REVIEW – QUATRO QUAD LS 110/84 (2013)
The first time I tried a Quad board, at the end of 2009, I fell in love with the concept and feel of the board. Wave riding became so much more fun with the drive the fins gave you in a turn. The only production board back then was the Starboard Quad ’10. I had been sailing Starboard Evo’s for many years and I had to have the Quad. So I bought a 81l quad and just loved sailing it. A few years before that I had bought myself a Angulo Sumo 105. That was in the days when there were no XL waveboards (apart from semi-customs). The Sumo became my most used board over the years. I could jump it and even waveride, although the single fin didn’t make it easy to turn. Waveboards have come a long way since then.
Now the time had come to get a serious upgrade for my wave kit. I love wave sailing. Jumping and riding waves is just the best thing there is. Spending as much time as possible on the water is what I want and for this I need a quiver that lets my reach that goal. Boards have come a long way in the past years and I was ready to get my hands on some amazing new kit.
I decided to switch my current Starboard Quad and Sumo for a Quatro Quad LS 84 and a Quatro Quad LS 110. I’ve sailed Quatro boards in the past and always loved how easy they sailed and how accessible they were to sailors of different skill levels. This made me less nervous about buying boards I hadn’t tested before. I use Ezzy Panther Elite 3.7, 4.2, 4.7, 5.3 and a Ezzy Panther LTD 6.0 (since Ezzy doesn’t have a Elite bigger then 5.7) as my sails.
About me. First let me give you some feedback on me personally. I’m a heavy sailor at 100kg. I’ve been sailing for almost 30 years. I’m above intermediate but not an expert sailor and I have my good days (and some really good). Even though I’m no expert I can understand and feel the difference between different gear and how gear is tuned. I test other gear when I can. I managed to get to 70+ sessions in each of the past years.
In general. Both boards look great on shore. The graphics really ‘pop’. The boards come equipped with high quality footstraps, footpads (10mm) and MFC fins. Biggest visual difference (apart from the graphics) with the previous quad is the tail. The fish tail has disappeared and the boards now have a beautiful pin tail. The boards are a little heavier then my previous board (not really a fair comparison as the Starboard was Wood/Carbon) and they look and feel really well build so I expect them to last a long time. The boards are by no means heavy and the few additional grams won’t stop me from performing (as I’ve already discovered)
Tuning. My footstraps are in the second most forward position. My mastbase is positioned one or two centimeters in front of the middle (the middle is where the yellow arrow is on the board next to the masttrack). I urge everyone to play around with the settings of the mastbase to find out what you like best. I found that I had some issues getting up the speed and keeping the board planning when I sailed with the mastbase further back.
As far as I can see, the boards have a nice double concave shape all the way from the front to close to the back. The 110 is just a little longer, wider and thicker compared to the 84 (I hope this doesn’t surprise anyone).
Quad 110. This board was a real eye-opener for me. I was really apprehensive to get this board. Not a single one had been sold in the Benelux region and 110 litres sounds huge! How can a board that big really feel like a quad? I’ve sailed this board a few times now. I’ve used my 6.0 and 5.3 sails in underpowered, powered and overpowered conditions. Now, let me start with the general performance of the board.
As with all Quatro boards, the 110 feels smaller then you’d expect. You think you’re sailing a
I personally think my 5.3 is the perfect size for this board. 6.0 works very well. I believe you can sail bigger then 6.0 but the size of the sail will start to impede your waveriding. You can probably go below 5.0, but that will at some point make the board feel big. If I’m powered up on my 5.3 I can switch to my 84l quad. I have to admit however that I’ve sailed the 110 with an overpowered 5.3 (in gusts) and I still had a blast. This range means I can have more time on the water instead of having to walk back to switch boards.
How about jumping? You can jump the board but this is where you notice the board has a bit more volume. Jumping in a straight line is no issue but you need to focus a bit more to get the board to do anything else. Then again, I didn’t get the board to do double forwards (and I’ve your capable of doing double forwards you can probably do it on this board as well).
Now for the most important part and the reason I bought this board; waveriding. In one word: Amazing!!! I did not know a board this big can turn this well (and I’m not exaggerating). Let me start at the bus stop. Waiting for a wave and the catching a wave is super easy because of the volume. You can really slow down, almost to a standstill before you catch a wave. A board with less volume would sink or not be able to accelerate fast enough in light winds and the wave would role under you. Now you can stay with the wave as it builds. Even the slow waves are no problem thanks to the amount of float the board has. Then comes the best part; riding the wave. Once the wave is steep enough you can quickly accelerate down the line. The 110 can turn like no other big board I’ve ever sailed. Admittedly, lighter sailors might notice they have to put a bit more effort in to make the turns, but heavy sailors like me can just push the board around without any effort. Short turns, long turns, bottom turns, top turns, the board can do it all. I even managed to get the fins to slide without any major effort on several occasions, throwing some spray around. As with the other quads you can really ride the board on it’s rail using your forward foot.
