan varen. Dat zal eerst de Brouwersdam zijn en mogelijk de Maasvlakte. Ik heb een mooie set Goya Eclipse 2013 zeilen in de maten 5.7, 5.0 en 4.5, dus daar moet het mee gebeuren.

    Met de 92 liter kan ik denk ik die hele range netjes afdekken maar de 102 geeft mij als startende waver net wat meer float. Ook wat waard denk ik. Daarnaast ben ik bang dat ik met de 92 ten opzichte van mijn huidige freewave board ga inboeten qua vroegplaneren… Wat zou jij adviseren?

    Dennis

  25. Dennis Grootaers says:

    Nog wat belangrijke informatie vergeten: ik weeg 87 kilo en ben 1.96 lang.

  26. Jacco says:

    Hoi Dennis, 100% voor de 102! Ik heb de 102 nu ook in een 40 knopen sessie gevaren, overpowered met 4,0 en dat was net over de max voor het board. Ik heb hetzelfde gewicht als jij en ik heb zelfs overwogen om mijn 82 eruit te doen, haha! 40 knopensessies heb je een paar keer per jaar. Als dat onshore is vind ik het niet leuk, side of sideoff gaat prima en dan zou een kleiner boardje je bij springen meer voordeel geven. Dat is een paar keer per jaar en weegt niet op tegen het comfort als je lowwind bent of normaal gepowered.

  27. Dennis Grootaers says:

    Ha Jacco,

    Dan zijn we eruit… Duidelijker kan niet!! De 102 gaat het worden. Ben benieuwd…:)

    Groet,
    Dennis

  28. Sjohs says:

    Hi Jacco

    Thanks a lot for the review. I am going to buy a 92 or 102. I wonder what could be a good upper sailsize for a 92(6.2?), when I replace the centrefin with one much bigger. Would be nice to make it functional also for freeriding. My weight is 85 kg.
    With your experience with the 102, what do you think about this?

    • Jacco says:

      Sure, no problem Stein. 6,2 is no problem, I can easily sail a 7.0 on my 102. I even tried a 7,5 with a 22cm centerfin. You just have to try what fin works best, I even think a light 6,7 will be possible. The board is a waveboard however although the speed and easy ride make it possible to just cruise around.

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