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Yes 20/20 2019-2020 Snowboard Review

  • Sizes: 157, 161
  • Flex: 7
  • Profile: Camber + PowderHull
  • Shape: True Twin
  • Price: £619
  • BUY DIRECT FROM YES

Why we chose the Yes 20/20 Snowboard: A see-through, true twin, powder specific board which smashes the pistes and can even take a run in the park? Hell yeah!

Many men will be thrilled to read that good things sometimes do come in small packages. Case in point being the YES 20/20. Three years since it was first released, Romain, DCP and JP have redesigned that most elusive of things – a true twin powder snowboard. Welcome to the new age of backcountry freestyle.

If you think you’ve seen this design before, you have. Google: “Back to the Future Hoverboard”. The new Powder Hull 2.0 has made some significant advances from its origins. The concave sections in the nose and tail work around the same principle of pushing the nose of the board up and creating pockets of air to help with float, but you only have to glance at it to see what’s new.

“If you think you’ve seen this design before, you have. Google: “Back to the Future Hoverboard””

Inspired by George Greenough’s Velo kneeboard designs of the 1960s, the 20/20 has adopted CoreLess Tech to create the same contours in the base’s profile but done away with almost all of the materials. The result is a translucent, space-age looking construction with a nearly nonexistent swing weight.

First order of business will be flipping the bird to all your mates from behind the snowboard’s veil. Once that novelty passes, get yourself into the deepest snow to experience the real magic. The 20/20 “wallops” and “whomps” its way over pillows and powder pockets. The harder you push it down, the more it wafts you back up to the surface.

Naturally, short powder specific boards such as these make up their surface area through increased width. The frequent gripe from this is that, even with tighter sidecuts, the snowboard can still feel somewhat sluggish from edge to edge, with minimal torsional flex.

 “By drastically pulling in the sidecut in between the inserts, the board becomes significantly more agile and manoeuvrable, whilst still retaining all of its volume at the ends”

So, here’s the second stroke of genius in this year’s 20/20: MidBite. By drastically pulling in the sidecut in between the inserts, the board becomes significantly more agile and manoeuvrable, whilst still retaining all of its volume at the ends. It even has surprisingly effective handling on the piste now, too. This doesn’t detract from its powder performance, but it makes it a much safer option to pull out the locker on the days when you may have to hunt a little harder to find the goods.

Of course, there are shorter, longer, softer, stiffer or just more conventional powder decks out there, but the 20/20 brings out a side to riding powder that few others come close to. Slashes are great, but so are spins. Why not do both?

Tester’s Verdict

Will HughesDragon Lodge

“This was by far my favourite board I tested. I ride the Greats 154 as my do everything board and this feels just like it. The waist width is about one centimetre wider so it was a little slower edge to edge with my little size sevens but the midbite between the bindings helped with edge hold when the snow was firmer.

 “The new coreless tech makes it so light and easy to throw around do things that virtually no other powder board out there can”

It’s all about the powder with this one. Perfect size for blasting around and sending it off every hit in the backcountry – regular or switch. The new coreless tech makes it so light and easy to throw around do things that virtually no other powder board out there can.

This, with the stiffish flex and camber profile, makes it perfect for charging around pistes getting your carve on but the all the new powder hull tip and tail make it primed for the deep stuff (adding float when off-piste). If it’s one board for powder, piste, and even a bit of park you’re after then you can’t go wrong with one of these. I want one.”

Tester’s Verdict

Rob McCreathWhitelines

“This thing is straight up from the future. What an absolutely MENTAL powder quiver board. I’d always eyed these things up at trade shows and around the mountain but never had the opportunity to take one out for a spin. My fortunes changes this year when one arrived at my door in Tignes.

First up, it’s a thing of beauty. The coreless powder hull is like nothing I’ve ever seen on a snowboard before. Initially, I thought it looked a little on the fragile side and I wondered how it might flex or handle heavy backseat landings. I’m glad to report there were no such issues. YES have strengthened the core around the concave profiles so it feels just as solid as any other snowboard, but a hell of a lot lighter.

As soon as the next snowfall landed, my bindings were screwed on the night before and I was frothing to get going. Straight off the chair and in 10cm of fresh snowfall on top of the pistes it rode like a dream. Light and floaty, just like you’d expect, and begging to be buttered and jibbed around the place. Switch powder isn’t a strong point in my riding (is it a strong point in anyone’s riding?), but it will never feel as easy and intuitive as it does on this snowboard. Totally balanced, and so short that the contact points don’t feel intimidatingly far away from you.

