After reading the article about 'The NPJ's Quartet - lost and found' I thought I'd put up some thoughts and pics of this interestingly shaped board.
First off, I just want to say what a top bloke NPJ is to deal with, I had several phone conversations with Neal to work out what I wanted/needed in the Quartet. We settled on a 5'10 x 20 1/4 x 2 1/4 squash tail (I'm 5'11 and 80kg). Three weeks later this piece of art arrived well packed and in A1 condition.
Volume wise I have not worked that out yet, and volume is not something NPJ is too concerned about, he just hand shapes these beauties to fit. This board is an old school, flat deck blank too, he managed to get his hands on a bunch of em. He also does the Quartet with a rolled deck but the volume will be reduced for the same dimensions using these newer blanks and the rail can't have the same old school/new school blend.
I've surfed it only three times so far, twice at 4' Rails and once at 4' Goolwa.
Sick, sick, sick is all I can say...fast, loose, and extremely direct. At Rails where I can get two/three turns in on other boards, the Quartet allowed me an extra turn on most waves, but the transitions with speed is what truly stands out. Rides the barrel really well too, locked in and precise.
It's also a paddle and wave catching machine, a couple of waves at Rails were just wash through lumps to the inside and the Quartet picked em up with only a little extra effort from the outside peak.
The Goolwa session was actually a tow session, chasing down those shifty peaks that one is usually looking at break just out of reach. Getting towed to my feet was easy...I was concerned that the Quartet's volume would be an issue there, but it turned out not to be the case.
The sheer speed after the whip is quite mind blowing, thrusters after the whip are fast but this thing blows them out of the water so to speak. And the control is there to match, both on the rope and off. But once on the open face the Quartet really stood out, big swooping turns, no loss of speed through dead sections and just a truck load of fun.
The one thing I found is the my stance had to be adjusted, with my feet slightly closer together, having the back foot directly over the big fins. If my foot was behind the big fins, the board would get a little loose driving through turns, but that may have been me just over driving as I've been surfing nothing but a '78 Odyssey 6'0 single (7") fin since Feb.
The rail finish is difficult to see, but where the wax stops is the edge of the flat deck, the rail then has the beginnings of the classic down railer, then blends into a low, modern rail at the edge.
Great info on the quartet TGF, I really like the look of that board and although I have one DHD 6'0" quad in my quiver I think NPJ's old/new blend looks unreal! I saw him walking along last year at Greenmount with one under his arm and wondered how it would go?
I'd love to try one but not sure what waves on my coast would suit such a board? I find my quad goes best on the fast beachbreak tubes we sometimes get down here but the speed is'nt needed at most of the shorter reef break style waves where thrusters seem to work better.
Love the look of that thing and I can imagine it flying in virtually anything I am likely to be surfing. I have always been sceptical of quads, the fin set ups never looked quite right and I didn't see people getting any extra perfomance out of them, but I'm thinking an NPJ quad for summer might be the way to go. The plan shape reminds me of a 5'8" I had in 1970 or was it '71?
NPJ explained his fin setup to me, although this is a quad, the layout performs more like a twin with the smaller fins acting as stabs. So in reality it surfs with the drive of a twin but with the hold of a quad. You can see the layout of the stabs, being parallel to the MR fins. That is a different layout than the majority of quads. NPJ told me this would be the fastest board I would surf...he was right on the money.
The board is designed as an all rounder, with this model good for up to 5-6'. Over this upper end of surf, NPJ reckons the Quartet will still hold in 6'+ waves, it just becomes too quick, always having to wash off speed to keep in the pocket. I can't wait to get this over Streaky way into some real juice.
I have a new quiver coming, ranging from this 5'10 up to a 7'2, but I can see the Quartet as being my go to board for most conditions. The 7'2 is made for Bullies, so that one doesn't really count.
The rail and rocker is very similar to the Odyssey, apart from the modern take on the rail...maybe that's why I'm so stoked with it as the Odyssey has been my all time favorite for many years...it does not surf like the average single fin.
The Odyssey and my two krazy katz.
I've never really liked hybrid type boards. Figured shapers used them to make up for a shortfall in new ideas, but the quartet seems a legit blend of old and new designs. The surfing in the O'Neill vid is vindicates the design..
Like Yorkesurfer I'm not sure how well that board would go down here. Wide tail quads in the fish style are fine, but high performance quads just aren't needed.
Jeez that's a South Oz backyard if I've ever seen one.
Great review though TGF.. you really gave a comprehensive description. Now I'm interested in one too!
I've had the Quartet in a few different conditions now, from very unappealing 2' slop, smoking Waitpinga carpark rights and 3ft, 150m long, walling beachbreak.
It has handled all conditions well, of particular note is how it surfs crap waves. Always plenty of speed, with a feeling of performance well above the conditions would suggest.
The session at Waits was awesome...sick rip bowl, super late, ledging drops into hollow barrels. I was a bit concerned the Quartet was going to have issues with the vertical drops, turned out not to be the case (I'm the one with the problem there). The board allowed early entry, great hold off the bottom and holding a solid line through the sucking pits - Point and shoot.
The long walls were at Day Street, with good bowl sections included in the mix. The Quartet excels in these conditions, just a matter of letting the board do it's thing, no need to overwork any situation. Just point the board where you want it and let it flow, always with speed to burn.
Oh, have I mentioned this is a wave catching machine.
Jeez, I really want to try out a Quartet now! Great notes TGF.
Cheers TGF. Thanks for getting back to us on it.
I got a board from the Sunhouse, it's a cafe and board shop where NPJ, Chris Garrett and a few others shape out of in Coolangatta. I got a 'Moon' board called the Kirra Stub.
Pretty similar to a quartet's plan shape.
5'10 x 19 1/2 x 2 1/2
The guy who shaped it, Taz, shaped with Biolos at Lost Mayhem in the states.
It's made for the waves around here (goldie) points and sucky beachies. It goes unreal. Paddles into waves with just zero effort. Really low rails that just set a line in a hollow wave and stick you to it. I don't think I've ever owned a board better in the barrel than this one.
I'm keen to get it into some fat, mushy waves and see what it goes like rail to rail, or if it bogs. I've only ridden in 1-3 foot hollow low tide beachies.
That is a sweet looking board.
Cheers tgf ... it goes unreal too!
Just need more waves now ...
I am a massive fan of the quartet. I've had one since April last year and it's all i want to ride. It has improved my surfing. I seem to be able to rip through cutbacks faster and it is a dream on the back-hand. The best thing about it is the barrel ride. It finds a nice line without too much fussing and is super quick. I'm waiting on a squail - the smaller version. Going crazy - six weeks down...
5'11 quartet on ebay currently $455 good cond with only minor deck compressions.
EDIT~ sold for $495.
Quartet lovers 6'11 x 21 x2 3/4 looks to be in gd nick $300
Benjamin this is for you...just down the road at Byron...summer slop fun. -is that about 1/4 of new price
interesting comment in the ad - rear quads are bigger to ensure grip.