Author Topic: ULI Lopes 10' review  (Read 10129 times)


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ULI Lopes 10' review
« on: January 24, 2011, 09:42:00 PM »
I own ULI Lopes 10' for two years, and I
just came back from the week of surfing in Mexico. Strangely enough it was my first real surfing trip with ULI (we been to Oahu a year ago, but i haven't logged a real surfing time there).

I am 56, 170 lbs, finishing my year 4 on SUP, I surf 30 - 35 days a year, plus some time on the lake, which is irrelevant for surfing. My rate of improvement doesn't slow down that indicates that I am still a beginner. Boards owned - 11' Infinity, 9'8" Starboard and now 9' Mana. Plus I had rented a Blair 10' (and it was exactly on the same beach 2 years ago, I remember how I did a backside take off first time in my life on this Blair).

There are obvious attractions in ULI; high tolerance to the "friendly skies", very light (I walk with it 20 minutes one way to the lake) and it is safe for others in the lineup.

Still I was worried how well will it surf, with a wide rail and a bit out off the beaten path construction.

I tell you right away, that my worries were totally unsubstantiated (like the most of the worries in this life). The board really surprised me. It surfs very very good, on the par with "real" 10' boards. It is a little different, you have to adjust your style a bit (standing may be closer to the back, not digging the rail too close to the nose, etc.), but it is in the same class. Its like comparing Toyota Tundra, F150 and RAM and Chevy trucks. Some better, some not, some have avid fans, but those are all comparable and function wise all are within the same class.
as an example, Just a week ago I still strongly preferred the take off to the left (I am goofy) to the open side. But not anymore! See, the break I was surfing breaks to the right and sometimes it got crowded, so I forced myself into going only right, and this board didn't fail me at all. I now can take to the left or to the right, at will! And also typically I surf the beach break (Vancouver island) and it turned out such a pleasure to surf it in this bowl, with a green water in front of you, white water just behind and ride it forever. And when I did outrun the wave I just made an almost 180 degree turn to the open side and immediately back 180 to the right. It was all very natural for me on this board. Other skills that I already have, I had no problem at all (paddling without yaw, takeoff from full stop with one-two strokes, bottom turn to the open side leaning on the paddle). Around 50 waves, 300 turns in four hour sessions.

The only area where this board is a bit inferior to the regular boards is going out. Because it is soft, when white water hits it is more difficult for me. On another hand in hindsight because it is soft I shouldn't be afraid to press the tail more agressively (there is no danger if the nose hits you if you overdo this) - but I guess after being hit in the past few times by real board it would be difficult to overcome this fear.

Oh, I should tell, in the beginning 2 years ago it was a bit of a bouncy feel when standing on it, but it is gone long time ago, after just few sessions.

One obvious suggestion to ULI: please make 9' or better yet even shorter board! just cut one or two feet in front, add couple inches of width. In my 4 years of surfing not once did I fall because the board was too short. All my falls are to the side. Also long boards are so slow to turn and impossible for late drops, those pointy noses like to pearl. Once again, it is generic comment about longer boards, not specific to ULI.

Otherwise it is beautiful board, and it was a real hero on the beach - I was asked about 50 questions about it in this week.

To summarize it, it is great travel board, you may loose just a very tiny bit in performance, that you can easily compensate by adjusting your technique, and it is unbeatable for travel - flying, carrying to the beach, carrying it in the hotel, stairs without worries for damage to the board, furnuture and walls, avoiding renting hassles and saving a lot of dow in the process.

Thank you Jim!


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Re: ULI Lopes 10' review
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 10:59:33 AM »
Here, here- ULI's rock.


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Re: ULI Lopes 10' review
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 11:26:24 AM »
I agree with you about making them shorter.  If they made one between the 8-9 foot range, I'd buy one.


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Re: ULI Lopes 10' review
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 11:28:43 AM »
I "second" that !!  :D

I have actually 2 Uli's... The Steamroller and the Lopez...

I used both for surfing and paddling around places. For sure, each one has its strong points !

The Lopez is great for surfing. IMHO, I would say it is about 85% as a regular board.
As ALAP said, you have to adjust your surf style a little.

The Steamroller surfs too... that is how I started SUP surfing !
But I prefer it for paddling around... as it feels to me more stable.
I have not yet tried it on a river though !  ;)

And as for Travel... AirTravel or ANY travel... You cannot beat that !  ;D

Here are some shots of each Uli doing what each one does best in my opinion !   ;)



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Re: ULI Lopes 10' review
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 06:54:18 PM »
hi guys...ULIpeople UNITE!!!!...WOW! seems we all sorta think alike...i had no idea you guys were going to post this but....

thats GREAT that you like your ULIboards...

its been 3 weeks now for me since my knee surgery ACL reconstruction and at least 5-6 months before i can standup surf again...

in the meantime ive been sitting on my "FatAss"...*hint*... using my ULILopex GLX1 for Sit Down Paddlesurfing(SDP)...its fun but lately ive also been thinking....