“Powderhull has to be the raddest invention in snowboard technology in the last three years, not just because of how it looks, but how insanely well it performs”

I made my way over to a couple of secret stashes of snow where I knew wouldn’t have been tracked out by the masses yet. As soon as I hopped off the pistes and into the trees, I was treated to some of the best turns of my season. That was partly thanks to the conditions, but about 80% down to the 20/20. However you ride it – centred, backfoot, switch – it feels totally unsinkable. Powderhull has to be the raddest invention in snowboard technology in the last three years, not just because of how it looks, but how insanely well it performs.

It’s not the snowboard I’d want under my feet if I was taking on 50°+ slopes, and certainly not a snowboard that makes me want to point and shoot down a couloir, but that’s not what it’s interested in. It’s still pretty stiff and felt stabl at higher speeds, but this is a snowboard for riders who want to make the most of every run by eyeing up features, spinning of every single drop and pop and completely redefining their approach to riding powder. There are a million powder boards out there, but for 2020, the 20/20 offers something truly unique.

Having never ridden one before, I can’t comment on its improvements or changes from its predecessors. The MidBite seemed to work well back on piste, and by bringing the powder hull in just a fraction from the nose and tail, YES say it offers more stability on the limits of the board. That may be true – you’d have to ask someone else. What I will say is that, if this year’s upgrades give the snowboard more all-mountain versatility, that just makes it easier to take out every day and go hunt every stash of powder left on the mountain. The upgrades seem to have taken nothing away from its performance off-piste, but allow you to squeeze every last drop of fun out of your days, whatever the weather. Thank you YES. Abso-bloody-lutely nailed it.”

Trade Secrets

Alex Warburton – Brand Director, YES

“The past couple years we’ve been making adjustments to the original PowderHull design to give it better hold on landings for aggressive backcountry stuntmen like RDM as well as elevate the finishing levels befitting such a high-end product. Pulling the concave in from the edges achieved both without sacrificing any of the lift in powder that the design was producing. I also wanted to bring more response and edge hold into the outline so employing new sidecut ratios along with MidBite has made the board a solid performer on-piste and resort park laps.”

Tester’s Verdict 2018/19

Lauren MacCallumprotectourwinters.uk

“The YES 20/20 is a special beast. It looks like Marty McFly’s hoverboard shagged a wakeboard and then that McWake board had sex with a snowboard, and this was the result. Interesting…

And that’s exactly what the 20/20 is, interesting! The true twin makes it really easy to manoeuvre, and so does the size. A good 5cm shorter than what I usually ride, the shape is something else! It’s short, fat and flat making it so much fun in powder!

“It did take me a minute to adjust to the unique shape, but then it clicked”

It did take me a minute to adjust to the unique shape, but then it clicked. I found the “powder hull” really lifts that nose out of the way. Giving it so much float and manoeuvrability like nothing else I have experienced before.

Once you’re in the powder there aren’t many boards like it. Getting to the powder, it’s still fun, but definitely better boards out there that ride the whole mountain. Although that’s not what you buy this board for.”

Tester’s Verdict 2018/19

John Wellswhitelines.com

“Bizarre? Yes. Brilliant? Yes. The mad scientists over at YES, who cooked up the original ‘short ‘n’ fat’ beauty that is the 420, confounded convention once again with the 20/20.

The base design actually works, giving an amazing hover feeling (yes, more than normal) when cruising on powder at speed. The year the 20/20 came out I heard this board described as ‘a magic carpet’, and I have to agree.

“The 20/20’s true twin shape is super fun, opening up switch riding, butters and spins”

In a genre dominated by directional boards, the 20/20’s true twin shape is super fun, opening up switch riding, butters and spins; all are noticeably easier. On top of this the small responsive size makes weaving and jumping in the trees a blast.

The whole short and wide genre of boards gets labelled too often as powder only, however it is a vast oversight to label this one a one-trick-pony. Personally I loved the 20/20 on the groomers too; of course it lacks the control and stability of the long and stiff charging planks, but who cares? What you lack in stability you make up for in responsive tight turning capabilities, opening up a world of fun.

It’s a pricey board, I’ll give you that. But definitely a great experience and worth every penny.”

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