YOW vs Smoothstar: Which One Is Best For You?

By Billy | Updated: February 18, 2022 | Surfskates

One of the most common comparisons is YOW vs Smoothstar. They’re both spring-based pivoting adapters that replicate the feeling of surfing.

They both have different purposes, so instead of claiming one is better than the other…

I’m gonna cover their physical differences, riding feel, and how to choose.

yow vs smoothstar

If you just want a brief summary, find it below. Otherwise, keep scrolling.

YOW vs Smoothsar

They’re both similar in the sense that they’re pivoting surf adapters. But, YOW uses a large, thick coil spring and Smoothstar uses a small tension spring. YOW has more “dive” to it and has a jiggling feel. Smoothstar dives too but has a consistent back/forth because of its tension spring.

You can find a more in-depth look at YOW & Smoothstar below.

The first thing you probably want to know is how the adapters physically differ.

Let’s take a look at how YOW’s adapter is made.

YOW’s Adapter

YOW Meraki Weight: 1lbs 15oz

yow surf adapter

Their Meraki adapter eliminated the truck baseplate, it only uses the truck hangar. This is different from most surfskate adapters, which mount the whole truck.

YOW has a larger, thicker coil spring. It’s also not as hollowed out when compared to Smoothstar, which makes it heavier.

yow surf springs

The pivot cup is closer to the center point of the adapter and has a higher baseplate angle.

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Smoothstar’s Adapter

Smoothstar Weight: 1lbs 11oz

smoothstar thruster

Smoothstar uses a small and compact tension spring. There’s an option to tighten their tension spring if it wears down over time. The adapter is more hollow compared to YOW, making it lighter.

smoothstar thruster spring

Unfortunately, Smoothstar doesn’t sell their adapter’s separately. You can only buy their completes.

The pivot cup sits further away from the adapter’s center and has a lower baseplate angle.

Riding Feel Differences

YOW has a more “divey” feel. Think of it like this… There’s a rope going through the center of the board. When you distribute your weight to one side, it dives down. It’s not as controlled as the Smoothstar adapter.

For example, if you pull the YOW all the way to one side and let go, it jiggles back and forth. Smoothstar doesn’t do that because of its tension spring.

Smoothstar feels less “divey” and more consistent. When pumping on a Smoothstar, you can feel the tension springing you into your next carve. The tension spring offers a more consistent and predictable.

Which to choose?

Now the hard part. Which is best for your riding style?

An ideal scenario is to find someone who already has YOW/Smoothstar and test them before you buy. But if you can’t, this is how I usually break it down…

Do you want something more divey and energetic? If that’s the case, go for YOW.

Or do you want something more consistent and predictable? Smoothstar’s your choice then.

I ride YOW setups more because I love that uncontrolled, divey feeling. They both do an incredible job at replicating the feeling of surfing on land.

It just depends on your riding style.

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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