Blog dedicated to surfing, windsurfing & everyhing that surrounds them, with special attention to the beach of Pozo Izquierdo.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Keith Teboul interview

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Origins

-Where and when did you start surfing and windsurfing?

I started windsurfing and surfing when I was 12 in the Caribbean in Guadeloupe. My family had just moved from Madagascar where I was born and lived for 10 years.

-How did Quatro started and when did you start shaping?

Quatro started with 4 friends myself/Francisco Goya/Jason Prior and Sean Ordonez getting together wanting to start a brand of boards to promote and grow into a business for the future.

I started shaping in 1997

-Now it’s two companies, Goya and Quatro, what’s the difference/relation between them? It’s a different philosophy, different constructions or it’s oriented to different kind of riders?

I will give you the philosophy of Quatro.

I do work with Francisco on his board designs but they are very exclusive to him and his ideas I am just the tool for him to transmit his philosophy of riding to the windsurfing world.

Quatro is about R & D and really pushing the limits of board design. From single to twin to Quad to short to wide. I think we are the company doing the most customs in the world and the most prototyping and experimenting from 1 fin to 4 fins to anything you can imagine. Plus the fact that we have so many good conditions here in Maui from sideoff to onshore we can really test all ranges of boards.

We also work a lot on the construction of the boards so they last and flex and have a nice feeling when you are riding. These are all the little things that come together to make the best product possible for our clientele.

From all this R & D this is what I bring to the market of production (the feedback from myself as a rider/ pro riders/shops/customers, construction R & D and shape R & D).

Quadmania Jonas in Pozo Izquierdo

The Quad

-How did the quad started, who had the idea, what you wanted to achieve by shaping it and how were the first prototypes?

The Quad is not a new idea, it has been done in the past. I think now that the boards have gotten shorter the concept works.

Originally I modified one of my personal twin fin boards added FCS plugs and did some testing at Camp One a sideonshore spot (that was November 2007). The feeling was amazing so I kept the idea in the back of my head. I went to Baja 1 month later and started feeling some nice sensations. At the same time Kauli was thinking in the same way and came to me to make some quad boards. He really liked these boards and wanted to continue making more. He really pushed me to develop his boards and start adapting my personal shapes to the Quad fin set up. The thing that really brought everything together was designing fins with Pio at MFC. Once we had designed good fins the boards turned to magic. From there I have been fine tuning the designs learning a lot personally and through customer feedback and a lot of testing with Levi Siver.

I really am trying to achieve more of a connectedness to the wave with the quad. More about using the power of the wave to surf the wave and stay in the critical part of the wave and do more sliding and air manoeuvres close to lip of the wave.

Keith02 Keith Teboul at Hookipa

-Performance, what would you say is what separates the quad* from the other boards?

I think that the Quads I design really bring in the best feeling of a twin/thrusters and single fin. Each design has something special to offer. With the quad you pull some of those good qualities from each design and the unique qualities of a quad and you make magic.

-*Clarification, when I talk about quad, of course I’m talking about your quad (Quatro), because I suppose all the quads are not the same as all the single fins are not the same either. Is that true?

For sure as with any design each board is unique.

-Shape, I suppose that changing the fin configuration, changes the way a board holds and glides over the water in a way you have to readjust all the shape, is that true? In what way is the shape of a quad different from other boards and why?

Yes each fin configuration works better with different foam flow and rail foil and outline shape. For each design weather it’s a single/twin/quad/freewave/freeride you adjust rocker foam flow bottom shape and rail foil.

It’s taken years of shaping good and bad boards and feedback to get to this point. I think I am only really starting to understand a little bit about board design.

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-My personal appreciation, I had the chance of riding both quads (the 85 and the 75) last weekend, and it’s a couple of subjects that kept my attention specially.

The board feels so loose but at the same time you have an absolute feeling of control, I had the sensation it could hold a much wider tail without loosing control and maintaining most of its turning ability, do you think the quad could be the answer for a really good ultra light wind or big guy wave board? Are you going to shape anything bigger than the 85?

This I think is where the quad really excels, big volume wave boards and boards for bigger guys. In general with a Quad or twin you want to ride about 5 lts more than you would a single fin because than you have more range with the board and you don’t loose any performance because it is a quad and you have plenty of turn.

I shape a lot of 85 and 90 to 95 l. quads. I am making a 110 l. quad for Fred Haywood at the moment.

On the other hand, I had the sensation that the board wants the base a little bit more to the tail than usual (at least that was my sensation sailing in Pozo Izquierdo) is that true? Any fine tuning tips you want to give to the quad users?

In general the quad is a little more back foot than a twin or single. If you want more drive front foot you can separate the fins a little bit to get more drive and move your mast track further forward.

I couldn’t believe the turning ability of the board, the day I used the 75l, there were some little waves in Pozo Izquierdo (onshore), in this conditions, usually, after the off the lip you just go down with not too much control and any traction, but with the quad I kept having total grip and traction on the second part of the turn too, I had the sensation that with a bigger wave I could be doing roundhouse cutbacks with that board, it’s the first time that on a windsurf board I have the sensations and possibilities than on a surfboard, did you have the same sensations there at Hookipa? Did you ever expect reaching such a level of performance or at the beginning the quad surpassed your expectations?

For sure this is why we ride quads, the carving sensation through out the whole turn and the fact that the board helps you finish turns. Having that feeling of carving with power and speed with such ease I believe is one of the feelings we really look for in windsurfing.

Quad3

-You are shaping boards for a lot of world tour riders sponsored by other board companies, aren’t you worried about those brands taking profit of those shapes you do for their team riders?

Most of the boards I shape for pro riders are pretty specific for their needs and really wouldn’t make a good board for production. But it is an issue and really what I do is work with each rider specifically and make boards to really suit their needs and work on a program with them. I think the benefit for me in doing different shapes and learning outweighs the information I am giving them but we will see in the future what happens.

-By the way, and just to finish, the fin configuration you are using is different than what we see in quad surfboards, why is that? Are windsurf quads more like a twinzer with stabilizers?

With windsurfing we are going much faster than surfing so you need to make adjustments with the fin configuration to be able to have the board turn and go through the turn with speed. I don’t want to give too much info on this as it is really critical all of this.

The board isn’t a twinser with fins to support it..I am thinking 4 fins when I design the board and we are moving more and more in this direction.

Thanks a lot Keith.

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I’ve been waiting a little bit to post the interview because I wanted to do some nice action shots, but we didn’t have waves here in Pozo Izquierdo in the last few days, and the forecast is changing every day, so I decided to post the interview, and as soon as we have some conditions I will publish more pictures.

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4 comments:

TWS said...

I just put 9,1mm assymetrical FCS fins on my RRD 82L twin board. I will test this (with small 150mm fins) tomorrow and later agains the closest Quatro and compare. But as Keith point out here, developers are holding back information about quad fin positioning. (Nothing in the MFC website.) So I based positions on image blowups.

Thomas Wessel, N-14

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your findings TWS!

garageshapers said...

aassym fins may not be a great idea, you see an assym fin is meant to be toed and canted versus the stringerline. KT's fins are symmetrical because they are positioned for the riding direction of a windsurf board as opposed to the skewed, assymetrical riding on a surfboard(for which the FCS fin was made).

Lily said...

nice

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