SurfSkate brands have flooded the market and I’m definitely not complaining.
I’m on a mission to find the best SurfSkate on the market, so naturally, I had to buy the YOW Pipe 32″.
Here’s my YOW surfskate review.
Like every one of my other reviews, I took this board apart, inspected the quality, and shredded it.
So, hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll have a solid idea of if this is the right SurfSkate for you.
As always, feel free to drop a comment below if you have any questions.
Contents (Click to skip)
Where To Buy?
As of right now, you can only buy this board from YOWSurf.com
If you live in the USA, ordering this thing isn’t the easiest. At the time I’m writing this, they still don’t have a currency converter for USD on their website.
Shipping is the worst part since it’s coming from the Basque Country in Spain. I ended up paying €46.49, which is roughly $52. Probably the most I’ve ever spent on shipping.
Hopefully, they’ll soon have distributors in the USA, but for now, you’ll have to spend a solid amount on shipping.
If you have any questions, drop a comment below and I’ll do my best to get back to you.
After seeing YOW pop up a bunch online while I was researching, I had to test one out.
YOW stands for ‘Your Own Wave’ and is owned by HLC Distribution, a major player in the skate industry.
HLC is based in Oiartzun, Spain and some of their brands include…
- Plan B
If you’re familiar with the skate industry at all, you know those brands. Check out all of their brands here.
My point is… these guys know the skate industry inside and out. And after riding it for a while, you can tell.
Who Is It Best For?
I’d recommend this YOW if you want a surfskate that has a really flowy feel to it.
Out of all the surfskates I own, this is one of my favorites because it feels so natural to pump and maintain speed. Their patented front truck allows you to do sharp turns but doesn’t snap aggressively, like a SwellTech.
It’s one of the best options if you want to practice your pumping and turns for surfing. And if you want to just cruise, they have a feature where you can insert a screw into the front truck so it doesn’t turn as much.
Before I ride any board I review, I completely take it apart. In this section, I go over each part and inspect the quality.
Your typical hardware for any type of skateboard. The only difference is since it’s a surfskate, the back bolts are shorter than the front ones.
That’s because the front adapter makes the trucks higher, so in order to level it out, the back truck needs a chunky riser pad.
All of the nuts have a self-locking plastic to ensure they don’t loosen, which is always great to see. Just about every skate company uses these types of nuts because you never wanna lose one when riding.
All eight speed washers were accounted for, which is standard. You’d be surprised how many boards I come across with some missing speed washers.
YOW’s trucks are standard 9″ kingpins. Each truck is exactly the same, however, the front is attached to their S5 surfskate system.
Because the S5 system is thick, the back truck has a 28mm riser pad to even it out (which also prevents wheel bite).
Just about every surfskate I’ve come across needs a riser pad since the surfskate adapters are so chunky.
Now onto what makes the magic happen. YOW’s signature S5 system is what turns it into a carving machine.
It’s a patented design, with a robust 5mm spring and a buttery smooth 51100 ball bearing. And after riding this for a few months now, I can confidently say it’s one of my favorite surfskates.
S4 or S5?
You have two options when it comes to their surfskate systems. Either their S4 or S5. And it basically comes down to your weight.
If you’re between 65lbs – 110lbs (30kg – 50kg) then you’ll want to go with the S4 since it has a lighter, 4mm spring. But if you’re above 110lbs (50kgs) then go with the S5.
Luckily, if you have no idea what board or system to get, no worries because they have a page dedicated to helping you choose.
One of the most subtle, yet coolest features on the S5 is the ability to lock the system in place with a single screw.
If you take a look at the top left corner, you’ll see a tiny hole. This allows you to put in a screw, which then turns your board into a casual cruiser.
Seriously, such a genius idea!
The deck is made of 7 Plies U.S.A. Hard Rock Maple with one colored ply. It’s beautifully done, with the subtle green ply strip in the middle.
It’s 32″ long and 10″ wide, with an 18.5″ wheelbase. In my personal opinion, I think it’s the perfect shape.
The vintage lightning bolt design just adds to the overall appeal of this board.
The Jessup printed grip is low-key, making it ideal for bare-footing riding.
I love the fact that they didn’t add traditional grip, which would’ve been much harsher. There’s enough grip so you’ll never slip, yet it never gets irritating while riding barefoot.
It has a subtle concave tail that feels right for foot placement. It’s also just a nice touch that adds to the overall design of the deck.
The PIPE 32″ comes with 66 x 51mm 78A Blue Cinetic wheels. And if you know anything about wheels, then you know 78a are soft.
This is common for surfskates since you want your wheels to grip the pavement when doing sharp turns. I gotta say, I love the color of these wheels. They contrast perfectly against the red deck.
If you really push these wheels, you can get them to slide. I’ve been working on my frontside slides and since the S5 allows for snappy turns, you can slide if you have enough speed.
It’s just not as slippery as something 90a+.
The bushings are the typical cone and barrel with washers. They’re made of 92a Ultra HR Formula, which essentially just means they’re pretty stiff.
The wheels come with black ABEC 7 bearings. However, mine didn’t come with any spacers, which isn’t a big deal.
But the reason I mention it is because, on the YOW PIPE 32″ product page, they list spacers as being included.
One thing I’d really like to see in future versions, would be the back of the bearings capped for extra protection. This is something that Hamboards really has done right with their SAN-O turning bearings.
The reason I say this is because I mainly skate this thing close to the beach, where there is a lot of sand on the streets. I’m not 100% sure if capping the back will make a big difference, but I would assume it would.
Not the end of the world, but just a suggestion that I think would help improve the bearings for the future.
Overall, the quality of all the parts is solid. From the deck to the trucks, there’s nothing that stands out to be bad.
The only suggestion would be to cap the back of the bearings and include spacers. I’m definitely impressed by the quality.
Now that I’ve gone over every part of the YOW Pipe 32″, I’ll give my personal opinion on what I like & dislike.
First, let’s start with…
I’m a huge fan of the deck shape. The 32″ length, 10″ width and 18.5″ wheelbase feels just right. Paired with the S5 system, this thing flows beautifully.
Compared to my 29.25″ Carver and 36″ J.O.B Banzai Swelltech, the YOW’s length is perfect for me.
I could go on and on about it, but the shape and design is my favorite out of all the surfskates I own.
YOW owns Jessup griptape, so obviously they’re gonna use their own product. This is one of my favorite parts about the board since it not only has such a cool design, but the grip is perfect.
I briefly mentioned it above, but it’s subtle enough for barefoot riding. I’ve ridden it for hours and it’s never gotten irritating. Something that I can’t say about my 29″ Penny High-Line Surfskate.
The overall feel of riding the board (in my opinion) does replicate surfing. Now clearly it’s going to be impossible to feel exactly like it, but you can definitely work on your pumping and turning.
My biggest issue when surfing is when I go to do big turns, my shoulders don’t follow my hips. I practice drawing out my turns on the YOW, really focusing on moving my shoulders with my hips.
You can also pump and gain speed without any pushing.
Out of all the surfskates I’ve tested, this board feels the most natural. And I’ve had many of my friends test it and they’ve been able to pick it up a lot easier.
I paid about $253 for the YOW PIPE 32″, which is right around what most surfskates retail for.
But, the major downside is that if you live in the USA, you’re gonna pay a hefty fee for shipping. They’re not optimized for the US market.
But the good part is they’ll ship to the USA, so I can’t really be too bummed. Hopefully, they’ll have USA distributors soon, so you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg just to get your YOW surfskate!
I hope you found value in this YOW surfskate review!
If you have any questions, drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you as quick as I can. I’m happy to help!