Mckee M4 & M5 Formula Shortboards
M4 Quattro M5 Multisystem Longboards
Fin Direction Graphic
“A REVELATION.. LET THERE BE LIGHT”
Could it be true that there’s life after ‘Thruster’?..
‘SURFING WORLD’ MAGAZINE iNTERVIEW
December 2006 unedited form
THE BATTLE (Text Written 2001)
Sometimes there are some things that must be revealed. Many people would know about a project of mine that I’ve been dedicated to on and off for time immemorial which has seen mixed success in its progress and an unrelenting enthusiasm in its destiny. The enthusiasm of others hasn’t always been directed to a destiny of it’s success I must admit, but destiny has a way of guiding itself in the end. Many have been the names that have added their opinions and advice as to what should be the outcome and use of ‘Mission Quattro’ and many have helped by trying or testing one of the test boards or even making or ordering one or more for themselves.
So what is a ‘Quattro’?; It’s a surfboard with one more fin than the acknowledged standard fin quantity of three. All say its faster and has more fluidity, drive and security than a three-fin. But actually it’s much more than that as it’s a concept that rocks the stability and established order of hierarchies of the worlds manufacturers, surfers and shapers. Why is this? ; because apart from the fact that three fins work wonderfully, there are very few shapers of surfboards out there who would want to see someone apart from themselves come out with a viable alternative to the norm, the three fin surfboard. They would want to be the first but then none would want to be the first to stick their neck out to face potential ridicule from their peers and the opposition. A’Catch-22′ situation. The same situation faces the surfers who don’t dare risk losing support from sponsors by using something widely regarded as unfashionable in the world of surfing. The manufacturers and surf magazines prefer to sit on the fence or ignore the concept but there’s always a hard nut out there like me who just keeps on going while there’s still a whiff of a chance.
It must be said though that there are a few courageous surfer-shapers that have been a great help in the past by collaborating, making and testing their own versions of the ‘Quattro’. Names such as Ned McMann, Glen Minami, Gordon Hanson, Brian Bulkley and Pat Rawson. They all have their own stories to tell. One surfer-shaper, California’s ‘Jeff Clarke’ has taken his own trajectory with four-fins and is one of the world’s most respected big-wave riders and known for his prowess at ‘Mavericks’ where he rides his own version four-fin ‘guns’ and ‘tow-in’ boards.
Some very famous and open minded professional surfers have ridden and loved past and current versions of the ‘Quattro’. Those that have seen the video ‘Search 2′ will have unknowingly been watching Tom Curren ride a ‘Mckee Quattro’ on all of the biggest waves at Jeffery’s Bay. Tom Carroll currently rides his own fin versions for the current ‘M4 formula’ and is shown in this site testing out a Mckee shaped 8′ 2″ M4 at Sunset Beach. Mark Occilupo also loved an old version of the M4 and hopefully now will have the possibility to try a new version shaped by whoever he desires.
So, where does the conditioning of the mind come from where others, who have never even tried one, screw their noses up as the sound of the words “four-fin” reaches their ear?. Well this was installed shortly after the introduction of the ‘Thruster’ and at a time when a four-fin was just a ‘Twin-fin’ with two small stabilisers on the back. Unfortunately there had been a very discriminatory macho element that entered into the surfing industry. The surfboard types became a symbol of your grade of macho, a machometer you might say. What we carry under our arms to the waters edge can reflect our soul (they like to have us think). Everything can have its turn at being fashionable, even open-mindedness, so bit by bit, alternatives to the sacred cows are led to the water to mix with the herd. Times change.
My story of ‘Mission Quattro’ would be too long for the patience of the readers so in short I will say that I am revealing the formula for the ‘Mckee-Quattro’ and ‘Mckee-Multisystem. ‘in an attempt to open up the market. I’d like to make it easier for those who might want to test one out and those who would be interested in manufacturing some, without having to go through twenty or so years of trial and error and struggle as I have. If everyone has the info we’re all on par. I have only just scratched the surface in the variety of fin options that can be chosen with this system if you count asymmetrical mixes and the like.
I must stress to people that they will receive the most negative remarks imaginable from those who have never even tried one and these are all based on common reactions to anything new and unknown. The ‘Inquisition’ is alive and well, so seek the logic and you shall be rewarded. As every three fin functions differently so do the ‘Quattros’. There are a multitude of options that should be chosen depending on your weight, surfing level, place that you choose to ride one and weight category.
Remember that as in sporting products, for example; snow-skis, a slalom-ski designed for a certain level of skier and type of course is not designed for a beginner. One needs to have a certain level of expertise even to be able to initiate the first turn. There are skis for experts and skis for the masses. The same applies to surfboards. It’s easy to lay blame on a product because of your inability to adapt to a product’s needs to make it perform best for you. Of course the easy way is to adapt the product to yourself if you can, so choosing the right size fins first is the key . So explore the options if you have the time and the desire. Some have never got off a single fin and some will never fly while they can walk, but each to their own. My objective has been to show that yes there are more options to increase your fun and performance in the surf and the public has a right to know these options so they have freedom of choice.
The fin models and brand chosen as references are chosen due to their size, area and flex. Other brands may have similar types so ask your local fin expert to help you find a mix that will be comparable and suitable for you. The ‘M5 Multifin’ system means that its more difficult to find an excuse for not trying a ‘Quattro’ as it has a ‘Thruster’ built in and many other fin mixes that are possible with this concept. I call it ‘The System of Truth’. “And the weight difference” you say. Minimal, besides ‘Quattro’ is like having a bigger motor. For travellers, losing a fin is less of a drama. There’s always a mix that keeps you in the water. I’d like to thank all those who have tried one in the past for their feedback and most importantly the negative. Without it it would be harder to know what not to do. The ball is in your court.
IT’S NOT THE CRITIC WHO COUNTS, NOT THE ONE WHO POINTS OUT HOW THE STRONG MAN STUMBLES OR HOW THE DOER OF DEEDS MIGHT HAVE DONE THEM BETTER. THE CREDIT BELONGS TO THE MAN WHO IS ACTUALLY IN THE ARENA, WHOSE FACE IS MARRED WITH SWEAT AND DUST AND BLOOD, WHO STRIVES VALIANTLY, WHO ERRS AND COMES SHORT AGAIN AND AGAIN, WHO KNOWS GREAT ENTHUSIASMS, THE GREAT DEVOTIONS, AND SPENDS HIMSELF IN A WORTHY CAUSE, AND WHO, IF HE FAILS, AT LEAST FAILS WHILE DARING GREATLY, SO THAT HIS PLACE SHALL NEVER BE WITH THOSE COLD AND TIMID SOULS WHO KNOW NEITHER VICTORY NOR DEFEAT