Quatro FreestyleWave 85 (2008)

Ed Davis

This is the redesign of the board that did so well in our all-rounder / freestyle-wave test last year. It has been changed quite a bit with greater rocker through the tail half (less through the nose) and higher vee.

On the Water:

Last year it was clearly more wave-oriented than the average but still pretty fast-rockered and reasonably quick to plane (quicker than the Goya One). This year it seems a bit slower to get going, which might be expected with the increase in rocker. Nevertheless, it responds well to powering up with quite big sails due to the strong forward grip of the vee, so it’s happy with up to 6.0m and tracks very securely. You certainly notice the vee in use because it keeps the board well attached to the water and you can feel it rock from side to side which gives it a somewhat lively feel; not as soft and smooth feeling as other of the more wave styled boards. In waves it has much more of a rail-to-rail feel than is now normal for larger or more moderate conditions waveboards. It’s very willing to turn and predictable when on the rail, but it doesn’t feel all that loose and pivotal, having more the feel of a larger, fast trad. It was particularly smooth and grippy in the gybe.

Fittings: The straps and deck were comfortable although the straps pinch wide feet quite tight.The board is supplied with aMFC moulded 25cm and although we didn’t have that fin on test it is a fin we have liked in the past.

Popularity: An opinion splitter, faring very well with some and only moderately well with others and generally better with the guesters than testers.

Overall:

The Quatro FSW is a fairly wave-biased all-rounder with high grip and a slightly flighty feel, which is quite a novel combination.You can load it up for some high octane blasting so long as you don’t expect it to accelerate away during the lulls. It is fun to blast, gybe and jump in all water states and is very at home in waves although we didn’t find it quite as fast and exciting or as loose as last year’s board (compared to the benchmark Goya).There is perhaps too much overlap for it to make a natural quiver partner with a medium sized waveboard, so it would probably seem most suited as a high wind board for sailors who only get irregular outings in waves.

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