Pritchard Windsurfing


Quad-Mania How many fins do you need?

Matt Pritchard US-10
It is wave season here on Maui and life is good! As we approach a new year there are always new things that come about- and what is going to be new for 2013? Oh yeah, it isn’t even 2012 yet…… Well my call is a movement back to the single fin set up… I have been calling that for the past 3 years already so if you know me, that might be old news.
The quad fin boards have come a long way in the last 2 years and do offer a lot of OPTIONS. You can really crank out some fast turns and go from rail to rail quickly. A lot like a short board surfboard- you gotta be ON IT to utilize this in fast moving waves. I do notice that they seem to be slower to plane and not as fast as my favorite single fin boards. Not everyone wants to go fast but I live by the saying, “Speed is your Friend” and “when in doubt, GAS IT”!
From what I have learned after playing with countless fin set up combos (Makani’s, Black Project, Stock) and options is that my style likes a lot of fin back there in order to not slide out. Nothing worse than going into a bottom turn wondering if you are going to make it…… I put a 16cm and 9cm combo on the 2012 Tabou Da Curve 85 liter board (which as 5 slot box fin boxes- can be used as a thruster or quad) and that seems to work ok. The other day I cut up one of my favorite single fin 24’s to a slot box and tried that out….. The box was a bit too far back to be used as a single fin- I think it was better in Quad formation for the conditions. This experiment got me thinking about my old trusty favorite contest board from back in the days…….
Although 2005 doesn’t seem that long ago, we are looking at almost 7 years- WOW! I took out my old baby and boy did she feel funny looking at all the nose sticking out of the water. At 8’2” long it amazed me how different it looked compared to a 7’8” length. Once I set foot on her, it was just like old times- she got planing quickly, smoked up-wind and brought back some fond memories in the turns. It did feel a little “old school” but once I dropped in and pushed in the bottom turn, it just felt like I was on rails. The turn off the bottom may not have been as TIGHT as the new boards allow but it was nice to be able to push it. The off the top was also a little more STIFF but with the right wave, it still worked pretty good.
What did I learn? I would have to say that a combo of the old and the new is ready to be found. I rode one of Levi’s 7’5 Single Fin boards that he just made and it was really fun. It fit in the pocket of the wave, had PUSH to crank a good bottom turn and had most of the good features from the quad-like outline.
As 2013 design phases begin, I’m excited to see what all the brands will put on the table for the new “IT” shapes! Stay tuned…..


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