Riptide Ukulele

Riptide ukuleles are fairly new on the scene. They are made by Boulder Creek Guitars (in China).

Their most obvious feature is the oddly placed soundholes - one in the top corner of the soundboard and one on the side. The one on the soundboard is presumably to make way for some fancy bracing on the inside (they boast about the suspended bracing system on their guitars but their ukes don't seem to feature this). The one on the side lets the player hear more clearly what the sound coming out of the ukulele actually is. What you hear when you're playing can be quite different from what the audience hears - to get a better idea, stand right in front of a wall and play.

On Video

musicguymic checks out the Boulder Creek Riptide tenor ukulele.

On eBay

23 Comments

  1. Adam July 31st, 2010 6:45 am

    Played one in a guitar shop today and fell in love. I ended up playing it for about an hour, getting funny, yet impressed looks from the guys that worked there. My next uke purchase: RipTide UC-5NS.

  2. Sally December 6th, 2010 3:56 am

    just bought a tenor riptide uke. I love it! it is solid wood (sprouse on top, rosewood on the back) and has beautiful inlay. The sound is incredible. I usually go for the soprano or concert size, but i love the tone of this ukulele!!!

  3. shane spann December 28th, 2010 9:29 pm

    just traded for a mahogany riptide with the pickup to play in the worship band at my church! love this thing-great tone plugged and unplugged-

  4. shane spann December 28th, 2010 9:31 pm

    sorry-forgot to rate it

  5. Uri March 28th, 2011 4:27 am

    just bought Riptide UC-2N Solid spruce top. The sound so clear and I love it!!!.

  6. Scott June 13th, 2011 9:03 pm

    One of the best deals in a solid spruce top. It has much better tone and sustain the other ukes I’ve played or tested in this price range. I don’t have much experience on ukulele yet, but I’ve played piano for over 40 years, and my ears are not completely shot yet. I will say that the RipTides seem to sound better to the player than to the audience, due to the weird sound port proportions. Strings were high; needed a setup.

  7. Andrew Koh August 18th, 2011 12:55 am

    The EUC-2N Riptide Tenor is one of the best acoustic sounding Ukulele I have a played.
    Plug the electrical connection to my digital wireless system and I got 7-9 metres of freedom without any cables from the ukulele.

    See http://www.youtube.com/user/angelofmusic477#p/a/u/1/136WGScS36s

  8. Jeff Gusfield January 9th, 2012 5:02 am

    I’ve been playing rosewood Martin guitars with spruce tops for fifty years. When it came time to look for a ukelele, one that could project and blossom, I went for that familiar classical formula. This EUC-2N Riptide tenor was the loudest and best sustained uke out of fifty others, including Lanakais, Cordobas, and twelve other makers. It was superior to a huge Lanakai baritone! I bought it at Sam Ash in Palatine, Illinois and paid $40 more for it than I could have on ebay because I have to play a musical instrument before I even consider buying it, and because I want to keep American retail alive, even when they’re selling Chinese goods. Unplugged, this little uke sounded better than all the rest. I scooped it up without a case. I love the darned thing.

  9. Rusty February 28th, 2012 10:02 pm

    This is my first uke. My family gave me the money to get the one I wanted for my birthday. I chose a Riptide eut5ns. I actually spoke to Mike Shellhammer, the designer of these instruments and he told me he likes the laminate instruments better because he can make the tops thinner, and therefore more resonant and stable. I love it! It sounds rich and full. I’m tempted to get a second one, with low G tuning. Yes, the action could most certainly be lower, but it’s not horible, and the uke will be awesome when I have an adjustment done.

  10. Jan Brown March 18th, 2012 10:28 am

    I bought a beautiful riptide concert ukulele in November and am a member of a 200 strong uke club that meets fortnightly to play. Mine looks and sounds one of the best there. The shell inlay is so beautiful around the edges and sound holes and the word riptide is set in shell too. The sound is amazing. I would highly recommend this uke to anyone.
    I have to admit I love it so much that I have on occasion played late into the night and kissed it before going to bed. I’ve never loved a musical instrument like this one.
    I am a realtor and the sound is so good I take it to open home inspections and play until buyers walk in to view the property then I stop playing and get many comments that the people thought it was a cd playing – you don’t get that sort of robust sound from many other ukes. Buy this and you will never be disappointed.

  11. batesey April 15th, 2012 7:57 am

    I bought a RipTide soprano as my first uke a few months ago and I think its fantastic….really good value for money. Now that its been played a while the sound has really mellowed and it stays in tune really well. I like the fact that the sound comes up to the player so that I can hear all my mistakes! I’m now absolutely hooked on ukes!

  12. Ann June 1st, 2012 6:12 am

    One thing that I think should be mentioned about the Riptide is this… The soundhole on the side of the instrument can be an issue for a female player. My dad and I both tried this uke (I actually did buy it) and I noticed that when he was playing it, it was much louder than when I was. Why? Because if you’re a woman, your chest is very likely to block that side soundhole!! So for the last couple of days (since I bought it), I’ve been trying to find a position where that doesn’t happen. Not so easy. Be aware ladies.

