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Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

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dylan*
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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby dylan* » Wed May 31, 2017 11:40 pm

danidr wrote:
Wed May 31, 2017 11:25 pm
I never surfed paddling, and know not a lot about fin configurations, but I find quads quite "stiff" and not very playful. My two surf/kiteboards were thrusters and every time I use someone else's board and it's a quad, I don't like how it carves and behaves. Anyone care to explain?

I also bought a nice (expensive!!) set of fins and they made quite a lot of difference. I'd go with everyone else's advice, get a cheap board, and go strapless. It will definitely open up a new world kiting. And after that get a foil and you have 3 sports in 1, for basically any condition out there in the water!
it depends a lot on the board, ive ridden a few quads that are super playful. i love my tona pulse 5'8 set up as a quad, but i set it up as a thruster sometimes for a different feel. i find thruster easier to break the fins loose when snapping off the lip. i used to feel like thrusters were easier to get those perfect pivotal vertical top turns, but im getting the same kind of performance out of my quad now, your weight placement is just a little different. personally i feel like quads are better all-around for kiting since you're on the rail more than a surfer, so the extra grip from the second side fin helps a lot, especially on steeper faces. but thrusters can be more playful so are fun for certain days. im really glad i have a 5-fin board so i can choose what i want to do that day

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby NorCalNomad » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:24 am

danidr wrote:
Wed May 31, 2017 11:25 pm
I never surfed paddling, and know not a lot about fin configurations, but I find quads quite "stiff" and not very playful. My two surf/kiteboards were thrusters and every time I use someone else's board and it's a quad, I don't like how it carves and behaves. Anyone care to explain?

I also bought a nice (expensive!!) set of fins and they made quite a lot of difference.

:thumb: for getting decent fins. I hope you got them from a local surf shop or surf retailer and not amazon or a Chinese ebay page.


-It might feel stiff because there might be too much fin area for your weight (like Split Keel Quads are a bit much for my weight unless the tail of the board is super wide).
-It might feel that way because of the fin combo (I don't like Futures F4 V2's with North quad rears but LOVE my Stretch Quads and FCS H3 as quads, but don't like the H3's as thrusters).
-It might feel too stiff because you don't have your back foot far enough back and with not enough weight.
-It might feel stiff because you're "over fin-ing" the board's template ex. narrow tailed high performance shortboards will get "stiff" i.e. want to go straight, with quads. The narrower the tail the less fin area you need to get the board to "bite"

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby BigZ » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:05 am

Others provided good feedback so I will not repeat it. A couple of extra comments if you want to start with a used surfboard - for sure the cheapest way to go.

Find a board that matches your wave conditions. If you are kiting flat or chop and want try a surfboard just to play around, anything will do but small wave oriented board like a hybrid or groveler would be the best.

If you kite in bigger faster waves choose a proper high performance shape. Size wise go one/two sizes smaller than what you would use for paddle surfing.

One way to do it is to use one of the surfboard volume calculators - e.g. One on firewiresurfboards.com - and enter young, fit, expert surfer in the form :-)

The volume returned should about right for old, unfit, beginner kitesurfer :-)

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby Matteo V » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:39 am

danidr wrote:
Wed May 31, 2017 11:25 pm
.....I find quads quite "stiff" and not very playful. My two surf/kiteboards were thrusters and every time I use someone else's board and it's a quad, I don't like how it carves and behaves. Anyone care to explain?
I spent 5 years trying to research this very topic. In the end I came up with more questions than answers. So I gave up trying to nail down a thesis on the difference between Quads and Thrusters in kitesurfing specific applications. But as you asked, here is a summary of what I have come up with. (Again, please remember that this is for a kitesurfing specific application. Prone surfing treats thrusters the same as kitesurfing, but it does not treat quads the same.)

Thrusters -
With thrusters the rider stands directly over the top of the board in direct opposition to gravity/centripetal force. The direction of travel IS directly tied to the centerline of the board. A thruster will not "crab" sideways. It is always traveling in line with the centerline of the board. The most stable line of travel on a thruster is in line with the centerline of the board. Loading the fins to a low degree of sideloading force spins them out instantly. The rider controls the direction of travel on a tack with the font foot. Control over the direction the board is pointing at every instant is essential to traveling in a single direction. Chop that bounces the nose of the board upwind and downwind, leads to a messy/squiggly tack line.

