Uli X Surf Series Gerry Lopez Ltd. Review
Cons: wobbly, thin, fins are not as easy to take on and off as most of the others as all three require an Allen wrench to install and remove
Our Analysis and Test Results
If you're looking for a surfboard that you don't have to strap onto the top of your vehicle, or can throw in the back of your Prius, the Uli might be the board for you. It doesn't perform well on flat water and didn't receive good scores in the stability metric. If you're looking for a good board for flat water touring or river adventures, check out the Editors' Choice award winning Isle Touring. The Touring received near perfect scores in both stability and glide performance and it less than half the price of the Uli.
This board is wobbly and not stable to paddle on calm water. Most of the other boards tested were best balanced with your feet apart but side by side from each other. This contender seemed to be balanced a bit easier with one foot in front and one foot behind the other in more of a surfer's stance.
This contender has has fair glide performance. It is a wide and thin board with three small fins. I could be good for surfing but if you want a product that has great glide performance try the Isle Touring, Isle Xplorer, Jobe or the Shubu Raven.
Ease of Transport
The Uli received a low score in this category not necessarily because it's super heavy or cumbersome but because all three fins on the bottom require a very small Allen wrench/ hex key to install or remove and if you do not remove the fins roll the board up with them still attached, the fins will damage the foam pad on the top unless you fold it up with the fins on the outside.
Ease of Inflation
The Uli is easy to inflate and received a pretty high score in this category. The only other board to receive a higher score is the SHUBU Raven. The Raven is easy to inflate because the material that it is made out of is thinner than all of the other boards tested. All of the contenders we tested besides the Uli and the Xplorer are six inches thick. The Tower Xplorer is eight inches thick and the Uli is four inches thick. The Uli requires less inflation time due to its smaller thickness. The pump and gauge that come with the Uli are very high quality. The pump is also taller than the stock pump that comes with Tower and Isle boards and this extra height makes it easier on the back to hand pump.
The Ulie would have received a higher score in this category if its inflation valve and pump hose connection were universal. They are not the same as the inflation valves on most of the other boards tested and you can only use the pump that came with the Uli on the Uli. You cannot pump up any other board that we tested with its pump. Nor can you use any other pump besides the one that came with the Uli to pump it up. That means you cannot inflate it with an electric pump unless you modify the connection points yourself.
The photo below shows the Uli pump on the left and the pump and hose that come with the Isle and Tower boards on the right that is not as nice but does have universal connection points.
Most of the contenders we tested are flat water touring boards designed for beginner to intermediate paddlers. That is not the case with the Uli. The Uli is designed with surfing in mind and might be great for a surfer who wants to travel far without worrying about transporting a board on the top of their vehicle or back of a truck or for someone who only has a very small space to store a board.
$1500 — The Uli comes with a better and taller than average pump, inflation hose and gauge. It does not come with a paddle, cargo straps or handles. It does come with one D ring on the very back of the board. You can customize your board when ordering if from the Uli site to be made with up to ten extra D rings for attaching your own bungee cord(s) to make a cargo area and you can also custom order it to be constructed with a thicker volume if you exceed the maximum recommended rider weight. It should also be noted that the Uli is made in the USA and comes with a patented WikiRail stomp pad on the very tail of the board.
If you're looking for a surfboard that you can roll up and put into your trunk or closet, this might be the board for you. This board could also be for you if you've been injured by a normal surfboard and want the extra security of knowing that this board will not hurt you if it hits you in rough conditions.We don't recommend this board for flat water or river touring. It is lightweight comes with an above average pump and hose and does not come with a paddle. It does come with a carrying strap but when we used the strap that it came with, the piece of plastic that is attached to the board where the fin attaches, started to separate from the board.
— Chris McNamara and Valentine Cullen