STUFF/ REVIEW/ SPONSORED POST
I like to spend money on quality products. I rather own one great wetsuit over 3 bad ones. And more often than not, you get what you pay for.
Of course, I DO understand, that all the professional surfers who are on the payroll of a big brand need to be paid through the products I buy. But am I willing to spend a small fortune on fins or a tail pad, because Medina or Gilmore is using the same? Well… no.
Don’t get me wrong, advertisements are working on me too. I prefer some brands over others because of their message or what they stand for. But with some products, I just want quality and don’t care what brand it is. And I’m not the only one.
Talking to surf shop owners in Bali, they say not many people are buying branded tail pads anymore, as the variety of cheap but good quality pads in Bali is huge! But what if you need one and you’re not in Bali?
This is why I was excited when I came across Ho Steve! And here is my Ho Steve review.
The products looked pretty good on the homepage, and are exactly the kind of gear I couldn’t care less what brand they are. Ponchos, Changing Mats, Finns, Tail pads, Leashes… So I gave it a go and took them on a test ride to Morocco.
Ordering online was very simple, and around two weeks later, they were in my mailbox in Switzerland, on the other side of the globe. Unfortunately, I had to pay an import tax. So depending in what country you live, this could happen to you too. Better check that out beforehand. But if you live within the US, it shouldn’t be a problem at all.
The tail pad I chose has a nice palm design and 3M glue, just like all the other brands too. I really like the size of the arc and the bump in the middle, but this is a personal preference. The structure is great, as it gives you a very good grip, and is less likely to fall apart, compared to other pads with a square, pyramided or diamond-shaped structure. And after all, it’s nothing more than a tail pad. What I want from it is, it has to stay on the board and make me stand on it too.
The leash is just a normal leash, as it should be. Nothing fancy and no extra hickhack. It has a key pocket, as most other leashes have too, but nothing more.
It fits me perfectly around my ankle with a wetsuit. I’m using it in bigger surf and I trust it. Of course it can snap, every leash can. But it looks decent and I had no issues with it so far. The Velcro could be stronger, but as I said, I had no issues with it, and I had some wipeouts in good sized surf with it.
The fins were what I was most curious about. I use Futures system for many years and I’m super satisfied with it. But fins are so crazy expensive and I can’t understand why. Because of this, I’m always on the lookout for good quality fins for a fair price, and Ho Steve’s fins looked like this. They have a honeycomb core, which makes them lighter but keeps them strong. Honeycomb fins are great all-round fins. Stiffer than plastic, but more flexible than fiberglass. I have surfed them in different conditions and definitely like them a lot. Exactly the fins I was looking for. (I use fiberglass fins on the bigger days. But the honeycomb feels perfect in small to medium size waves.)
So if you don’t mind if you’re using the same brand as your surf-heroes, and all you want is good quality for a fair price, you might consider to give it a try. I’m not saying you should order everything online! Going to your local surf shop, having the talk and interacting with likeminded people is priceless in my eyes and should never disappear. I enjoy going to a good surf shop and like to buy most of the things I need there, but Ho Steve has products that are well worth giving a try.