Yes The Y 2019-2020 Snowboard Review

  • Sizes: 151, 154, 157, 161
  • Flex: 8
  • Profile: CamRock
  • Shape: Directional
  • Price: £399

Why, oh why, has The Y not been a staple in YES snowboard’s line since day one? Drawing its inspiration from the Optimistic, this newcomer takes that resort freeriding versatility and opens it up to the masses – both in its construction and price point.

Crucially, the shape remains the same. This gives the Y most of the same characteristics as its big brother. You get the same voluminous nose and pointed tail, with all the extra waist width to keep things floaty in powder.

“Where a more aggressive camber is used in the Optimistic, the Y turns the dial down a little”

Around the edges, the UnderBite sidecut construction features again, too. This concept, unique to YES, pulls the edge in around the binding inserts and redirects increased pressure out to the ends of the board for more grip with less effort. Whichever phase of the arc you find yourself in, the Y loads up the right portion of the edge to deliver grip that a conventional sidecut would struggle to match.

Where a more aggressive camber is used in the Optimistic, the Y turns the dial down a little. By placing rocker sections in the nose and tail, it not only makes the Y a much more forgiving option, it also increases its versatility outside of its carving domain. You’ll gain a little extra uplift in powder, and have less chance of hookups when you take a couple turns in reverse gear or, for the braver riders out there, attempt to lock in a couple switch landings.

Where things take a significant shift towards the mellow is in the board’s flex. The multi-wood, carbon-infused core has been substituted out for a full poplar build, sandwiched with easier going biax fibreglass layers. While this takes some of the bite out of the Y, it’s still chomping at the bit for the same big slashes, wide-open turns and fully railed carves as the Optimistic, just with less of a that no compromise, all or nothing nature from its predecessor.

Tester’s Verdict

Paul WoolProfessor

“I rode the fantastic Yes Optimistic the season before, so I was keen to have a go on the new Y model, which is coined as a more affordable Optimistic.

At a glance the Y looks like a wide floaty powder board, and that it is. It floats like a dream in the powder, and its short and wide profile allows tight responsive turns without getting too out of control, making it great for tree runs. It has is rockered out the nose and tail keeping you afloat, allowing you to lean back with ease.

But it is not a one-hit-wonder. It is packed with good times across the whole mountain. I was particularly shocked by its ability to carve, and carve well. This was a stand out on the Optimisitc, and I gotta say the Y felt just as good in this department, in spite of having a less pronounced camber that rockers out more in the nose and tail.

It has got the Yes underbite profile going on in the edge which really dug in and held excellently, always initiating on cue – popping in and out of turns felt effortless. It felt solid charging and turning through choppy conditions and slush. On fresh groomers, the Yes Y facilitated some extremely powerful turns, the wide waist really came into its own covering up my big size 11 feet and allowed me to get super low on both heel and toe side. It would chatter a bit, but nothing to cause concern. Overall it was a super stable ride.

“I’ve not seen the specs, but it definitely has a softer flex than the Optimistic (which – I recall – is as stiff as a steel rod)”

I’ve not seen the specs, but it definitely has a softer flex than the Optimistic (which – I recall – is as stiff as a steel rod), which I really liked. It still handled speed really well with a more effortless vibe across the mountain.

The camber provided solid pop in and out of turn but worked super well with ollies and side hits. I hit a couple of kickers which the board boosted well, however, I think bigger jumps would take a bit of getting used to, I think the smaller size of the board sketched me out a few times, it just felt a bit less stable in the air, but whatever.

I don’t recall the Y being particularly good for buttering, but who cares, this thing wants to be ridden low and fast, both on the piste and in the backcountry.

I loved the wide short profile that doesn’t overdo it. It also pleasantly shocked me in the carving department. A great board for someone looking to step up to something more challenging, or looking to get a gnarlier 2nd board, without breaking the bank. What a pleasure, nice one YES!”


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