In conclusion. I wanted a big waveboard that would allow me to go wavesailing on lighter days. So far the board has exceeded my expectations. I can’t wait for light wind days with some bigger waves (I’ve now sailed in waist to shoulder high waves) to really push the board to it’s limits. Lighter sailors are probably better of getting the 98l. If your looking for a lightwind wave board then add 10 to 15l to your weight and you won’t be disappointed.
Quad 84. Next up is my Quatro Quad LS 84. I’ve owned this board for several months now and I’ve sailed many times on it. I’ve used my 5.3 down to my 3.7 and anything in between in all sorts of conditions. So far the board hasn’t disappointed me.
I’ll start with the same comment I’ve made about the 110; all Quatro boards tend to feel smaller when you sail them. The same goes here. The board feels small and light. More like 80l, or even a little less, then a 84. I had to get used to that, bit didn’t mind. The other thing I had to get used to is that the Quatro is slightly narrower in the back then my previous Starboard Quad. I mostly noticed this when I was sailing in light wind or gusty condition as it would make floating a bit more of a challenge (keep in mind that I’m 100kg). I’ve managed to overcome that obstacle by improving my balance and (this is a bit like cheating) by getting my great new Quad 110. Once the wind kicks in however you can get the board planning easily. Just point downwind a bit and of you go!
The board feels quite planted when sailing. It was quite confusing for me at first as the Starboard had a looser feel when sailing. I thought the board wasn’t performing and didn’t want to go upwind. Then I sailed alongside some of my friends; I was going just as fast and even faster upwind. Sometimes you just need to understand a board before you come to a conclusion. My advice: sail with friends and play with the tuning of your board. It will but that smile back on your face.
Once I get going I can just fly across the whitewater and through the waves. The board offers excellent control and changes direction in an instant. I sailed the board with my 3.7 in gusts of 60knots. I was always in control of the board. That’s another joy of sailing a quad; they keep giving excellent control even in overpowered conditions.
For me 4.2 and 4.7 are the perfect sail sizes for this board. Especially my 4.7 is now in perfect harmony with the board when I sail. Such a joy when you don’t have to worry about tuning while you’re sailing. 3.7 is fine for those extreme days. 5.3 works well when the sail is powered up. Sailing underpowered with my 5.3 makes the fins feel a bit small for me (once again; I’m 100kg) as they seem to struggle to provide enough lift. Lighter sailors most likely won’t even notice. You can probably sail a little bigger then 5.3 but I don’t think it will make the sailing much better. As always there comes a point when you should just get a bigger board.
Jumping is a real joy. I can control the board in all circumstances. I personally prefer to head downwind to jump. This is when the board transforms and really accelerates towards the waves. You can hit the lip real hard and get some major airtime. Want to make forwards or other moves? I’m no expert at these but I’ve seen what other guys can do with this board on Scheveningen and Wijk aan Zee (two of the top spots in the Netherlands). Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Now for the most important part; waveriding. Quatro is the brand that was the first one to start experimenting with quad boards and is the brand with the most experience with quads, and it shows! The board can do it all. Short turns, long turns. You can just rip the wave into pieces. I love that the board forgives small mistakes. You can correct a turn or change direction if you decide to not go for the lip and chicken out. You feel in control. Once you’ve made a top turn the board immediately accelerates off the top for the next turn. As with the 110 you can really ride the rail hard to make your turns. Once you hit the lip you can decide to bury the rail or just slide the fins. Great control, great board!
In conclusion. I had to spend a little time to get to understand this board as is was somewhat different from what I had sailed before. As I like to say; I’m a man and my board is a beautiful woman. We had a misunderstanding and we talked about it. We (she) decided that I was an idiot and that I was to blame for not listening. As with all relationships this made me understand her a lot better and now we’ve grown to be the best team ever. That’s the truth. This is a great board and it will not let you down in any way, as long as you’re willing to listen. Enjoy!
Video. You might want to see what can be done with the Quatro Quad in the hands of a real professional. Below is a video of Levi Siver sailing the Quad. Enjoy!
So what’s next? Jacco wrote a review on the Quatro Truster LS. Next up we will switch boards and compare the thruster and the quad. Hopefully we will get some wind and warm weather in the next weeks. Watch this space!