Quad Fin having trouble pumping, thoughts?

Hey guys,


New member, but have been reading this site for a long time. 


So I have a question for the design theory guys.  I ride a lot of different boards long and short and one of my favorite things to do when surfing is pumping down the line to create as much speed as possible.  But, both of the quad fin boards I have seem to want to flatten out against the face of the wave when pumping, instead of riding on the rail and pumping flat… if that makes any sense.


Both of my quads are pretty thick, 3" plus, but I am a big boy 6’2" 240lbs so I don’t think they are too thick for me to dig the rail into the face.  I am considering having center boxes put in them and ride them as thrusters because it drives me nuts and makes me look like a dumbass S turning down the face of the wave instead of on the inside rail while pumping.


So, do you think a center fin would help with getting the board to ride on the rail instead of flattening out against the face?


Anyways, thanks in advance for any advice, and great site!



Ninamu Resort
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	<div class="title">Ninamu Resort, Tikehau, Tahiti:: OVERVIEW</div>
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About 200 miles north by northeast of the main French
Polynesia island of Tahiti, the Tikehau Atoll is a spectacular crown of
coral and sand 16 miles long and 14 miles wide. That thin white line of
coral, sand and palm trees is no more than half a mile wide, but it
encircles a lagoon of pristine, otherworldly beauty – a place Jacques
Cousteau visited in 1987 and found a greater variety of fish species
than any other place in French Polynesia.

Tikehau is a waterman’s paradise of pristine, blue,
crystal clear tropical waters, and the ocean is as alive outside the
ring as inside. On the outside of the ring, Tikehau is almost entirely
ringed by a coral reef, which links together the numerous motu
(islets) that form the crown. Outside of that ring, the Pacific Ocean
hammers the land with swell year around, energy that travels a great
distance from the Southern Ocean during the Southern Hemisphere winter,
but also swell that sweeps down from the other side of the equator
during the northern hemisphere winter.

Hidden away on a motu in the southwest corner of the
atoll, the Ninamu Resort is a watersportsman retreat that caters to
surfers, divers, fishermen, kite surfers, SUPpers and anyone who loves
cruising along the surface or just below in warm, tropical waters that
are bursting with life and energy.

Everyone should experience a pristine atoll in the
middle of the South Pacific once in their life – because it’s nice to
know that isolated beauty like this still exists.

**This is the Island my Brother and his friends own. They say there are some good overhead days. I ride a 6'3, 6'6, 6'10 in Island surf. However on the really macking days a Quad Gun is a very stable choice. 8'11 is a bit long. Getting in early helps your success rate. Going the day after Christmas and I may just leave a quiver of boards there so in the future I can just show up in board shorts.**

Hi Surfding,

Wouldn’t that be a little long for Tahitian Drops?  I’ve been to the Tahitian island of Huahine many times, and the hardest part of making the drop is getting in under the lip.  Getting in early would be a plus though.

What sort of rocker are you going to put in it?

Don’t forget pictures of it in action.

Tahiti :: Surfing
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There is more to the Society Islands than Tahiti and more to Tahiti than El Stumpo, Ins and Outs** and Teahupoo. Way more. On the south coast of Tahiti Iti,  Teahupoo**
is Tahiti’s most famous wave, but that roaring maw of a barrier reef
barrel is to the Society Islands what the Matterhorn is to Disneyland –
a big and prominent landmark, but there are a lot of other great rides.
And make no mistake, the Society Islands are Disneyland for surfers –
land of a thousand thrill rides.

Strung along both sides of the islands from Tahiti and
Moorea up to the Tuamotus are other, less visible pleasures, enough to
suit almost any surfing taste: the hollow left tubes of Taapuna on the northwest coast of Tahiti Nui, Ha’apiti
on the southwest coast of Moorea and the fun right at Tikihau in the
Tuamotus.  Back to Tahiti, there are the black sand beach break peaks
at Papara Rivermouth** on the north coast of Tahiti Nui, and another two dozen spots going around to the mighty jaws of Teahupoo on Tahiti Iti.

Each of the islands that make up the Society Island
group, and many of the islands that make up the Tuamotu Archipelago
have individual waves that are spectacular on their given day. 
However, the main island of Tahiti has more breaks taking various wind
and swell directions then all the remaining Society Islands combined. 
It should also be noted that while Teahupoo is a beast of a wave when
over 10’, when under this size the wave is an excellent barrel within
the ability range of any upper level, intermediate or better surfer.

The surf of the Society Islands generally breaks on
passes in the coral reef cut by freshwater flowing down from the jungly
mountains and out to sea. There are exceptions to this, as there are
beachbreaks and even coral reefs breaking close to shore, but for the
most part, the surf breaks over coral, as far as a mile from shore.  In
contrast, the islands of the Tuamotu Atolls are formed on top of the
ring reefs.  In this situation the reef passes are cut by flow of
current passing in and out of the atolls with the change of tides. 
The waves typically break very close to shore.

