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HO Freeride Review

vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 630 Crazy Baller
edited June 2019 in Skis Fins Bindings
I know most here wouldn't even think of buying a Freeride. It's all about buoys right? I picked up a 2018 Freeride for my dad to enjoy behind an I/O on a large public lake. He wants a ski for easy deep water starts, lots of stability, and fun that is easy on the body. The Freeride seems to check all boxes. So how did it do after a few times out?

The short answer is, it's everything HO says it is and that's a good thing.

Both my dad and I have taken a few turns now. Deep water starts are easy and quick, my shoulders don't even get wet and the boat is a 40 year old I/O. I couldn't believe how fast I was up and running. My dad also had an easier time getting up, which at 72 years old is a great thing.

Once up it's simply fun. I tried it at 27 mph and it sits nice with little resistance. Even at that speed, I could do fun sweeping carves and pop the larger wake. Going 30 mph it is still stable. Carving is super fun. I lean over some, feel the ski flex a bit, and get a nice arc that is way more fun than it should be. This ski is so forgiving that even a few boats around us didn't stop the fun. Waves are soaked up by the flex and the ski never seems to wander.

Now the best part, you can ski on this thing for what seems like an eternity without getting tired. It almost glides on the water. This was especially noticable after using my Carbon Omni, which isn't exactly a high drag ski either. The Freeride feels like it is just gliding. It doesn't matter if you ride the tail a bit either, the ski shrugs it off and gives more fun.

This isn't a buoy chaser and you know what? That's OK. This ski reminds you of just having fun on the water. It's easy on the body, forgiving, and fun. HO did a good job on this ski. If you are looking for a good beginner ski or are a free skier who doesn't care about the course, this should be on your short list.

Thank you @savaiusini for a fun ski. Also, thanks @perfski for another great purchase experience.


  • savaiusinisavaiusini Posts: 350 Water Ski Industry Professional
    I was looking forward to this report. Glad your dad and you are enjoying it!
    Sam Avaiusini - Operations Manager, HO Sports Company, Snoqualmie, WA
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 630 Crazy Baller
    edited June 2019
    Just to be clear, I'm not about to give up my Carbon Omni or the course. Let's not get too carried away here.
  • YeaitssloYeaitsslo Posts: 14 New Baller
    I was torn between the free ride hovercraft or radar butter knife. Found the butterknife for 250 with bindings. That sold me. Hopefully performs the same.
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 899 Crazy Baller
    I just got the free ride for my brother. He's a little out of shape, and has a 20' bowrider with a very slow pull up. He hasn't skied in several years as he couldn't get up behind his boat. 1st try on the freeride was behind our boat. Took a couple tries, but finally figured out we need as little throttle as I could. Next day he got behind his boat and got right up. Like @vtmecheng said, my brother also commented on how little work it took, and he could ski a lot longer than he could before. Great to see him back on the water.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,975 Mega Baller
    edited July 2019
    Those family of skis across the manufacturers are great. Not stealing the freeride buzz but I have a similar family of ski from another manufacturer and it is a lot of fun. It is easy to get up on and ski on. I run the course at 30 mph on it a bunch and have a lot of fun on it.

    I am thinking about speeding the boat up and getting back on my old ski (66" Goode Mid) and it has me thinking if something like an Omni or a Senate would be better for me now.
    Mark Shaffer
  • LobonatorLobonator Posts: 67 Baller
    I have a free ride, can definitely agree with the ease of starting and riding. Although, I found mine to not turn nearly as hard as I liked.

    Still, have, use and love this ski for days where things are totally blown out or Im in the mood for boosting it off the wake of a vdrive or I/O.

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