File: Surfboard Science-Stretch
Stretch’s FF quad does everything a tri-fin can, but better.
Model: FF (Fletcher Four)
Board type: Quad
Width: 18 3/4″
Thickness: 2 1/4″
Surfer: Josh Mulcoy
Weight: 170 lbs.
Depending on the dimensions of your FF, they’ll go well in everything from waist-high wind slop at your local beachbreak to Pipeline, and even Maverick’s. This board in particular would be a great all-around board that you’d ride on a normal day at your local break.
Win A Free Custom-Shaped Stretch FF
Don’t you hate it when you drop in at Maverick’s and your trailer fin makes doing a bottom turn like flying a Boeing 747 without hydraulics? That sucks! But you can enter to win a Stretch FF quad. It’s a 5’10″, so it’ll be good for people who are around that tall with an average build. Want it? Write us:
c/o TransWorld SURF Stretch FF Giveaway
353 Airport Road
Oceanside, California 92054
With its fuller nose, wide tail, and fairly straight rails, you should ride the FF two or three inches shorter than your average squashtail thruster. With a longer rail line, the FF’s outline will generate more speed and slide far less than the quads and twinnies of old.
Soft, forgiving rails will let you hack, slash, and gouge and let you ride away.
The seldom-seen bat tail is a way to keep the tail block wide, and thus allows the rails to be straighter, which aids in acceleration and reduces slide-outs. Stretch says the pitchfork-like bat tail works exactly like a swallow, but it looks cooler. “The best surfer in the world can’t tell the difference between the swallow, diamond, squash, and bat,” claims Stretch.
Half-inch-wide trenches run the length of the board. Stretch calls these “Love Handles” because they’re in the perfect place to grip the board. Originally incorporated to help with strength, Stretch sees them more as a tactile plus. “They just feel good to grab,” he laughs.
A full nose keeps the volume up, which is necessary if you’re going to ride a slightly shorter board.
The FF takes a fairly standard four-ounce glass job, but Stretch offers both UV polyester or epoxy materials.
Substantial tail rocker enhances the curvature of the rail in the rear half of the board, allowing rail turns a fish couldn’t dream of.
The FF’s bottom contours feature a deep single concave under your front foot which tapers into a slight V off the tail, just like in any good modern performance shortboard.
The fins are where the FF really differentiates itself from the standard shortboard. Stretch places the quad-fin formation noticeably up and in from where you’re used to seeing it. The back fins are pinched in an extra amount, which keeps them in what Stretch calls “blue water,” which means away from the turbulence created by the front set of fins. The lack of a trailer fin makes the board looser than a thruster, but the straight rails and pinched rear fins add drive.
Stretch says the quad has become the choice of lots of the Santa Cruz-area pros who are riding them in bigger and bigger surf. Anthony Tashnick recently won the Maverick’s event on a 9’4″ version of the FF. Stretch reasons that at higher speeds the trailer fin becomes harder to turn, but quads don’t have this problem.