Ok, so here's my update. Primary takeaway is don't and I repeat, don't use Quobba fins with this board. No knock on the board or Quobbas, they work fine on other boards. The confluence of a foil-type water flow off the fin towards the tail and the deep channeling through the center of the board made it unnecessarily loose. I said this in previous posts that the board felt skiddish, well it's not the board it was the fins in my case. Total mistake on my part, I should have thought about that when I grabbed those fins.
Anyways, I set it up as a thruster with JJ-2 fins and it's solid, predictable, great handling. Got a few frontside days, and it's exactly what I wanted. Quick snaps, rail to rail quick, handles everything well. I will say it's less forgiving than my other boards, once I started to get tired and my legs were getting a bit wobbly it was easy to stuff the nose or bury the rail if not paying attention. It is not a plug and play easy going type of board, but it's the first one where I get the tail to whip way around so that the fins are out and pointing downwind.
So, after a few posts, here's my takeaways:
1. Great choice for a smaller length board that can still handle relatively larger waves.
2. Fast and light rail to rail, channels take a bit to get used to, when you get foot placement right they hold really well and lock the board in a bit.
3. Don't use Quobba fins! (Just for this board, anything else without channeling will work, and they say that on their page).
I'm 175 lbs./78kg on the 5'4" for reference, the fins I use are Mediums and more on the hold/control side of things.