Starboard Quad 81 Wood Carbon (2010)

Duncan Slater
Starboard Quad 81 Wood Carbon (2010) – £1299
Starboard Quad 81 Wood Carbon (2010) – £1299

Starboard are the first to bring a four-fin set-up back to the windsurfing market with the introduction of their Quad. We’re promised “more drive, more traction, the ability to generate more speed on the waveface, turn closer and tighter, ride more vertical with the ability to go where you want, when you want”. Starboard also reckon we’ll have better upwind ability on a quad, giving us a greater chance to catch more waves. Their new line-up replaces both the Evil Twin and the Evo, and is available in five sizes from 66L up to 86L. The board is also available with a fifth finbox so it can be converted into a standard single-fin (not tested here), and comes in three different constructions.

Design: The Quad has a maximum width of 58.5cm and a quoted volume of 81L, making it one of the widest in this test yet with the lowest volume. It has 14mm of tail rocker, which was the highest we measured. It has a fairly standard planing flat for this size board, with a 2cm point at 141cm. The board features a slight single concave in the tail going through to double concave further forwards. It also has a small swallowtail.

On the water: Considering its large amount of tail rocker the Quad is relatively quick to get planing, which is surely down to the pretty large fin area underfoot. It feels a little strange when you first get going as all four fins take time to engage, but once that happens you can aim it wherever you want. You can almost point directly into wind and it w will keep planing! The Quad is very good for jumping as the large fin area gives you something to push against when you reach the top of a ramp, but its real forte lies in riding. On the one hand, it’s super-loose and you can change your angle of attack in an instant, but on the other it grips like nothing you’ve ridden before. You can’t slide the tail out quite as easily as you can on a twin, but the extra drive you gain during the bottom turn means that you don’t need to because you just go for an aerial instead! We found that the bigger and the smoother the waves were, the better the Quad performed.

Fittings: It comes with two mini Tuttle box 16cm fins, which are quite stiff throughout, plus two 11cm, soft and blunted fins with FCS fitting. The board was fitted with very comfortable straps and really nice pads. The rear strap had double screw inserts that were excellent at reducing twist.

Overall: The Quad really grew on the team throughout the test. The more someone used it, the more fun they had, and the more waves they tore to pieces on it. If you’ve got the time to put in and love shredding good cross-shore waves, this could be the board you’ve been waiting for. It grips harder than any other waveboard we’ve tested. And if you do get one, you’ll be throwing so much spray that anyone watching from the beach will think you’re a pro!

Click here to read the BOARDS 256 Multi-Fin Waveboard test in full…

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