Fast and stable in small to medium waves
Solid all-around fish
Smooth and controlled ride
Priced same as polyurethane boards
Floaty feel makes paddling into waves more challenging
Not designed for fast or overhead+ waves
New surfboard constructions are popping up everywhere with the promise of improved performance and durability. Among the companies developing new surf materials and board constructions, Surftech has added a new design to the line up with ULTRAFLX. We got a chance to test out the ULTRAFLX with the Quad fish by Randy French. Consensus - pleasantly surprised. This board attacks small to medium waves quickly and effortlessly while still providing a comfortable ride. For those polyurethane purists, the ULTRAFLX has a familiar feel but with a skatey touch. The only drawback is the slightly floaty feel which makes paddling into waves marginally more challenging. Surfers looking to pick up a transition board or to replace their all-around fish will find the Quad fish with ULTRAFLX a wonderful option.
Dimensions & MaterialWe tested the 6'4"H x 22W x 2 5/8"T ULTRAFLX model. The ULTRAFLX construction uses Surftech's EPS foam core with high density polyurethane band around the rails. It's glassed with a Salmon Skin technology which is supposed to provide durability without compromising flexibility. To the touch, the ULTRAFLX has the grainy feel of a freshly shaped polyurethane board.
BottomThe Quad fish features a shallow single concave bottom with a flat tail. The design complements steady-controlled surfing in small to poor conditions.
TailThe full fish tail design features a single bite to help pull in the tail for improved turning.
NoseThe nose is fuller with a low rocker. The wider outline makes the board more floaty and forgiving, but a little bit of rocker gives it a slight performance edge for faster drops.
RailsThe Quad fish has round but slightly downturned rails that fade to defined edges at the tail.
FinsWe tested this board with 4 fin FCS M-5 polycarbonate fins. Overall these fins complement this board well in small to medium surf.
PaddlingThe Quad fish has a nice glide to it while paddling. The board paddles slightly faster than a polyurethane board but slower than a Tuflite model. The wide body keeps water from running along the deck to improve glide.
CatchingFor the most part the Quad fish does a good job catching waves. The downside is the board has a little trouble locking into the wave, likely due to the added buoyancy. But this is drastically better than boards with Tuflite construction. Once locked, the board holds the wave well, unless you come across a slow section in which case you'll have to paddle back in the wave. The overall wide body provides a very stable platform for popping up. So you won't have to worry about bad footing. After pop up, the board will take off quickly due to the quad setup. In up to moderate drops the added speed is well needed. However in steeper drops or faster waves, the speed can be a little overwhelming which makes for a difficult bottom turn. On the plus side, the added nose rocker helps with steeper and faster drops.
Waves: All around
The Quad fish complements most surf styles. The board skates along the water while still feeling planted in the wave. This makes for a smooth, controlled, and clean ride that is less susceptible to textured spots in the wave. The quad fins give the board a solid acceleration and can maintain speed through slow or mushy sections. Plus the wide base makes for very stable turns and cuts. The sum of the parts leads to a great performing surfboard. If you care about cruising the line, the Quad fish has enough speed to do that effortlessly. If you'd like to push the board a little more, the Quad fish will be able to handle most turns and snaps. For advanced surfers, the springy response works well on bigger turns and snaps. To give you some perspective, the board is slightly less responsive than a thruster fish but for most turns and snaps, the difference is negligible. Unlike a thruster, after almost any move the Quad fish returns to speed quickly so you don't miss the next section.
The Quad fish handles sectioned breaks well with the speed of the quad. If needed, the board pops-up easily for controlled floaters over most sections. If you're looking to get a little more air, the board can make small hops. But the volume and shape isn't ideal anything much bigger.
In small to medium surf the board has plenty of speed to stay afloat in slow to moderate pace waves. Even in knee high waves the Quad fish has plenty of floatation and speed to hold the line. In faster waves the quad fins can become overpowering. Same deal in bigger waves (overhead+), the quad setup is simply unstable. But for most anything else the Quad fish works great.
ConclusionThe Quad fish with ULTRAFLX is a great surfboard for intermediate surfers looking for a nice all-around fish or for those looking at dropping in board size. The board can be ridden aggressively or as a cruiser. The ULTRAFLX is a great improvement over the Tuflite material by providing a response similar to a polyurethane board while not making the board overly buoyant. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to test the durability of the ULTRAFLX, which is suppose to be more durable than polyurethane. However, the ULTRAFLX comes priced comparably to a PU board, $400-500, making the decision to try ULTRAFLX easier. We had a good experience on the Quad fish with ULTRAFLX. So anyone looking for a good all-around fish should definitely check it out.