QUATRO SUPER MINI 85L 2017 TEST REVIEW
The Super Mini is new for 2017, available solely in Quatro’s Pro construction across its four sizes, from 78 to 103L. With its parallel outline, diamond tail and chunky rails (progressing from super sharp in the tail to rounded and soft in the nose), the Super Mini is an attractive looking board, opting for a more conventional nose shape. It comes supplied with the brand’s excellent Varidens deckpads with their raised tail pad, MFC’s straps and quality moulded carbon fins.
“So as the name describes, this is our compact fast wave stick. We’ve been working on this all-around board for the last four years and both tested and launched a small Custom World series of it along the way. The concept comes from Dan Thomson of the surfing world. What a concept to come up with, thinking so much outside the box. I tip my hat to him and his creation. I am fortunate enough to use the concept and bring it to windsurfing.”
In Quatro’s promotional material, it’s stated that, “volume flow and rocker are critical on these boards as they are so short.” And whilst we would agree entirely, we feel that the Super Mini requires you to adjust your technique compared to the other boards in this group initially, to account for its short nature and balance. The straps are closer together and placed significantly further forward on the Super Mini than on the other designs, demanding a proactive attitude to understand the Super Mini’s qualities. Transfer weight onto its tail sooner than you would normally step back and it releases readily, accelerating smoothly. Applicable (just) for marginal 5.3m weather, it provides the buoyancy that its quoted volume would suggest, but certainly no more, feeling much more at home as the wind increased. Properly powered, it charges upwind beautifully, helping to make the line-up quicker than your peers for another run. And it is also fast, particularly off the wind, providing the minerals to position yourself purposefully on the wave, make the tightest of sections or get around close-outs. On the wave, it keeps its speed easily as it transitions effortlessly from backside to frontside, bestowing a playful and inspiring nature to rip the wave apart. The setup on the frontside is more on the front foot, the board gripping and driving through the tightest turn, before smoothly transitioning from rail to rail to punch off the top. With its speed and upwind capability, the Super Mini is also very capable for aerial antics, its compact nature making it controllable and easy during flight. In harsh choppy conditions we did find the Super Mini’s light responsive nature means it requires concentration to keep it planted. It is certainly most at home in wave riding mode, in cross to cross-on conditions, where its tight turning ability and speed makes the 85 worthy of its ‘super’ name.
The Super Mini takes time to get to know, yet rewards with speed and a raw wave riding potency that is worth every effort to unlock.
Other sails in this test: