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The Quad low down...can you help?

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  • The Quad low down...can you help?

    hey guys.

    becoming an owner of a wonderful 6.4 dom fst,ive only shortly been in contact with quad fin sets. i never used them or even heard of them in my last 7yrs of surfing.

    what i would like to know is pretty much everything about them. yes i know they are faster and hold better than thrusters,but what i would love to find out is how they work together as a group. there are 100000s of combinations but not 1 website explaining how a more swept back front fin will work with an upright rear fin for example...

    i bought myself a 5 fin SF4 stretch set and am enjoying them totally,but dont have the wisdom to judge if i need bigger or more upright fins etc.
    ofcourse this has to do with experience and time on the water, but im dont have the possiblility to just buy and resell fins like most people do...

    so my questions.
    larger=more hold= stiffer board?
    smaller=less hold= skatey feel?
    upright= pivoty= less drive=bad for big waves?
    swept back= stiff= alot of drive= good for big waves?

    how do they corelate with one another? what if i take big fronts and small rears? the opposite? what about swept front and straight back? vice versa?

    ive had such an amazing performance boost using the Dominator and would love to progress my surfing not only physically but technically(science side) even more.

    i hope im not confusing anyone :P


  • #2
    Luis, you generally have the picture right, but there are some other factors as well like flex and fin base length that can make some big differences. For example, you can have a long fin base to add drive to a more upright fin so you don't lose any drive. TC Redlines are a perfect example, good drive and they still pivot tightly. So add a relatively long base compared with fin height and you get drive and pivot (eg. TC Redline, Rusty R2). The R2 fronts are 116mm (B) x 115mm (H) and TC redlines are like 117mm (B) x 114(H) if memory serves. Compare that with fins like the G-AM which are 117mm (B) x 119mm (H) with a sweep of 36deg which have good drive but draw longer arcs because of more rake, though they have a narrower and flexier tip which does provide good release. Tip shape also factors in as well, because it affects the flex characteristics.

    Weighing 90kg I find the plastic fins flex too much and consequently have no drive, same template in performance core and it's a totally different story. I hate the SF4s in plastic but in foam core fibreglass (what FCS calls PC) they work well and have plenty of drive in my dominator, especially when I add a tiny stabilizer fin. I'm guessing if you are riding a 6'4 dom you're not a lightweight and are generally looking at larger size fins, which the SF4 are. I ride my dom with either the SF4 or R2 quadset but with a stabiliser fin as well in the 5th set of plug holes. I've tried the K2.1 quad set and they felt nearly the same with a shade less drive. Also tried the GMB-5 (Mayhem) quad set but found they had too much hold and I kept getting hung up at the top. I never tried the G-AM quad set (with 80/20 Q1000 rears same as GMB-5) because they were a tad stiffer and I felt they would have the same problem but I'm not so sure now, with the extra release they offer they might have been OK. They are great as a quad set in my JS Kingpin.

    I've found a little stabiliser fin gives me the best of both worlds the speed of a quad and the pivot and directional control of a thruster. There is another thread over here about it. It's a bit long and meandering but there is some useful information and testimonials there if you have the time to sort through it.


    • #3
      hey slowman. thanks for replying (started to think no one has any answers... :P)

      im guessing that the sf4s are a great reference point searching for quads. i guess for my next board(who knows when thats going to happen) ill just pop them in and see wha happens and work my way out from there. i.e go bigger, smaller, more swept etc...

      what you unfortunately didnt answer was the question about mixing... if it take a larger front and smaller back or the opposite. im currently reading through all of the Sweet P threads and always stumble upon the controller quads. the front ones are massively swept while the rears are pretty upright. everyone only says that it works well on the sweet p but not why. its the why im looking for. then i stumbled upon the thread about fcss answer to the cotrollers in the fcs chatter. they are just massive. i think 21sq inches the front.... how do i know that thats a better choice than controllers? i unfortunately ( :P ) dont like giving out money for nothing... and as being a nooby in surf fins, i opted for the 5 fin glass flex sf4s. a good and cheap benchmark to work forward i guess... now all i want is to find out the rest. how to decide what fin to choose for what condition or if i should mix and match like some other posters here.

      thanks in advance


      • #4
        Luis, I don't have all the answers but unfortunately it does cost a bit of money to experiment with fins. However there are a couple of ways to increase your chances of hitting the mark and reducing the wasted $$$$. Personally, I keep fin sets that don't work (tris and quads) in one board because often they will work in another. It's a matter of knowing how the board goes with your "benchmark set" and then you can work out what direction you want to go from there. I have a few sets and but I tend to start with the R2 quads and if they are too loose I'll go to a stiffer set like G-AM/Q1000. If they are too stiff (never happened actually) I'd go to K2.1s or SF4s.

        The other way to save some money experimenting is to go to a surf shop that lends out demo fins. The only cost then is time.

        Once you start mixing fronts and rears there are hundreds of combinations and you could get lost. So I tend to stick with the complete sets ...just because you get a pretty good description from FCS how they compare with their other sets. They tell you all the dimensions, sweep, drive, hold and pivot characteristics. Once you start mixing things your on your own and it's a lot more trial and error. That said, though you can sometimes find that you just need a little more drive, hold or pivot and sometimes it is worth experimenting with changing the rears.

        I've never tried Controllers (because I've never used Futures) but maybe the reason they work in the sweetP and not in other places is because they are too big and stiff except for a loose wide board. It really depends on what the board calls for (as I was implying above).

        I don't think there is any hard and fast rule about the front fins being more swept than the rears but that seems to be fairly typical. I have tried TC redline fronts with GXQ rears and that would be the reverse, I replaced some PC7s in the front with the redlines to add some more drive and for that board it seemed to work. It was actually a Stretch F4, the SF4s were OK in smaller waves but TC redline/GXQ combo was better for a larger range of waves.

        I hope that helps. Your best fin combination will depend on you and the board but hopefully there's an approach in there somewhere in all those words that you can use to find it!
        Last edited by Slowman; 08-11-2012, 06:59 AM.


        • #5
          Yeah I'd offer some input but I've been going mad lately trying different quad combos and having mixed results. I'm starting to move towards keeping as upright as I can, with not too much area and just having enough fin to hold and drive off. I tried lots of fin for loads of drive and it just got sticky and tracky. Less fin works for me.


          • #6
            yeah agreed, at least on small stuff. I do like a little more rake on better waves. Just makes for smoother lines and drive!