The waves in both island groups are generally best for
intermediate to experienced surfers. This is no place for the
beginner, clueless or fumble-footed because it is not a place to make
mistakes. The coral reefs are alive and often sharp.  Your guides and
hosts included with each WaterWays package will educate you on the
conditions and hazards prior to getting in the water.

You’ve been there!

oooh, that looks sweet Surfding... looking forward to future stages

Oh My! 

Where are you planning on riding that thing?  That looks like a real man’s board!  I’d be scared just having something like that.  No more excuses my board is too small, that’s for sure.

I took the challege and made myself a 8'11 Quad since I already have a 9'1 Thuster.

The board is 12 1/2" nose  x 21" center point forward 11 3/8" tail x 2 7/16"

I only weigh 155 so under 2 1/2" is better for me.

This blank is a 3 year old Bennent and the foam is not bad at all.

The stringers are Bass wood with Cedar T-Bands.

The fins are going to be a quad set up and I will post the stages as I go.


First Stage:


One thing not suggested:

To “flexy” of fins.  A friend of mine was complaining about his 5’9" Surftech Stretch quad - Not able to pump/generate speed.  Well, when I was checking it out…  the rear fins- Those FCS’s that look glow in the dark - were so “mush”…  I suggested to him if he tried some nice stiff fins, and maybe less rake in the rears, he’d be blown away, as I reckon he’s blowing all of his pumping energy right out through those mushy fins…  He left on a trip two days later, so I’ll find out in a couple weeks if he took the advice, and how it worked/not…

Other issues: Tail rocker, fin placement/rake/area, toe/cant, etc. etc…

Sometimes these insights we share or discuss on here later show up (in slightly re-worded form) as ''new'' on ''big guy's'' websites/blogs/etc. Volume measurement/recording being a prime example. Funny!




well said Mike. I think thats why I like my bigger quads. I don't have to put my back foot over the cluster to make it work.


Also the board pictured do you ride this is soft waves of hollow waves?   I ask because if this set up is for softer waves I can see why it feels a bit sluggish.   If hollow then it probaly works well enough.    I personally like to set my fins the same distance off the rail. something like 1 1/8 to 1 3/8.  Also I like to set them parallel to each other, ie same toe.  the distance between fin is about 1 1/2 to 2". With a space between front and real fins about 1". Net / Net it puts the fins closer together and further out on the rail.

If you ever come down to surf Newport, Huntington or Lowers stop in.

    Howzit surfding,Check your PM's . Aloha,Kokua

They appear to have alot of tow in.I like the fcs stretch quads,also try some different cant inserts.Pick a good day of waves and dial the board in in the water.Start by trying different degree inserts,its ok to use the same in the front as in the back.Once the board feels better,then adjust your for and aft.you should notice a big difference in the ride if you slide the fins for and aft in the boxes,spreading the cluster and tightening.


it's just that putting in a set of G5 and G3 and calling it a quad...or putting fish quads in a board will never get the right feel.  There's a lot more majic and witchcraft in a quad, than any other board.

definitely. i tinkered with mine a lot before i got to the general fin setup that i like.

Yes you can pump a quad...you can pump a single fin too. But you don't need to.  Quads work well off the bottom and top becacause you have more fins on the rail.

fins on the rail canted way out are a beautiful thing. talk about beating sections!



Some people are going to prefer quads, some are going to like tris (or twins, or singles, or none, etc.).

One of the factors is back foot placement, the guys who plant the back foot on the tailblock generally prefer tris; while those who put the back foot a little further up seem to like quads.


this is really interesting and has me thinking. i haven't surfed a thruster in a couple years. when i did, i would place my tailpads so that when my foot was back against the kick, my foot would be right over the back fin. now with quads, i do the same: put the pad so my foot is over the rear fins. i really trained myself to put my foot against the "backstop" as soon as i'm up and just leave it there. i don't *think* i move my back foot around while surfing. hmm... maybe i should try surfing a thruster again... hmm... i wonder if my rear foot does move around...

Hey chris,I surf mine on the rail as well,I have good results with 4 degrees front and back.I’ll have to try the 8’s the next time I surf the board.

i'd like to see some pics of those quad guns Surfding... post 'em up =)

i’d like to see some pics of those quad guns Surfding… post 'em up =)


The Quad Guns are all over 9’0".

TODOS season as started.****

**10’4 over and out!

yes pics are needed !!!


what fins are going on those guns ?

Hey guys thanks for all of the advise!  I think I may be a little too thick in the rails on the board and I had it over finned.  I am trying some smaller fins tomorrow and see if it helps.  I respect the guys that like a more flowing style, I longboard a lot and surf very classic when I am on a LB but when I go any shorter, I just want to create as much speed as I can right when I get in the wave to setup for a big cutback etc.


It’s just the style I have developed and it is hard to transition from a tri.  And I am sure a quad is fast enough through sections without pumping, but I say it can always go faster with pumping.  I will keep trying it and see if I can work my style to it, if not then a center box may help, but after reading some of the posts on here I think I may be too thick in the rails.


Here is a pic of the fin setup, it seems to me like the fins are so far apart that it might as well be a tri.  Not sure, I have never had a quad in this configuartion.