  13. Kurt January 9th, 2013 5:57 am

    I bought mine for Christmas. I liked the UC11NS the first time I saw it (probably because it was different). I went to the store probably 4-5 times before buying it. I really like the wood grain and the sound. There is a slight issue with the glue joint down the center where they booked the wood. Near the bottom it appears they were light on the glue and about one inch did not get glued. There is no vibration yet, if the wood wasn’t so unique on this particular one I would have exchanged it already. Great looks, great sound and seems easy to play!

  14. Kurt January 9th, 2013 5:59 am

    Comments, forgot!!!

  15. TJ March 1st, 2013 8:51 am

    Went into Guitar Center to buy a strap, can out with a UC-11NS Acacia Concert Ukulele. Played guitar for a while, this is my first uke. Looks and sounds stunning, I got one that has a blonde streak where it was quartersawn, so I have a beautiful 1 1/4″ streak down the center of the uke. Needs a slight set up, but even as is plays nice, and sounds wonderful! Couldn’t be happier!

  16. Lynda April 23rd, 2013 3:05 pm

    After trying a bunch of different ukuleles I settled on a Rip Tide as being the best sounding. I got a UC11NS. It is also the best looking. Win!!!

    Guitar Center only had a couple Rip Tide models, and none of the other stores in town carried them. It’d be fun to try out an entire store of Rip Tides. :)

    They had a beautiful, dark wood one with pickup, but it had a string buzz from the pickup on one string. Watch out for that.

    I wish Rip Tide would add their suspended bracing and a strengthening rod to the ukuleles. I’d like to be able to have pins added for a guitar type strap.

    Anyway, this is a beautiful looking and sounding uke and I’m really happy with it.

  17. Isaac May 29th, 2013 4:34 am

    I recently bought the Riptide Concert Solid Top with the gloss finish and I’m absolutely in love with it. It plays, sounds, and looks amazing. There was no need to adjust anything for it was perfectly set up. Great price for a great ukulele. I recommend it to anyone who’s a serious ukulele player.

  18. TJ May 30th, 2013 5:22 pm

    Liked my first Riptide so much I wound up buying a second! Purchased the Riptide UC-11NS Acacia Concert Ukulele, abalone inlays, a streak of blond heartwood down the middle making it look even more dramatic, went back in for a book, the EUT-5NS Tenor Acoustic-Electric Ukulele, with satin mahogany finish, happened to be on sale. Great tone, fit and finish are good, great ukes for the price! My only quibble is that one of the nuts holding the tuners down was loose, so it rattled; tightened it down, it’s been perfect ever since. Very happy with both!

  19. Steve August 23rd, 2013 9:32 pm

    I recently bought a Riptide EUB-5NS baritone as my first uke. I’m a former bass player who has switched over because of arthritis and nerve issues reducing my hand strength.

    I like this instrument a lot – it projects well at all-acoustic gigs, and plays quite well in tune for having a non-compensated bridge.

    I have had a couple of minor issues related to the pickup system. First-the cable from the piezo under-saddle pickup seems to also be made of the same piezo coax. When I first started using the uke, this was touching the top slightly and this made a buzzing sound. I wrapped a small piece of foam around the cable and that fixed it.

    The other issue is that the first string isn’t getting picked up through the system very much. I’ve written to the manufacturer for advice on this.

    Overall, I’m pleased with it, and I feel it is well worth its (modest) price.

  20. kyle September 10th, 2013 7:26 pm

    Have had my riptide for just over year now and its by far the best uke I have ever played.the sound quality is great and the deign is new nd unique the 18 fret fret board is wide spaced and perfect for tabs even though the uke is a concert.

  21. jim April 19th, 2014 8:08 pm

    Last year my 23 year-old daughter finally decided to actually take up an instrument, and decided on the uke. She was moving 1000 miles away soon, so we went to Sam Asch to get her one. She chose a Riptide, mostly because it was unique looking. I checked it out for her and it sounded quite fine. One year, and 3 continents later she is back in Philadelphia, having made friends the world over by playing with strangers. The tone complements her voice, projects well outdoors, and the instrument stays in tune despite travel conditions. She played at my recent wedding, partly because the soundhole enabled her to hearher playing better and she was able to adjust her singing. I played it last night and the tone seems to have improved with age. Highly recommended, especially for newer ukeists and travel.

  22. Andrew Koh June 6th, 2014 3:48 am

    After using the EUT-2N tenor ukulele electric pickup for less than 2 years, I discover to my dismay the pickup does not work anymore, after replacing 2 packs of the button batteries. I have to go back to the shop that I purchase from… that means I have to leave my ukulele there for a while. I am also not sure how much that gonna cost me. If it is too exp, I will dunk my ukulele and replaced with other more reliable uke.
    Sorry riptide for this negative comments.

  23. Laraine July 17th, 2014 7:49 am

    I bought my Tenor uke at the Hawi Gallery in Hawaii about 3 years ago. I play accoustically and also drop a small mic in the sound hole and play with an amp sometimes. I love this little uke and so does everyone who picks it up and plays it. It has a full bodied, warm sound. I play mostly blues with full bands, so I am now looking for an electric tenor so I can get more volume. I have traveled a lot with this uke and it keeps tuned, even after airplane hell. I really like the simple unadorned finish because it is getting prettier as it ages. I play almost every day, it being my favorite instrument.

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