The Boring Sailing Report
Kicked off the new year on Saturday with a surprise session. Wind was supposed to be light, but turned out to be pretty good 5.3. Might have been a bit sketchier for me, but I’m trying out some quad fin boards and they’re definitely planing up quicker and getting upwind to Uppers better which really helped. More on the quad fins in a moment.
Nothing much special for waves yesterday but that changed today. Some pretty fun intermittent logo- to mast-high waves at Uppers. The swell is a NW swell, or maybe even WNW so it’s not setting up ideally. But a few fun sets were wrapping enough to make for a fun day.
Now, the quad fins. I’m a bit late to the party with the whole multi fin thing. Never tried the twin fins. About a month or so ago, Matt Pritchard happened to have an 85 liter 2011 Da Curve quad in his van and he offered to let me try it. So, of course I did. I’ve been a bit skeptical but that one session opened my eyes to the possibilities of quads. Since that day, I’ve wanted to jump on some bigger quad fins for light wind days to see if they really do plane up earlier and get upwind better – important for me since I sail Uppers mostly. Last week I headed to the Fwd Hawaii shop in Haiku and picked up a demo Quatro quad LS 95 and tried that last Thursday, and I’ve tried the 92 liter Goya quad the last two days.
Update: For a great review of the Tabou Da Curve 85 quad, check out Andy McKinney’s Lost In Hatteras- 2011 Tabou DaCurve 85 TE Quad.
No doubt about it, the quads have a very different feel to them. They’re much shorter and your stance needs to be further back than single fins – mast track further back, footstraps set all the way back. In all three that I’ve tried, they feel like they sail higher up on the water than a traditional board and there’s a very different tracking feeling than a single fin.
Both the Quatro and the Goya definitely feel like they plane up faster than my traditional 95 liter single fin and there’s no doubt in my mind that they get upwind better. It does feel like these boards have let me get by with a sail size smaller than I normally would have used the last few days.
As for performance in the waves, both the Goya and the Quatro feel exponentially looser than a single fin of comparable size. It’s amazing how turny these boards are considering their volume. Both are over 90 liters and I think I could turn sharper on those than on my small 79 liter wave board.
Riding the wave is where the quads feel even more different. Much more surfy, skatey, kind of a feeling. In both cases, I feel like the quads don’t have as much drive or hold their speed in the bottom turn as well as my single fin boards, so I think they require some rider adjustments there. It felt to like the Goya had a bit more drive and held its speed a bit better than the Quatro.
Turning off the top – that’s going to take some getting used to as well. Not real sure how to describe how they felt, not being a short board surfer. The closest thing I can think of is a snowboard analogy. Feels like cranking a turn off of a powdery embankment to me. Incredibly loose!
I’d still like to try a few more different quad fins (like the new Simmer quad, the bigger Da Curve quad, … right now the Goya is the leading contender of the Quatro), but I’m convinced that my next big board is going to be a quad. They’ll get me going in lighter wind, get me up to Uppers easier, and they’ll actually be much looser than even my smaller single fin boards. It could be interesting having one quad fin board and the other two be single fins, being that they have such different riding style demands.
What about you guys? Anybody ride both single fins and quad fins? Do you feel like that works out for you or is the difference in riding style too much?