It’s clear that Quad needs good conditions before it lights up. It doesn’t necessarily need big waves, but it needs some steepness and a bit of power from the wave. As soon as it gets this, it really does come alive. It’s a heck of a transformation. In softer waves where you don’t have much speed and are turning more off your back foot, the Quad almost feels stiff in comparison to the Stubby. But as soon as the board gets on a steeper wave, it feels like something out of the Matrix! It is unbelievably fast, reactive, precise and sharp on the wave. It’s like playing a video game at times, where the board is reacting and snapping a super hard and fast turn, better than you could have expected, before your brain has even worked out what you wanted to do. It is amazing in the right conditions. But it’s also a bit average in the wrong conditions.
The Triwave has one big plus point on the wave and that is its smoothness. It feels like it just glides through the turns, smoothing out any chop that dares get in its way. It likes to be turned using its rail and it grips exception well when the rail is engaged. It’s very easy, very smooth and holds its speed well. However there is a downside. For more advanced riders, the Triwave feels stiff. It’s a board that likes to turn with a certain tightness and nothing you can do will persuade it to turn any tighter. On its own arc, its gracefully smooth, very trustworthy, and easy on technique, but there is nothing the rider can do to get it to tighten up for a sharp, snappy turn. Well that’s not entirely true, because there is one thing…a smaller set of fins. Using a smaller set of fins, positioned closer together did improve the snappiness and tight turning of this board to an acceptable level. It won’t blow minds, but it’s better if you are into that sort of thing. But then so is the Stubby. Much better in fact.
In bigger, more sideshore conditions, the differences in styles of the boards remains apparent, but the gaps in performance are perhaps reduced somewhat. The biggest mover is the Quad, which really starts to get fired up on the power from the waves. In more side-shore conditions, the Quad is such a refined and top-quality board. If conditions (and your technique) are good enough to be able to turn using the shoulders of the board in the bottom turn, what the Quad offers in return is incredible. It’s worth noting that whilst we found the Quad livened up in a straight line by bring the track back a little, it actually turns best when the whole rail is engaged, so what you may be gaining in straight line performance, you may be losing in the turns. It’s worth experimenting with as it makes quite a difference and different styles of sail and technique will find different optimum positions.
In bigger waves, the grip and smoothness of the Triwave are real assets and that lack of snappy turning becomes less of an issue. For more advanced riders, it felt more at home in the bigger, steeper waves than it did in the smaller, onshore mushy ones. But then again, if you are this good and bigger wave performance is what you are looking for, then the Quad is probably going to be your better choice.