Much like the thruster, the quad describes a fin set up rather than a type of surfboard.
You can find a quad setup on any type of surfboard. And, in combination with the tail, rails, and other elements of the board, will surf a lot differently from the same board set up as a single, twin, or thruster.
What Does a Quad Setup Surfboard Do?
Simply put, quad setups are faster while maintaining excellent hold and maneuverability.
It’s an extremely versatile setup as well – strong in everything from knee-high mush to overhead, barreling surf.
Fins in the center of your surfboard cause drag and slow you down in a straight line. On a quad, water flows down the middle of the board and off the tail with no obstructions – making the setup super fast even when going straight.
While a twin set up is fast too, you’ve probably noticed it lacks some of the stability and hold that you’re used to with other set ups.
A quad combines the speed of a twin with a little more hold and control – making bigger turns and changes of direction easier without the tail skating out.
There’s versatility within the quad setup too.
A quad setup that’s clustered more tightly can be surfed similar to a thruster with quick turns and pivots and above the lip maneuvers.
The speed of the quad certainly takes some getting used to, but once you get a feel for it, you can really use the speed+control to your advantage. The quad proves a good choice in pretty much every wave condition.
History of the Quad
Professional surfer and shaper Glen Winton is often credited with the Quad setup while experimenting with it in competition in the 80s.
However, much like everything else in surfing, it’s another design that has probably gone through unknown or unremarkable iterations throughout the surfboard’s history.
For a deeper look into the history of the quad, check out this incredible write up on Surfline by Rusty Preisendorfer himself.