Quads -
With quads, the rider hikes out a bit (increases to severe with more speed) and side loads the upwind fins while constantly adjusting the roll (edging) of of the rail. The direction of travel of a quad IS NOT tied to the centerline of the board. A quad will "crab" sideways at various angles according to the load of the fins/roll of the board. A quads direction of travel is not tied to the centerline of the board, and a line of travel in line with the centerline of the board is unstable on a quad. Loading the fins to higher and higher degrees of sideloading force typically result in more and more push back against the load without spinning out. The rider controls the direction of travel with the back foot and the sideloading of the fins. Chop that bounces the nose of the board upwind and downwind does not affect the straightness of the tack line.


So given the above, why will one kiter say quads are not exciting compared to thrusters and another say the opposite?

It has 100% to do with how they try to ride the 2 fin configurations. If you try to ride a quad like a thruster, it will work, but you will get the feeling that the board is just dead. If you try to ride a thruster like a quad, then you will just be spinning out the fins on the thruster all the time.

The remedy for this in each instance, is to ride a thruster like a thruster, and ride a quad like a quad. You need to approach each configuration differently. If you are locked into a single mindset, you will get nothing out of the one you do not normally ride. It took me years to figure this out. Luckily, I first rode thrusters, but quickly moved onto quads. This gave me an experience base in both while I was still trying to figure out how to ride a surfboard.

Why do I stick to the quad configuration when some of my experimentation has actually made me think less of the quad configuration vs the thrusters capabilities? - It is all because I like the additional physical effort and feedback that a quad requires and gives. At it's top end, a quad is more of a ride in a jet fighter. The top end of a thruster configuration is fun too, but just more of a race car ride than a jet fighter ride.
Attachments
ThrusterVsQuad.jpg
BoardAngle.jpg
Last edited by Matteo V on Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby longwhitecloud » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:01 am

the general siad difference between Quads and Thrusters is that quads go faster but are more likely to slide out on waves - thruster every time in big steep waves for me - trust them way more.. but that is surfing not kiting.. the truth tho is that it is impossible to answer unless you are talking about exactly the same board with each fin setup.

basically a standard glassed and cored surfboard will look like it has been in a fight with an elephant after 2 or 3 sessions - heel dents etc.. but at $50 a pop for a used one - who cares! - dont go bigger that 5'10 IMO

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby Matteo V » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:34 pm

longwhitecloud wrote:
Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:01 am
the general siad difference between Quads and Thrusters is that quads................are more likely to slide out on waves
I strongly believe that the slide out issue that most surfers report on quads is due to them not understanding how to load quads differently from thrusters. Kite experience (loaded turns and simple upwind efficiency) will likely remedy that. Quads will give a "tracking" feeling if the rider tries to ride them like a thruster. This "tracking" is the feeling one gets when you try to point the nose in a different direction, but you stay moving in the same direction as before. By sideloading the fins on a quad you can lock up a rail/fin and point (your direction of travel, not the board) in another direction, but it is still not in line with the centerline of the board. Coming from thrusters, this messes with your instinctual feel. Think of quads as steering with the gas pedal. If your car suddenly steered from the gas pedal, and accelerated from the steering wheel, you would have a very difficult time driving.

Thrusters steer with the "wheel". Specifically they steer from the front foot and you and the board are always traveling in line with the centerline of the board.
longwhitecloud wrote:
Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:01 am
the general siad difference between Quads and Thrusters is that quads go faster..........
Quads eat chop for breakfast if you ride them like they need to be ridden. Since the nose can bounce around and point all over, but your line of travel remains the same, you do not even have to worry about where the nose is pointed (or gets pointed by chop). Thus you load your back foot and push. In kitesurfing, this lets you go faster on a tack in chop. While I have not personally GPS speed tested the quad vs thruster for speed comparison, I am positive that at speeds under 25knots, both perform nearly exactly the same.

Thrusters make you control the direction the board is pointing much more strictly. If chop points the nose upwind suddenly, you will start to go upwind. If the nose then gets thrown downwind, then you start traveling downwind. So the focus is not on the fins but rather stopping the nose from bouncing around with the front foot.

Again, all of this is in reference to kitesurfing, not prone surfing.

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby danidr » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:12 pm

Matteo V wrote:
Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:34 pm

Thrusters make you control the direction the board is pointing much more strictly. If chop points the nose upwind suddenly, you will start to go upwind. If the nose then gets thrown downwind, then you start traveling downwind. So the focus is not on the fins but rather stopping the nose from bouncing around with the front foot.
This piece is really interesting and I believe its what I've been feeling when riding a quad. Since It has a more locked on feeling compared to the thrusters I might have been confusing playfulness with stability. I'll have in mind all of you guys comments next time I go out on a quad! Thanks a lot for your insight!!



