Yes Hybrid 2019-2020 Snowboard Review

UPDATE: Check out our review of the YES. Hybrid Snowboard for 2020/2021 by clicking here.

  • Sizes: 157, 161
  • Flex: 7
  • Profile: CamRock
  • Shape: Directional
  • Price: £489

Why we chose the Yes Hybrid Snowboard: It’s the love child from two of our all-time favourite snowboards.

What happens when two of YES Snowboard’s most prolific freeride decks bump uglies? You get the Hybrid. On the YES 420 side of the family, the board gets its short and fat genes which paved the way for a revolution in powder specific shapes. Then, from its YES PYL heritage, it has that extra kick up the arse for charging harder, steeper lines. An unlikely romance, for sure, but the end result has the look and feel of a modern-day classic.

For a freeride deck, the Hybrid comes in two relatively short sizes (157 and 161) and features a wider than normal waist width. Though taking its cues from the 420, it doesn’t get downsized to quite the same extremes. That said, it still shares all of that surfy, nimble feel – ideal for cutting lines through tight trees and darting from one pillow to the next.

“An unlikely romance, for sure, but the by-product has the look and feel of a modern-day classic”

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By stretching it out a little, however, the Hybrid has plenty of space along the effective edge to bring in YES’ unique Tapered UnderBite technology. Here’s where the PYL’s hard-charging DNA comes in. Where conventional tapered sidecuts gradually tighten the radii towards the back of the board, the Hybrid abruptly steps them at two points along each edge. The result is three separate radii, each one delivering gravity defying performance through the arc.

 “For riders who don’t want to compromise on leaving that perfect line in the mountains, the Hybrid delivers front, rear and four-wheel drive in one”

Turn initiation, whether on the piste or powder, will feel smooth and predictable. Once you’re moving through the turn, the longest, most centre, portion of the edge provides ample grip to keep you railing. Then, when you head through the exit, the tail section of the sidecut engages and slingshots you out like shit off a stick. For riders who don’t want to compromise on leaving that perfect line in the mountains, the Hybrid delivers front, rear, and four-wheel drive all in one.

A directional CamRock profile brings the contact points in and pushes the nose up to help with an extra lift in the deep, while the camber underfoot delivers on the power and drive you need. That’s charged up with a core comprised of poplar, paulownia and bamboo, sandwiched by triax fibreglass layers. Intermediates need not apply; the Hybrid requires your full commitment and attention.

It doesn’t come super cheap, but it’s a fat fistful of cash less than forking out on a powder deck to sit alongsid your everyday ride. Providing you’re not planning too many days in the park this season, the Hybrid’s got you covered for the rest.

Tester’s Verdict

Paul WoolProfessor

“The Yes Hybrid was a major highlight of the season for me. I got out on the 157 for one day hitting a lot of powder and mixed on-piste terrain. I’m a size 9UK (10US) and am about 160lbs, clocking in about 5,10ft. There are all-mountain aspects to it, but the freeride and powder credentials cannot be ignored.

In the snow, this thing rips. It seems to be around a medium stiffness, about 6-7 on the scale with maybe a slightly stiffer tail. It is big and wide, it floats like nothing else and bulldozes everything in its path from pillow to crud, nothing stands in your way. Serious stability in technical terrain or if your charging Mach 10.

“There are all-mountain aspects to it, but the freeride and powder credentials cannot be ignored”

It turns really well for a board with such a big rockered nose, leading you in and out of turns with ease. That underbite tech from the PLY definitely helps dig your edge in for a powerful hold.

My only regret was riding really stiff bindings, I wish I could go back and try some medium or soft bindings to get a more surfy feel which I think is what the board wants to do. It has the illusion of a much bigger board, but it’s far more nimble and responsive once you’re strapped in.”

Tester’s Verdict

Alex CheshireThe Snowboard Asylum

“YES Hybrid. Optimistic nose, PLY side cut and a 420 derived short fat footprint = fun! This thing excels in the pow. That huge surface area and stubby length mean it’s super floaty and super chuckable.

The flex feels softer than the 7/10 they give it, meaning it’s forgiving and fun, but the construction and side cut allows you to push it and drive through turns on the groomed stuff. I would happily take this through the park when there is no fluffy stuff to play in.

