Product Review: 2023 Quatro Pyramid 87
Improved upwind ability
Better overall mobility on and off the wave
Great drive in bottom turns
Construction, deck pads, attention to detail
Stock center fin too big
Less snappy than Pyramids from previous years
The Quatro Pyramid line has long been the company’s most aggressive wave board. It has definitely not been a bump and jump board, nor has it been marketed as such. Most of the design concept (like other Keith Teboul shaped boards) are born on Maui and tested in the crystal blue waters of Hookipa. Being that it is designed to be a down-the-line wave board, the board has historically incorporated a more aggressive rocker, a narrower overall width and slightly longer length, and narrower tail. These are all telltale signs that this board is meant to rip in the best wave conditions. Like any design, concessions must be made. Up to this point, this has meant that the board worked really well in excellent wave conditions, but maybe it may not have been my first choice in average or “real world” conditions. In other words, the board really needed some juice to really reap the full benefits of the board.
The 2018-2019 Pyramids incorporated radical design in order to make a very active and slashy wave board. This was the year KT used a swallow tail, made the tail narrower, and incorporated channels into the bottom of the board on the tail. The board also had a fair amount of rocker. It turned super well, but it lacked mobility, especially in marginal conditions. It took quite a bit of juice to get it into its sweet spot.
2020-1 Pyramid: Enter the “red board”. If you know and sail with me, I was not shy about my feelings for this board. I loved it…and for good reason. At my weight, the 87 liter was the perfect size for me. The 82 worked well, but the 87 felt sweet, and had just enough volume to keep me confident in shifty or waning wind. It had tons of drive and grip. I remember my first session on the board, my first two waves were not great. I was starting to feel like this board was a dud. Then something happened on my next wave–I shifted my weight differently on the top turn and the board responded instantly and I executed one of my better top turns. As I started to dial in the board, the board felt very much like a point-and-shoot machine. The board would simply go where I looked. It kept speed through bottom turns, which benefitted my top turns. As I came back to the beach, my friend commented, “I think you like that new board, huh?”
Yes, I really like the red board a lot. It made me look better than I actually was. All said, it still required quite a bit of juice to get it going. Because of that, I was sometimes hesitant to take it out, as I wanted more volume to get me home, or I would reach for another board that would plane up sooner. If only this board would plane up sooner…enter the newest pyramid.
Fit and Finish
Quatro opted for a very simple back-to-basics graphic scheme for its lineup this year. Each board is sanded white with black highlights. I think the idea was to exude simplicity while also creating boards that look more like surfboards. They have the classic gloss coat over sanded white paint finish, with black graphics which highlight reinforcements in key areas in the board. They also have the trademark Quatro graphics on the nose. As with other boards, they come with excellent duo density deck pads. This may not seem like a big deal, but it makes the experience just a little more enjoyable and comfortable.
It still incorporates Quatro’s con-vee bottom shape (parabolic double concave), and there have been slight modifications to the rocker and shape (mods underneath near mast track). The board is slightly wider in overall length and wider in the tail.
On The Water
I immediately noticed a difference on the water. The extra width gives it a little more overall stability, which helped my confidence in sub-planing conditions. With a quick pump of the sail, I was in the straps and planing. I pointed the board upwind. Whoa–the red board could not do that as easily!
I hopped on my first wave, a head high south swell with a little juice to it. I executed my bottom turn much like I had remembered from the red board. I hit the top turn and whipped the nose back around. The turn was okay, but it felt like the rail caught a bit on the top turn. Same thing happened on the next wave…and the wave after that. I came in, a bit frustrated. I flipped the board over, only to realize there was a 19cm center fin on the board! I quickly swapped it out for a 17cm center fin and moved the mast track forward slightly.
The board’s nose came around quicker and the board railed up better on the next top turn. The board was able to keep most of its momentum through the bottom turn and project up to the top again.
The pyramid is a very good all around performer. In previous years, this board really only reached its full potential on waves with a lot of juice–point breaks, reef breaks, and strong beach breaks. This year’s white pyramid has been tweaked so that it works in more conditions. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a high performance wave board. But it now checks more boxes–it planes up earlier, it points upwind better, and it generates more speed on the wave face. This is helpful when the wind is variable, and you are sailing with others in the lineup and vying for the same waves. It can still rip really fun top turns, and you can fly through your bottom turns. This board is now accessible to more people. Maybe that makes it the peoples’ wave machine. I do have a complaint–which is that the board ships with too big of a fin, for my taste. The 87 ships with the 19cm fin, which from my experience, is at least two sizes too big. The board’s center fin fits into a US box, which is good news for adjustability’s sake. It also means that many of us likely have a box of US box fins already. This may make it easier to swap out for a fin of choice once you bring home your new pyramid!