NorCalNomad wrote:
Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:24 am
:thumb: for getting decent fins. I hope you got them from a local surf shop or surf retailer and not amazon or a Chinese ebay page.

-It might feel stiff because there might be too much fin area for your weight (like Split Keel Quads are a bit much for my weight unless the tail of the board is super wide).
-It might feel that way because of the fin combo (I don't like Futures F4 V2's with North quad rears but LOVE my Stretch Quads and FCS H3 as quads, but don't like the H3's as thrusters).
-It might feel too stiff because you don't have your back foot far enough back and with not enough weight.
-It might feel stiff because you're "over fin-ing" the board's template ex. narrow tailed high performance shortboards will get "stiff" i.e. want to go straight, with quads. The narrower the tail the less fin area you need to get the board to "bite"
I did get them from a local shop as I needed them fast after loosing one of the fins at sea, but I'm curious about the amazon/Chinese ebay comment. Is that because or fake products like with memory cards?

To the OP, if you do get a FCS II board (FCS II means the fins use the FCS II system to plug into the board), that system doesn't need screws, but still get some FCS screws and put them on, I've seen a lot of people loose fins at sea!

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby NorCalNomad » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:58 pm

danidr wrote:
Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:12 pm
I did get them from a local shop as I needed them fast after loosing one of the fins at sea, but I'm curious about the amazon/Chinese ebay comment. Is that because or fake products like with memory cards?
Because the surf hardgoods industry is small and by buying from amazon and chinese sellers who are knocking stuff off you are taking money away from surfers, ie people who actually care about surf sports.

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby dylan* » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:01 pm

Matteo V wrote:
Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:34 pm
longwhitecloud wrote:
Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:01 am
the general siad difference between Quads and Thrusters is that quads................are more likely to slide out on waves
I strongly believe that the slide out issue that most surfers report on quads is due to them not understanding how to load quads differently from thrusters. Kite experience (loaded turns and simple upwind efficiency) will likely remedy that. Quads will give a "tracking" feeling if the rider tries to ride them like a thruster. This "tracking" is the feeling one gets when you try to point the nose in a different direction, but you stay moving in the same direction as before. By sideloading the fins on a quad you can lock up a rail/fin and point (your direction of travel, not the board) in another direction, but it is still not in line with the centerline of the board. Coming from thrusters, this messes with your instinctual feel. Think of quads as steering with the gas pedal. If your car suddenly steered from the gas pedal, and accelerated from the steering wheel, you would have a very difficult time driving.

Thrusters steer with the "wheel". Specifically they steer from the front foot and you and the board are always traveling in line with the centerline of the board.
longwhitecloud wrote:
Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:01 am
the general siad difference between Quads and Thrusters is that quads go faster..........
Quads eat chop for breakfast if you ride them like they need to be ridden. Since the nose can bounce around and point all over, but your line of travel remains the same, you do not even have to worry about where the nose is pointed (or gets pointed by chop). Thus you load your back foot and push. In kitesurfing, this lets you go faster on a tack in chop. While I have not personally GPS speed tested the quad vs thruster for speed comparison, I am positive that at speeds under 25knots, both perform nearly exactly the same.

Thrusters make you control the direction the board is pointing much more strictly. If chop points the nose upwind suddenly, you will start to go upwind. If the nose then gets thrown downwind, then you start traveling downwind. So the focus is not on the fins but rather stopping the nose from bouncing around with the front foot.

Again, all of this is in reference to kitesurfing, not prone surfing.
yeah i totally agree with this, for me i slide out on bigger waves with thruster only, with quad i feel like i have a lot more grip. i think this is because I am usually more on rail (due to our wind direction i guess).

i usually go thruster in tiny waves for playfulness, throwing huge spray off quick pivotal turns, and quad for bigger waves where i need the extra grip

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Re: Kite Surfboards vs "normal" Surfboards

Postby Bille » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:16 pm

Beardytello wrote:
Wed May 31, 2017 4:50 pm
...

I'm a way off needing one but eventually I'd like to try strapless surfboard for a laugh.
...
Don't wait for , "eventually" ; soon as you can tack and jib your TT, then go
get a cheap (Fish) looking used surfboard , and practice strapless till Ya
break it. Don't pay more than $80 to $100 for the board ; your gonna break it.

I, (WISH) i had of learned to ride a surfboard, the first year i got into Kite boarding ;
instead of waiting 9 years to try it ! :( It really is FUN and different from the TT !!!! :thumb:

Bille


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