THRUSTER VS QUAD
A lot of surfboards in the market nowadays are mostly available in the 5-fin set up configuration. This is a bonus for the buyer, as having the ability to swap your fin set up to either thruster or quad makes your board much more versatile. In this blog, we will break down the different purposes of each set up and list down the pros and cons to help you narrow down your decision on which fin configuration you will choose on your next surf!
Started with a single fin when surfboards were created, evolving into twin fins and finally thanks to Simon Anderson (the inventor of thruster set up in 1980), the level of performance surfing has gone beyond what people thought was possible. Turns have become more aggressive, tighter in the pocket and stable in the barrel. It was a game changer for surfers.
Having that extra middle fin provides a pivot point for surfers to manoeuvre quicker and tighter without losing balance. As a result, it becomes the go-to set up for 90% of surfers around the world for all conditions.
In the early 2000s, shapers started to focus on fin set ups and experimenting with them and came up with quads. Having a quad set up allows you to do number of things.
Firstly, having 4 fins in the water instead of 3 increases hold. Having more hold means that your board will be more stable and less skatey in hollow waves.
Secondly, having that extra fin in the water results in having an extra gear just like you would have in a car, meaning more speed. So, by taking quads out in fatter, mellower waves allows you to go past sections with speed that you wouldn’t have on a thruster.
Finally, having no middle fin in the centre creates less drag and so it feels looser on smaller waves. The only downside with quads is that, despite of the stability that it offers when the waves are powerful, it does feel stiff when you want to do turns. In another words, you would feel the resistance from the extra fin and needs that extra push on your backfoot to swing your board around.
SUMMARY OF PROS AND CONS
- Reliable set up in most conditions
-Good for maneuverability
-Have the hold when needed whilst doing turns
- Not as stable in powerful hollow waves
-Ability to skids out especially when surfers have a powerful backfoot
- Increased speed
-Stable in the barrel
-Looser in smaller fatter waves (twin fin feel)
- Tendency to feel stiffer on a powerful waves
-Doesn’t turn as tight in the pocket as thruster
-Better in point breaks
Whether you are a beginner or intermediate alike, start off with a thruster and work on your surfing; turns, gaining speed, etc. When you have the right technique and foundation of surfing, then you can start experimenting with different configurations (which in this case a quad set up). Our native surfboards come in 5-fin set up to enable our customers to have flexibility to swap different fin configuration when you need to.