In many applications, it is often of interest to assess the possible relationships between covariates and quantiles of a response variable through a regression model. In some instances, the effects of continuous covariates on the outcome are highly nonlinear. Consequently, appropriate modelling has to take such flexible smooth effects into account. In this work, various flexible quantile regression techniques were reviewed and compared by simulation. Finally, all the techniques were used to construct the overall zone specific reference curves of morphologic measures of sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816) located in NW Spain.