JP AUSTRALIA THRUSTER QUAD PRO 95L 2017 TEST REVIEW
Completely revised for 2016, the Thruster Quad line-up remains untouched for 2017 bar a graphic makeover and a change in the supplied fin offering. Available solely in PRO construction, they are produced in the brand’s S-Glass technology, using stingers and carbon rails to provide both durability and the right amount of flex. The new central fin is much lighter than its 2016 G10 predecessor, being made of the same construction process as the side-fins – something the brand is calling Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM). Being the longest in the test group here, the JP’s gunny outline is accentuated by its low nose, flat deck shape and thin rails. Coming complete with JP’s tried and tested neoprene straps and 10mm deckpads with built-in heel cushions, the 95 has a total of five fin boxes in its tail, allowing it to be used in all the various fin configurations available.
“These fast and versatile wave toys offer a huge range of use from onshore to side – and offshore conditions. They now deliver improved planing performance and thus also qualify as bump and jump high wind boards. And you will love them for their ease and reliability to carve up waves.”
Despite a comparable width to the other boards in the group, the JP feels small underfoot, its long length making its outline feel more drawn out. It planes readily once pushed off the wind and accelerates like a scolded cat up to an impressive top end speed. With its low, pointed nose and tapered rails, the JP’s design does give the pretence of a traditional character … and yet the Thruster Quad’s speed and liveliness makes it feel anything but old-school. The straps and deckpads provide a secure connection, whilst the double concave in its hull helps to iron out any sharp chop and keep the board planted as you put the hammer down. It remains lively and loose, yet there’s a real sense of control and connection that begins to galvanize as we got used to the JP’s personality. It is a great board for charging around a break confidently on, providing the speed for boosting off ramps into lofty aerials, more akin to a freewave than a full wave-board. In powered to overpowered conditions, its fast nature helps to temper the overpowered sail, converting all its extra energy into more speed. The raw velocity of the board is once again a major factor as it points upwind beautifully or glides through lulls, requiring little input from the rider. In fact, the best way we found to temper the JP’s speed was to change its fin setup into a quad. Putting extra fins into the board certainly seemed to bring the JP’s pace more in line with the other boards in the group, whilst providing extra grip and traction through the turn. And yet, we found ourselves instantly craving the feel of the thruster setup! Yes, it might take a bit of time to learn to handle the extra speed, yet it’s an exciting challenge to have. The JP certainly has a more conventional drawn out wave-riding style, driving through the front foot and loading the rail. Yet control the speed and it’s like redirecting a ballistic missile, the punch off the wave’s lip sure to get the juices flowing if you get the timing right.
Conventional in feel without the slightest whiff of being stuck in the past – the JP is best summed up in three words – fast … very fast! And combined with control comes the ability to sail in an explosive, expressive manner.
Other sails in this test: