The YES Optimistic looks like a specialty powder board, and if you find yourself in your local board shop looking for an "all mountain" rig then you'd likely scan right by it. Don't let the shape of this board fool you though! It can handle every condition and do so with aplomb. It is the Bruce Lee of boards.
Yes. Optimistic ReviewPrice: $599 List Pros: Super light, fun, cool shape, big-time float, uber responsive.
Cons: Impossible to center your stance, graphics are uninspiring.
Bottom line: Totally rad! Our tester thinks that if he were you - he would go out and buy one today.
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Our Analysis and Test Results
To look at this board lined up next to all the others one would think it couldn't be classified as an "all mountain board". It clearly has a shape like none other tested. Looks a lot like a powder-only board. The nose appears too long for any condition other than deep pow, and the tail too short to ride backward. It's wide, like really wide, and the rise of the nose and tail look insufficient for it to get over anything - one chunk of ice in your way and you're Tumbleina like this guy here. It out performed all others except the Never Summer Proto-Type Two.
Edging and Carving
The Optimistic is easy to get in and out of turns, holds it's edge well through turns at all speeds, and has no problem tracking straight down the hill. Our tester assumed, based on the shape of it, that the board would have trouble straight-lining and going backwards, especially in deeper snow and crud, but he was mistaken. Even though you cannot fully center the stance, and that the tail is so short, it rode backward just fine - like a lot of other standard shapes on the market. The only boards to match it in this category are the Jones Explorer and the Burton Flight Attendant. The only board to beat it in this category is the T.Rice Pro Pointy.
Float in Powder
For maximum float in powder one cannot beat a super wide surf board style nose with a set-back stance. Other hybrid rocker boards like the Rossignol One, the Never Summer Proto Type Two, and the Burton Custom Flying V are great at staying on top in the deepest pow, but none of those boards can match the YES chiefly because of the nose profile.
Stability at Speed
YES really did a great job designing this board. The combination of the Undebite edge design, the stiff flex, and the overall shape makes up for the hybrid-rocker profile, which normally make a board a little squirrelly at speed. The length of the nose caused a little more chatter on crud though. Similar scoring boards are the Arbor Wasteland and the Flying-V
Think of the YES Optimistic's playfulness as a six month old kitten with a ball of cat-nip infused yarn mixed with Jet Li's furiously fast and precise kung-fu moves. Maybe, if you practice enough on the Optimistic you can become the new Master - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLL9plgz0pg
The only category where this board falls a little short is in it's ability to snap off the flats or the lip of a jump is pop. Riders use to boards with longer tails will really have to try to make the Optimistic get as much air off flat ground as easily as sticks with bigger tails. Our tester was still able to ollie and jump just fine, but it took a few more laps to figure out the tail.
Any condition, any feature, any conceivable situation - this board has you covered.
You will definitely get your money's worth out of this whip.
This board is a pretty dang amazing ride and you should definitely give one a test ride, or just run out and buy one immediately - for real. The only reason it's not our Editors Choice is because it's lacking that special asymmetrical heel edge magic that the Never Summer Proto Type Two has. If YES made an assym version of this board our tester promises he would never ride another board.
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: March 27, 2018
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