STARBOARD QUAD 84L 2016 TEST REVIEW
Whilst boasting a fresh blue livery in its carbon construction, the Quad 84’s design remains unchanged for 2016, being Starboard’s go-to wave board range for “instant grip, connection and drive.” Championed by Scotty McKercher, it has quite a traditional outline, being one of the longest and widest in the group, with a heavily domed deck and thin rails leading to a squashed square tail. Supplied with slightly larger central fins for the new season, its fittings are excellent as usual, with colour-coded straps and the brand’s K9 inserts to ensure the front straps don’t twist, with double screws on the back strap. Boasting a classic quad fin setup with standard fin cluster positioned right over the back foot and the 5th generation of slot box, which is “70% lighter than a US box with new strip, rip and twist resistant T shape brass inserts to make stronger against impacts than a US box’’ say Starboard.
“Everything about the Quad is about converting full rail turns into an explosive flow of energy. The Quad is a true ultimate, real, wave board. If you’re looking for a board for any conditions that can really connect with the wave; that can really create drive, no other board can come close!” Scott McKercher
Being one of the largest in the group, the Quad has excellent weight carrying capacity and feels stable and conventional underfoot. It does absorb power and needs noticeably more input (from both sail and rider) than others here to release. That said, once on the plane, the Quad accelerates smoothly, feeling incredibly dependable and well mannered, the shoulders keeping clear of any danger whilst the mid-section of the board (around the front straps) seems to grip the water and temper the ride. It has an easy passive nature, which becomes a real plus when the conditions become more challenging, allowing the rider to concentrate on other things rather than retaining control of the board. To this end, as the conditions get better and wind increases in intensity, the Quad seems to turn on! Fast and assured, it has a real rail-to-rail feel, providing smooth instant response to any change in foot pressure. It can be used in any wave environment to great effect, from small cross-onshore waves to clean cross-shore conditions and beyond. Adapting to either front or back foot bias with ease, we believe the true key to really getting the most from the Quad is ensuring you provide enough power. Achieve this and the board will return all the energy you plough into it with real interest.
Smooth, dependable and offering sensational rail-to-rail response, the Quad really comes into its own when the conditions switch on. A classic wave board excelling in classic conditions.
Other sails in this test: