I am now a one man band and loving it. No more Team riders ringing me up at midnight sobbing over the loss of their favourite 6.1 or a last minute boat trip and” HELP” my boards are too short! I have to say I do not miss it one little bit! Having said that though, there are many things that can be learnt about board design when an accomplished surfer is able to give you some intelligent feedback. Brooko and I were the first shaper surfer duo to really settle on the round tail quad concept, realizing very early in the peace that it was the best combination for performance quads. The round tail wanted more than anything to pivot and the two fins on the rail wanted more than anything to bight and drive. The fact that every pro has one in his quiver nowadays is certainly a testament to this.
Where we still have a lot of learning to do; is in the areas of the actual fins themselves – particularly their positions, clusters, front and rear fin sizes, toe in and cant. If you go into any surf shop in the world today with a tape measure you will find almost 90% of the thrusters from all labels have their fins in the same positions – no doubt the result of nearly 30 years of the three fin evolution. Not so for the quad since they have only really been focused upon the last 5 years, and to add to this complexity- the extra fin creates a lot more position possibilities because for one; with 2 on the rail there will always be bight no matter how far they are positioned up from the tail.
I have checked out many other brands and their quad fin positions, and they all vary a lot- not to say where I put mine is THE spot, however I have seen many set ups that defy logic and have actually turned many off the concept altogether. At least I have a growing clientele of quad customers- so something must be working. Having said that there are still a lot of untried combinations to be explored and this is the point of the Brooko experiment. I chose Troy not only because he was a big part of developing the original RTQ design but more so because he can express what is going on under his feet in my language. The plan is to ride the same board keeping that as a constant which then allows us to just focus on the various fin configurations only.
The board is one of the designs inspired by Brooko earlier on called the MK2. Using FCS plugs placed in a multiple of well thought out positions, the experiment is about to begin. There is not a lot of room to put these fin positions together so FCS is the only system that could accommodate the idea.
4. 2+2 set up i.e. bigger fins in the back and smaller up front. To make this effective the bigger rear fins are moved further forward effectively tightening the cluster, and then moved ½”closer to the stringer
5. 2+1 set up. This is a thruster set up with the centre fin taller even than the 7. It also has been moved 2” further forward than a rear thruster centre fin position and this is why it needs to be deeper. The front sides are the much smaller 1000’s.
6. The 4 fin thruster mimic. This is a normal quad set – in this case sporting the K2 .1’s where the smaller trailors are positioned very close together and set parallel to the stinger to the point where they act more like a thruster centre fin. The plan here is to mimic the pivot of a thruster with a little more bight and speed akin to the quads.
7. This is the same set up with the addition of a mini keel
There are many more combinations that will come to mind when selecting the fins for each of the fin trials but in order to keep something which is in fact quite complicated –simple: I have gone with just these fins at this point. Troy will over the next 6 months surf the seven configurations and log his impressions. As I said I have been at the forefront of the 2nd generation of quads for over 7 years now, and it seems the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. The Brooko experiment will hopefully shed some light on what quad fins and positions work the best for a surfer of his calibre. Will keep you posted.