“Not a single human had a bad word to say about the Hybrid”

For its girth, it’s surprisingly rapid from edge to edge. Disclaimer; the board test had balls deep fresh, so it was literally in its element. Not a single human had a bad word to say about the Hybrid. I’m trying real hard to find an excuse to fit this into my already bulging quiver. If you like to grin, don’t be an idiot. Get one!”

Tester’s Verdict

Ryan Van KesterenWhitelines

“I’m always excited to get on a YES board, they’re a small company with big ideas; always pushing the boat out and breaking convention. Being a proud owner of the pioneering, ‘short and fat’ YES 420 I was eager to get on the new YES Hybrid. A board believed to be the bastard offspring of YES’s legendary 420 and the PYL (pick your line); kind of like a Pitbull and Grizzly Bear’s love child.

I rode the Hybrid 161 for two days in January right after a heavy dump of snow. In your hand, the board is clearly well built with a nice finish and decent graphics. It has a medium to stiff flex on a directional camrock profile, the camber pitching 4mm in the middle – so not significantly aggressive. Inherited from the PLY is the tapered underbite, right in front of your toes. The 420’s genes are clear to see in the surface area displacement, it is wide in the waist through to the big bulbous nose (yet it is quite a bit longer).

“It is pretty wide, accommodating my big size 11 clown feet, I didn’t feel any toe drag, even on my optimistic Euro-carve attempts”

Not one to ignore a dump, I got some sublime powder experiences on the Hybrid. This thing floats extremely well letting you sit up-right without having to work it too hard. It floats better than the 420 but isn’t as compact, meaning you can’t slash and turn as tight and responsively. On the plus side you’re not leaning back so much and having to manage your speed to avoid getting stuck. It manages well for a board of its size in tight tree runs.

I’m of the opinion that, whether you adjust your bindings or not, most boards can float well on powder – the Hybrid simply manages the flow of snow under the hull better than most, maintaining speed, stability and control, all without chucking snow in your face. Where powder boards, especially those of the rocker variety, fall down is back in on the piste (in groomers or chop). The 420 isn’t a great board on the piste, edges slip and it gets out of control at speed. The Hybrid eliminates this with efficiency, producing an exhilarating carving and charging experience.

The camber, although not as pronounced as some, really comes into effect producing great pop in and out or turns, and helps to really engage the underbite – which is no gimmick. It really digs in and holds, similar to Mervin’s magnitraction. The big nose and stiffness doesn’t deter turn engagement, it will take a bit of getting used to, but it really comes into its own on long fast carves, allowing you to get low and hold on for a rollercoaster ride. Some chatter will creep in on that big nose, but nothing to worry about. It is pretty wide, accommodating my big size 11 clown feet, I didn’t feel any toe drag, even on my optimistic Euro-carve attempts.

It is still a big old battleship, long, wide and stiff, so it will run down crud and plough through slush and pillows with ease. But in rutted out moguls at the end of the day, the board becomes a chore – you can’t win all the time.

The 161 isn’t a board for jibbing, you can press and butter with some effort, it pops an ollie pretty well, but again you have to work for it. The Hybrid’s PLY roots come into effect on the kickers and side hits, it jumps very well feeling stable and nimble in the air. It handles impact well and lets you off with a sketchy landing that a true camber might not.

All in all, I think the Hybrid will be a mainstay of YES’s line up for years to come, it ticks so many boxes. It would suit an intermediate to advanced freeride enthusiast that wants a wide board offering a premium powder ride with plenty of all-mountain abilities thrown in. Awesome job! A major favourite of mine.”

Trade Secrets

Alex Warburton – Brand Director, YES

“The Hybrid was a concept that was initiated by our rep here in BC, Micheal Costigan, who suggested we mix the 420 and PYL ideas into one. It really was that simple – but of course some of the best ideas are, aren’t they?

I’ve always thought the Tapered UnderBite design we debuted the same year as the first 20/20 got a little drowned out with PowderHull hype that year. But it’s really an effective approach to getting all the benefits of taper while maintaining edge-hold and response.

The Hybrid has been an opportunity to blend that with wider platform and more float than the PYL and has quickly become a go-to board for a lot of die-hard PYL and 420 riders.”

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