HOT SAILS MAUI QU4D 4.3M 2014 TEST REVIEW
A drivey, lightweight and well-built offering with good wind range and plenty of control.
Although heavier riders enjoyed the Qu4d, anyone who wants tonnes of power will be disappointed, although light and medium weights will find it mighty enough, but all sizes will be delighted with the light feel and refined levels of pull.
There’s quite a lot of roach to play with. We liked it pretty well downhauled to allow the progressive leech to fall away, but quite full in terms of outhaul – pretty much touching the boom past the clip.
‘Hot Sails hype the Qu4d as a ‘super-compact 4-batten wave sail designed for radical and aggressive riders for use in a variety of wave conditions’.
Outline: Short and squat 4-batten frame with ‘negative’ cut foot, heavily scalloped leech and a lot of roach.
Build Quality: Hot are one of the brands justifying current eye-watering price tags by delivering value through generous use of quality materials. With the Qu4d they’ve gone to town in the construction department, with lots of attention to detail and a very light but ‘built’ product being the outcome. Things we noticed included: Hot sails like leather! (And are not fans of susceptible-to-tears film.) There’s a ridged PU-leather head protection. Leather sleeving handle and we’re sure there’s a whiff of leather on the batten end protectors too! Their (rod) battens are all placed on alternate sides and there’s lots of scrim in the upper section panels, a 2-piece luff sleeve with moulded mast sleever and a doubled-back Dacron section that’s not cut out to prevent wear and save weight. The Qu4d is mainly x-ply in the foot and window – no film to be seen. The clew is beefy with Carbon Technora radial clew reinforcement – we counted 5 materials used. In the foot there’s use of pricy Technora and the foot bumper progresses into the leech/clew area too. More detail shows with a brass/bronze 90-degree metal Loop-go pulley, a fabric tack fairing with uphaul cringle featuring a nice closure system, internal stash pocket and radial tack webbing.
Did we say drive? It might sound strange, but this 4-batten beauty isn’t the most powerful sail you’ll ever handle, but it does convert every ounce of torque into usable power. It’s deceptive because the light feel to the rig fools you into thinking you’re holding some flimsy film but the Qu4d is devious and delivers heaps of torque, but in a civilised, balanced manner. Apart being super light in weight, it’s also mega-manoeuvrable and hardly ever felt overpowered. Testers of all sizes loved how it went neutral in the bottom turn, with all the roach helping to keep power in turns and whip you back around in control. It’s not overly backhanded, but manages to cope with sharper turns well, which suggests a wide range of use. Oh, and it has plenty of drive.
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