YES Basic 2016-2017

UPDATE: Check out our review of the 2018/2019 YES Basic Decade here

  • Price: £320
  • Sizes: 146, 149, 152, 155, 156W, 158, 159W, 161, 163W
  • Flex: 7
  • Profile: Hybrid Camber
  • Shape: True Twin

If you’ve never tried the YES Basic yourself, get talking to some fellow riders. It won’t be long before you meet someone who has, and we’d bet our bottom dollar that they’ll be singing its praises. Its golden reputation stems mainly from its pound-for-pound performance; you’d really struggle to find another board at this price point that’s as well-loved.

Along with the Emoticon (which is essentially a female-specific version of the same board). the YES Basic is one of two lower-priced boards to feature ‘Underbite’ technology. Brand Director Alex Warburton explains it in more detail below, but suffice to say its performance on the hill hasn’t gone un-noticed. Some brands place protrusions along the edge to better grip the hard-pack, but YES have done the exact opposite – and it’s worked a treat.

“Some brands place protrusions along the edge to better grip the hard-pack, but YES have done the exact opposite – and it’s worked a treat”

Meanwhile the ‘Camrock’ profile is ideal for dabbling in a bit of everything. The camber section between the feet makes for snappy ollies and carves (the latter enhanced by that Underbite), while the rocker sections make it easier to butter around on the piste and press boxes, picnic tables and the like. They also make it slightly easier to ride powder.

The core is full poplar, with a layer of biax fibreglass. Both of these are fairly ‘basic’, they do have their positives. The combination delivers an even, predictable flex that’s nice and strong, with a decent amount of give from edge to edge. Whether you’re learning your first turns or wanging off your zillionth sidehit, the YES Basic has a lot to offer.

The base is extruded rather than sintered, but at that low price you can’t have everything. Besides, extruded bases don’t require as much love, so what the Basic lacks in straightline speed it more than makes up for in convenience.

Any rider on a budget simply has to be considering the YES Basic, but even if you’re not strapped for cash then picking up one of these gives you plenty of leftover wedge to put towards a specialist powder board.

Tester’s Verdict

Chris Sturgess –

This board is anything but basic! Loaded full of YES’ tech, it is the benchmark board from which most others in the brand’s line are derived.

“It’s the perfect board for those beginners who are progressing quickly, as well as more experienced riders”

When testing, rarely do you get an instant feeling of being at one with the board. It’s like meeting up with an old friend – familiar, yet still exciting and fun to ride.

With a good range of sizes (and plenty of wides too) it is the perfect board for those beginners who are progressing quickly, as well as more experienced riders who just want a great snowboard without breaking the bank.


Trade Secrets

Alex Warburton –  Brand Director, YES

Here’s a little UnderBite 101 – We take a radial (not exactly, but for the purpose of this discussion let’s say it is) sidecut and at two small sections at the inserts, we step it inward by a couple of millimetres. This disrupts the surface area that has contact with the snow while the board is on edge.

Without requiring any extra effort from the rider, this effectively increases edge pressure on the areas where you need it most, helping to initiate, hold and snap out of your turn. The effect is stable edge control and a very confident, enhanced arc in your turn with no drag.

Our problem (not yours) with putting it on the Basic is that it was only a year after we did that that we fully understood how expensive it was to get those step dimensions exactly right. But now we’re committed. We can’t pull the feature.

So while some will try and up-sell you on materials, we have unwittingly handed over a more expensive technology at a mid-entry price point. This tech doesn’t have to be tuned, and it’s not hiding under the topsheet – it’s there in plain sight and can be felt every time you lean into a turn.

My margins will never be the same, so I hope you enjoy it…

[monetizer101 search=’YES Basic’]

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Selected for The 2016/17 Snowboard 100

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