One obvious suggestion to ULI: please make 9' or better yet even shorter board! just cut one or two feet in front, add couple inches of width. In my 4 years of surfing not once did I fall because the board was too short. All my falls are to the side. Also long boards are so slow to turn and impossible for late drops, those pointy noses like to pearl.

what the?!?!....AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!...get outta my head!!!....allright no more JEDI MIND TRICKS!!!....ha ha.... ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

it just so happens there IS something in the works for all us 'FatAss' guys like me out there *hint # 2*....not official ....yet...just between you and me...keep it under your hat...

still part of the ULI "BLACKWORLD"....but there have been sightings...SPY photos from this past week at the ULIboards super secret  testing grounds....9'3"x 33"xthick..

i have not even seen this thing yet because ive been of the disabled list but....hey capobeachboy...inquiring minds want to know????

 ;D ;D ;D
« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 07:02:08 PM by steamroller »


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Re: ULI Lopes 10' review
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 10:14:38 PM »
@rcfa: I tried it on the river. river is not my thing. i dont see any fun in going downstream - why paddle if you already moving? no motivation. paddling upstream is for perverts. and "surfing" the river or going thru rapids - I have to pass, my body is not made from rubber anymore  >:(

but I forgot to tell that on the lake I wakeboarded it. no difference between it and regular board. last time I did it it was about 10 minutes nonstop, untill I had a cramp in my leg. 1000 turns? 10,000 turns? the driver was a semipro, he created an ideal wave. he was a barefoot skier. so I offered him to try, his wife drove, I was sitting on a side of the boat, and he rode it for few minutes before falling. easy. he picked it instantly.

also forgot , for surfing, if you step really back in the steep section (and you can do it easily, because of enough flotation), it turns , pivots over the fins so fast... unbelievable. my last run of this week is still in my memory and it will be there for quite a while. it was a lull, and then it comes, and i know it will be headhigh, I turn, wait for couple sec, one stroke from a standstill, then another, I am in... meantime the two crawlers behind me, instead of moving away from me, they are paddling towards me, so now one is a bit inside of me to my right and a second one is further  inside and to the left. I can not turn right because of the first one, so I step back and do this instant left turn/pivot around and over the fins. and the wave is building and its about to crest and I am starting to go over the falls with the board parallel to the beach (not yet, but just about).

I shoulda be bailing out at this point but as I said I was already shoulda be packing for the trip home, and without thinking (it was really a split second decision), I just hit the lip with the paddle on my left side and I made the instant 90 degree turn to the right, so I am facing the beach and now I am in the very steep section. By this time the second crawler to my left ducks and he already is out of my way.  I am accelerating down very fast, its almost a free fall, and I am so afraid to pearl it, but my feet are in the same position (far back, over the fins, goofy, surfer stance, I had not moved them a bit during the whole episode, or at least I think so), so I lean on the paddle on my left and it pivots again to the left, very fast, and I surf it out of the whitewater, so few tones of it closes just few inches behind me with a gunshot, and I surf it all the way to the beach (first in front of white water, and then it reforms). what a feeling  ;D

this episode is not 85% performance of a regular board. this was smthng. that I never experienced. as I said this week made me a better surfer.

@ steamroller. bad news about ACL, take it easy... dont force it, let it heal...
those pictures are great. ask Jim to shave another 6", nobody needs this nose (if he can easily do it because of construction?) and I like the width! and the tail, and color, white! absolutely great. I am in for it!


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Re: ULI Lopes 10' review
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 11:46:23 PM »
Man ..awesome story alap !!  :)

Gosh .. I am not THAT good yet !! But it made me believe I can get there..or “close” to it ! Thanks for sharing !

On the river experience… I have not tried yet, but I am curious to see how I can handle it ! And I know I have to be careful… I already have 7 metal pins on my ankle from my kitesurfing days !  :(

I also have done “some” wakeboarding with the Uli Steamroller…not as much as you described, as I was being pulled by a Jet-ski. But it was really FUN !  :D

This coming summer I will be fooling around with one of my old kites and see how well I can play with the Ulis. My guess is: It will be really fun downwind… Upwind, I have my doubts.  :-\

Interesting  what you said about stepping way back.
I came from a shortboard surfing… so it is a bit un-natural to me to step all the way back on any board ! I will for sure try it !
I had to skip the longboard phase due to a hernia on my lower back. After 30 minutes or so paddling on a prone position, I would start feeling my left arm numb !
Too bad….I had to quit surfing for almost 10 years.  :(

But this was until I was introduced to SUP in 2008 ! Then I have never stopped since then.;D

It seems that everyone is experiencing with shorter and shorter boards these days !
It is nice to know that Jim and the team at Uli are also experimenting with it. I will keep my eye open to any new Uli boards coming !
I liked the white color too !  8)

I do not have much of a problem with the “pointy” nose. Actually I think it helps cut thru the white water as the width of the Uli board is the same all around it … which is one of the differences with a regular SUP board.
I say this based on experience ... I can clearly feel the difference between the Lopez and the Steamroller when going thru the surf.   

Thanks Steamroller Clinton for the heads up !
Take your time getting better and be serious with the physiotherapy .  ;)

Have fun out there !



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Re: ULI Lopes 10' review
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 08:07:25 AM »
Ahh, the cat is out of the bag.  I rode the ULI Fat Ass in varied conditions and the board rips.  It's good down the line, turns well, and is super stable.  I can even paddle with my 45 lb dog on the deck.  I think this would be a great board to run rivers on as well.  The guys really nailed it on this one and if anyone in south OC wants to meet up to try it out you can send me a pm.
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