YOW SurfSkate Review (Bought & Shredded)

By Billy | Updated: September 9, 2022 | Surfskates

YOW Surf makes some of the best surfskates out there. They’re a staple in my quiver.

I’ve tested all their surf adapters (S4, S5, and Meraki) and will share my thoughts.

Is it the right surfskate for you? Let’s find out.

Summary

YOW is one of the best surfskate brands if you want a deep & divey carving experience. Their coil spring adapter allows you to get into a natural pumping motion, similar to pumping down the line on a surfboard. In my opinion, their adapter does a great job at replicating the feeling of surfing on land.

Quick Specs

Surfskate TypeSpring pivoting adapter
Riding StyleDeep pumping
Wheels66mm 80A
Deck 7-Ply Maple
HeadquartersBasque Country, Spain

If you’d rather watch a video overview, check it below. If not, keep scrolling.

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Who Is It Best For?

I’d recommend YOW if you want a surfskate that has a deep, divey feel.

Out of all the surfskates I own, this is one of my favorites because it feels so natural to pump and maintain speed. Their front adapter allows you to do sharp turns but doesn’t jackknife as often as a SwellTech.

It’s very different from Carver because it has a thick coil spring, allowing the truck to pivot aggressively.

It’s one of the best options to practice your pumping and turns for surfing. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re a beginner since it’s so aggressive. Instead, look into Carver. Carver is where most beginners start.

Alright, now let’s take an in-depth look at all the parts.

yow surf skate

Hardware

They use two different sizes of 10-32 flat hex bolts.

YOW front adapter bolts size are…

YOW back truck bolts size are

yowsurf hardware

Trucks

YOW’s truck hangers are traditional 9″ kingpins. The front adapter has no truck baseplate since it’s connected directly to the Meraki adapter.

The back truck has a 1″ riser pad to even it out (which also does a solid job at preventing wheel bite).

Just about every surfskate I’ve come across needs a riser pad since the surfskate adapters are so thick.

yow surf skate adapter

Meraki, S4 or S5?

I own all three systems and have tested them.

You have three options when it comes to their surfskate system adapters…

Although, now I believe they phased out their S4 & S5 adapters.

yow surf adapter springs

If you’re doing low-key cruising/carving on your YOW, then there’s not a big difference between the Meraki and the S5. But if you do more radical turns and find yourself riding fakie often, the extra stability of the Meraki makes sense.

When it comes to the differences between the S4 and S5, it comes down to the coil spring. The S4 has a thinner spring (4mm) which makes it more energetic and better for people 65lbs – 110lbs (30kg – 50kg)

The Meraki & S5 spring is thicker (5mm), adding more resistance and better for people above 110lbs (50kgs).

I weigh 165lbs and find riding the S4 pretty fun, although if I had to pick one, I’d go for the S5 since it’s the safer play for my weight. The S4 feels much looser and jolty. For most people, I’d probably recommend the Meraki/S5.

Cruiser Hole

YOW’s older adapters (S4 & S5) had a feature where you could insert a screw and prevent the adapter from pivoting.

I never used this feature since the board sits higher above the ground than my traditional cruiser. They took this feature out of their newest Meraki system.

Decks

Their decks are made of 7 Plies maple with one colored ply. Beautifully done in my opinion.

They even implemented a 3d viewer on all their product pages. This is helpful to get a clear picture of the deck shape.

yowsurf deck

Wheels

The older setups used to come with 66mm 78A Blue Cinetic wheels, but they switched.

They now make their wheels in-house; every setup comes with their URA wheels.

Props to them for making their wheels in-house. I don’t know of any other surfskate brand that manufactures the components of their setups.

yowsurf wheels

Bushings

The bushings are street cone and barrel.

The cones are 1/4″ and the barrels are 1/2″. YOW’s bushing durometer is 92a.

yowsurf bushings

Bearings

The bearings have caps on one side and come with separated spacers.

I like bearings with built-in spacers, but not a big deal.

yowsurf bearings

Overall, the quality of YOW surfskates is solid.

Now that I’ve covered every part of a YOW surfskate, let’s go over some pros & cons.

YOW (vs) Other Brands

A common question I always get asked is to compare YOW to other popular surfskates. In this section, that’s exactly what I’ll do.

YOW vs Smoothstar

YOW has a deeper and divey carving feel to it. Almost like you’re balancing on a tightrope. Smoothstar feels more consistent and smoother, without that divey feel to it. YOW and Smoothstar feel pretty similar to each other compared to the others.

If you’re deciding between the two, check out my YOW vs Smoothstar comparison.

YOW vs Carver

YOW and Carver feel very different from each other. YOW uses a coil spring, which offers some of the most aggressive carving, whereas Carver is much more low-key and versatile. I’d recommend YOW if you want something you can do deeper carves with, and Carver if you want something you can also use as a cruiser for longer distances.

I hope you found value in this YOW surfskate review.

Billy

I started skateboarding when I was 5 years old. Picked up surfing and snowboarding soon after. These days, if I'm not surfing, I'm trying to replicate it on land or snow. My goal is to shred, then share my thoughts in an honest and transparent way.
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