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  1. #1
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    discuss: quad v thruster quantified


  2. #2
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    really cool paper. I guess the end result is that for most modern surfing, a thruster would be the right call 90% of the time, while in incredibly small, maneuver less mush, a quad would give you speed, an in those VERY large situations, where it is simply down the line surfing, a 4 fin setup would be suitable.

    For modern day barrel riding though, even on big waves, this paper's results indicate that a thruster is a better choice in Huge barrel surfing because it allows the ankle tweaking and maneuverability that would be so critical while making those minor adjustments in the tube. You could argue that in a wave like Teahupoo or something that maybe the quad would work, just because its all about speed and once you set your line angle at the bottom of the wave face, its all just kind of a race then...

    But again, this paper re-enforces to me that there is a reason why you RARELY, if ever see quads and stuff being used on tour. I know people have dabbled in it. But on a large scale, flip everyone's boards over at any given event on the ASP and you will see thrusters and thursters only primarily.

    Still trying to fall in love with my quad... Maybe some day....

    Watched a video of tyler knox on a 5 fin bonzer through a link on this site last week. It looked like such an effort for him to get that tail around and go rail to rail... So, I guess more fins == more drag and harder to turn regardless of the setup.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by zach619 View Post
    really cool paper. I guess the end result is that for most modern surfing, a thruster would be the right call 90% of the time, while in incredibly small, maneuver less mush, a quad would give you speed, an in those VERY large situations, where it is simply down the line surfing, a 4 fin setup would be suitable.

    For modern day barrel riding though, even on big waves, this paper's results indicate that a thruster is a better choice in Huge barrel surfing because it allows the ankle tweaking and maneuverability that would be so critical while making those minor adjustments in the tube. You could argue that in a wave like Teahupoo or something that maybe the quad would work, just because its all about speed and once you set your line angle at the bottom of the wave face, its all just kind of a race then...

    But again, this paper re-enforces to me that there is a reason why you RARELY, if ever see quads and stuff being used on tour. I know people have dabbled in it. But on a large scale, flip everyone's boards over at any given event on the ASP and you will see thrusters and thursters only primarily.

    Still trying to fall in love with my quad... Maybe some day....

    Watched a video of tyler knox on a 5 fin bonzer through a link on this site last week. It looked like such an effort for him to get that tail around and go rail to rail... So, I guess more fins == more drag and harder to turn regardless of the setup.
    Surfing a quad is fun. You just gotta have the right fins and fin placement for the particular wave. This takes a little while and cash to figure-out. As an approaching 40 surfer, I find they generate their own speed a bit more, which I like. The lack of pivot-ability, and sometimes too much speed, are my only complaints about them. I own quads, single-fins, 2+1s, and thrusters. I love them all!

  4. #4
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    Sep 2010
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    She blinded me with science.
    And that link w/ Knox on the bonzer only confirms that those things are a waste of plastic foam and fiberglass. Please let them go away and let's move on.
    Wish the "quad" was more defined in terms of the hull shape. I mean you can put 4 skegs on any shaped hull and call it a "quad" whether a fish, hot rod squash performance thruster, gun, log or whatever. And not withstanding where the fins are stuck on - pushed together, spread apart, on the corners, toed in or not at all. Too many variables to quantify into one term.

  5. #5
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    I think they give the deets on the fin placement for the quad used in the study

  6. #6
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    Nov 2011
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    thats a very serious report for something like surfing. i read a report similar to that this morning about solar panels. had the same graph.

    Im a fan of the quad. its just one aspect of design but i think it helps this older guy surf closer to the way he did in his twentys. when i do a top turn i make make less spray on a quad which should mean less energy wasted. I make more sections which keeps me intrested so i stay in the water longer than if i wasn't making them. There are so many other design factors to consider besides fins. I have two quads. one is a great board shaped similiar to an older thruster but sometimes i found that it was racing out in front of the pocket and had to always be cut back when a more vertical approach could have been taken. I wanted to keep the easy speed aspect but stay more in the pocket so another one was shaped a little shorter with a fuller plane shape, a fuller rail and a little more nose rocker. the thing turns on a dime with less effort to generate speed when needed.

    im not saying a quad set up is better than a thruster set up. im saying they are better for me.

  7. #7
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    It "proves" what surfers have been saying all along about the difference between thrusters and quads... that quads go faster, and carry more speed through turns than thrusters. Why? Because you generally don't push quads into the higher angles of attack that you do thrusters. One of the main benefits of quads is that they have larger turning radii than thrusters, but carry much more speed through the turn. And if you give them a degree or so more cant, they generate more lift, especially in smaller surf, which translates into more speed... because it's not just the fin lift and drag you consider... it's also how much drag the hull creates when planing, and vertical fin lift helps address that.

  8. #8
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    To surf a quad well you have to have a quad style. If you are a flowing surfer connecting turns etc a quad is perfect. If you want to get vertical all the time a thruster is better and offers snappier turns. I think a quad can do almost everything a thruster can just not as good. A thruster on the other hand can never generate the easy effortless speed of a quad without it becoming a pumping down the line mess. I'm a quad guy through and through, just fits my style. Rode a thruster all winter because I broke a quad box on my 5 fin. The thruster did great in hollow surf and allowed me to get some big vertical snaps. Once the winter guts dropped out of the swells I have been suffering, time to get back on he quad for me.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LBCrew View Post
    And if you give them a degree or so more cant, they generate more lift, especially in smaller surf, which translates into more speed... because it's not just the fin lift and drag you consider... it's also how much drag the hull creates when planing, and vertical fin lift helps address that.
    This is SO true. The two boards i ride almost all of the time are both quads - one has the rear fins railward and canted out, the other the rear fins stringerward and vertical. I swear I can notice the added lift from the board that has all four fins canted outward. Its like as soon as you hit a certain gear going down the line, and the board is planing, there is a feeling of lightness and acceleration, and the board has a higher top end. The other quad with the nearly vertical and stringerward rear fins feels a lot more like a thruster.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by garbanzobean View Post
    And that link w/ Knox on the bonzer only confirms that those things are a waste of plastic foam and fiberglass. Please let them go away and let's move on.
    that's gotta be one of the dumbest things i've read on here...one video of one guy on a bonzer=bonzers are useless crap. that's like saying global warming/climate change is a hoax b/c winter is still cold & it snows. it'd be interesting to see how taylor surfed that same wave on a thruster, b/c i'd bet he's prob. surfing a helluva lot better on the bonzer than he would on a thruster.
    but let me guess, you've never ridden one, right? so that makes you the ultimate authority on bonzers.