The Yes Optimistic edges like a formula one car and floats like an eagle riding an aerial thermal. This model can't be judged by its appearance. The unappealing graphic and powder centric shape is not representative of its versatile performance. The strategically designed board is great for riders who love railing turns, riding deep powder and buttering around the mountain. We are stoked to give the 2019 OutdoorGearLab Editors' Choice Award to the Optimistic.
Yes. Optimistic Review
Cons: Tricky to size, unappealing graphic
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Our Analysis and Test Results
For the 2018-19 Season, the Yes Optimistic has more camber before beginning its rockered tip and tail. This helps to provide a chatter-free ride and promote stability at speed. Our testers didn't note any chatter which can be prevalent in shapes with longer nose profiles. The Optimistic's shape is different from the rest, and its performance was distinctive.
At first glance, the Optimistic looks very powder specific. However, the Optimistic carves like a formula one car, holding tight and long turns with precision and power. Our testers felt they could make turns they have never been able to make; in particular the ever challenging heelside turn. This model has a wider waist width yet is easy to roll on edge. This helps to manage toe drag for larger foot riders. This model has a stiff torsional (side to side)flex pattern to provide a stable and strong turning platform. A platform that you can trust helps you get deeper and accelerate out of your turns.
To help your turn radius the Optimistic has one of the tightest sidecuts in the review next to the Ride Warpig. We felt we could make the tightest and most symmetrical turns on both our toes and heel with this model in all conditions. In the firmest of surfaces, this model provided secure edge hold thanks to its UnderBite Technology. Underbite is a form of edge disruption (an intentional inconsistency in the sidecut) to provide additional grip in ice conditions. Although it didn't perform as well as magne-traction, it offered more security than the standard edge. The Underbite is one of the few edge indentions rather than protrusions on the markets. Our testers really liked this style of displacement. It accomplished its goal of increased edge hold but also made for quick and energetic turning character when engaged.
The board doesn't relay a lot of in turn feedback to the rider due to its stiffness. We were thrown out of some turns because of the amount of power that was actually in the turn that we couldn't feel. There is a buy into this model, it is not meant for beginners but perfect for upper-level intermediates and beyond. It generally feels rigid and stable rather than playful when turning. If you're looking for a first board, check out the Never Summer Proto Type Two. If you're looking for a hard carver, then the Optimistic is a great choice. It provides a diverse turning character that can be strong and stable but also energetic and poppy. The ability to hold tight radius turns was unparalleled. Its performance on edge was rewarded with a coveted and fugally distributed 10 out of 10.
Float in Powder
Looks like a powder shape right? While it excels on edge the long rockered nose and natural setback provide floatation expected from its powder specific shape.
The uplifted contact points from the rockered profile and length of this nose keep the nose up to work for you. That way you can keep riding powder rather than tomahawking, shaking out your jacket and risking injury. The Optimistic has a 6mm taper meaning the nose is wider the tail by that measurement.
As a result of the differing surface areas, the tail will naturally sink further in the snow. It has a unique and surf-inspired tail to promote increased float and maneuverability of the board. This model shined bobbing through trees and also performing longer turns and higher speeds. We found this board to provide an unreal, user-friendly, and nimble powder experience that would keep us on the mountain for two reasons; so much fun and lack of rider fatigue. The Optimistic scored a 9 out of 10 on this metric.
Stability at Speed
The Optimistic is often downsized in length. The wide waist width and proportionately adapted effective edge make it ride bigger. Here we tested the 151 model, and it had the one snow feel of a 157/158cm. Its stiff profile keeps chatter to a minimum which adds to mental comfort and physical security. Tight sidecuts can have the potential to passively engage when straight lining.
Our testers did not encounter this problem but analyzing the specs lead us to believe it has potential in incredibly rare circumstances. However, the stiff mostly camber profile provides plenty of stability even for those that charge directly down the fall line. The Optimistic held high speed turns with ease and security. We rarely felt we were going to lose edge hold in long radius or short radius turns. The limiting reagent was generally our skimpy early season quads. This model provided all the stability we feel most riders need and require. From our testing, the Optimistic received a 7/10 score.
This is a stiff board. Yet it breaks the general rule the stiff boards are less playful. This was one of our favorite models to butter and skid turns around the mountain. We found it to be incredibly versatile, but it must be sized correctly.
According to Yes, you should downsize from your traditional snowboard to unlock the true versatility of this model. We can support this statement from our experience as well. The wider waist width and effective edge allow the board to ride bigger when connected to the snow and easy to move around. The long and mostly cambered nose locks into presses well and allows you to place a lot of your weight into the nose without toppling over. The opposite goes for the tail. Tail presses and butters are challenging due to the short and stiff tail. Although, the tail shape does allow for ease edge disengagement to slash around your favorite resort. The Optimistic surprised our testers with its versatility, buttering and slashing abilities especially considering it flex. Its balanced profile earned a 9 out of 10 in this metric.
Pop and Jumping
If you are used to popping and landing on a twin tip then be patient; popping off of a shorter tail takes some adjustment. It's just a tighter margin in every step. Once we adapted, our testers felt the pop generated from camber often surprising and plentiful.
Built into this metric is landing security. This also took some adapting to figure the shorter tail. We had a smaller margin for error when landing in the back seat than most models in the review. At times we could save these landing and other times we would wash out. The tail is stiff enough where we could catch our selves when landing off balance but didn't provide as much stability as the Lib Tech Travis Rice Pro Pointy. Once a rider is tuned into this boards popping and landing style its pretty darn good and earned a 7 out 10.
The Optimistic is best suited for everyday use that can be trusted in every situation. In particular, it excels on groomers, and in powder.
The Optimistic is a great value for the performance and durability provided in this 599 dollar package.
The Yes Optimistic provided a high quality of experience all over the mountain. It's stand out performance in edging, float in powder, and playfulness makes this an awesome board. Its well-rounded performance helped secure its spot as the 2018-19 Editors' Choice winner. This is a great board for the all mountain rider who spends most of their time in quest of the deepest carves and powder but isn't afraid to venture off-piste and butter around the mountain. In our testing, the Optimistic outperformed the competitors in the overall ranking system. If this style of board fits your riding style, then you should probably go buy it. If not check out our buying advice and other reviews to find your perfect match.
Other Versions and Accessories
The Yes Optimistic comes in a 151, 154, and 157. We tested the 151. Remember to downsize to maximize the versatility of the board.
— Isaac Laredo