Paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world and Yolo is yet another company keen on bringing high quality SUP boards to the market. It believes in a ‘You Only Live Once’ lifestyle and encourages boarders to live their dreams. Yolo has created SUPs for all experience levels – we explore each of these products below.
– Yolo Inflatable Deep Blue 11’ – $985 – 2/5
– Yolo Yak 11’10” – $749 – 4/5
– Yola Original 12′ – $1,495 – 4/5
Yolo Inflatable Deep Blue 11’
If you are a relative beginner and don’t want to spend a fortune on a SUP, inflatable boards are the way to go. This is especially the case if you don’t have a huge amount of space to store the equipment. Like all inflatable SUPs, the Yolo Deep Blue can be deflated so it can be handily stored wherever you choose.
A problem with many inflatable boards is the grave difficulty you have trying to inflate them. We’ve come across boards that can’t be pumped up by hand and require the use of an electric pump. The Yolo Deep Blue on the other hand is a dream to inflate; you don’t even need an air compressor as arm pumping does the job quickly, easily and effectively.
However, the board is not 100% solid when it is fully inflated (even when you use a compressor) and we discovered our feet were sinking in the middle which was disconcerting. This ensured paddling was not a completely stable process and things got a little hairy at times. We tested this out during a breezy day when the waves were a little bit rough and it wobbled quite a bit.
Overall, the Yolo Deep Blue is a sub-par inflatable board (we recommend the Tower Adventurer as an alternative or the Solstice SUP). The issue with it being less than stable even on moderately rough waters is really a kick in the nuts.
For a $1000 it’s a bit of a let down. Frankly, you could just get a Solstice Stand Up Paddleboard which is more stable and costs half the price.
Yolo Yak 11’10”
This is one of the toughest SUPs in the world as it is made with roto-molded polyethylene and is extremely stable in hard currents. It carries up to 300 pounds and is nearly unbreakable, the Yolo Yak appears to be a bargain at less than $800. It is able to handle all your gear and even the sun doesn’t cause lasting damage to this SUP.
The Yolo Yak is definitely a SUP for fishers and paddlers seeking an adrenaline rush as you can bring it virtually anywhere, go into the strongest currents without having to worry about it getting damaged. Obviously, we’re not recommending crazy and dangerous adventures here but its durability certainly increases its versatility.
As mentioned above, the Yolo Yak is also a great choice for Stand Up Paddle Board fishing. Its sheer size means you can store your food and beverage rations along with your cruising equipment and the fish you catch.
One downside of the Yolo Yak’s size makes it more than a handful to carry at 60 pounds. Honestly, it will require a transportation device to carry this SUP to and from the water.
Yolo Predator 12’6”
This SUP was designed by surf legend, Steve Brom and is made from carbon fiber. It is marketed as an ideal blend of stability and flexibility with four decades of design background going into its development. It can carry up to 250 pounds and has double concaves on the bottom with a 29 inch width providing more than enough room to maneuver.
Unlike a number of SUPs that claim to have a maximum rider weight limit only to become unstable well before it’s max, we found the Yolo Predator to be extremely stable even with 220+ pounds on board. We found it to handle wind and choppy waters pretty well and though it feels a little heavy, it handles okay. We did not test it with lighter weights but one would assume the Yolo Predator has a smoother release when subjected to less weight.
We used it on both flat water and in the ocean and it performed admirably in both instances. The construction is very solid and the finish is tremendous. We loved the convenience provided by the lift SUP handle which makes it very easy to carry. This is always a plus since it is large at 12’6” and would be difficult to transport otherwise.
The deck of the Yolo Predator is flat and is designed to ensure a wider stance area and more stability. We found this to be effective and even on choppy waters we never felt as if we would topple into the water. Overall, this is a rock solid SUP though it may be on the pricy side at almost $1,500 on the official Yolo website.
We found Yolo SUPs to be a little hit and miss; while the touring and recreational boards are absolutely fine, the inflatable board appears to have many flaws and there are a number of boards which perform better and are cheaper.