TESTERS CHOICE – Best Snowboard Shapes 2015/16
YES have never been ones to shy away from experimenting with new snowboard shapes. The YES 420 kickstarted a ‘short and wide’ revolution upon its release, while the Clark invites riders to cut their own unique design from a blank template. They’ve stepped up another gear with the YES 20/20, one that they say is for ‘Early Adopters & Futurists’.
The YES 20/20 started life when the guys were looking to make a twin version of the 420. To compensate for the lack of taper, they took influence from wakeboarding and designed the ‘3D Powderhull’.
On firmer snow it’ll ride much the same as a normal stubby stick with a mostly flat base, but the concave sections at each end really come into play in the deep stuff.
Air is forced under the board at the nose, preventing you from going over the handlebars, and the snow is fired out at the tail which allows it to sink down. The result is a board that is incredibly easy to keep afloat, despite its lack of length.
That price is a little eye-watering, but this is a unique bit of kit that you simply have to try – and we’d be far from surprised if this technology isn’t seen in more boards in the near future. Ever had a rooster tail when riding in a straight line?
“While swallowtails and pointy noses have become all the rage of late, genuinely radical leaps in snowboard design are harder to come by. This, though, is a twin tip like no other.
The factory YES use has experience manufacturing watersports equipment, and indeed the 20/20 looks more wakeboard than snowboard, but boy does it work!
On powder it seems to hover across the surface like a magic carpet, with minimal speed required and zero leg burn, and unlike so many other quiver sticks it’s easy to ride backwards - in fact this is the first board I’ve ever tried that made switch riding on powder faces just as easy as on piste.
"On powder it seems to hover across the surface like a magic carpet, with minimal speed required and zero leg burn"
Whether it’s the 3D scoop acting as a kind of powder hyrdrofoil or simply the huge surface area I’m not sure, but the 20/20 also threw out some of the most extreme roosters I’ve ever seen - there is literally snow spraying forwards as you surf down the fall line and face shots are a regular occurrence.
Granted, it’s not as comfortable on the groomers as YES’ other popular fat board, the 420 (it invites you to butter more than carve) but it has more than enough edge hold to get you safely under the ropes from the top of the lift – which, let’s be honest, is where you’ll be looking to spend your time on this thing.
Should you take the plunge, expect plenty of mates to beg for a go; there were literally folk fighting over the demo model at the board test."