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Yes. Optimistic Review

Our first choice that we would recommend to anyone on the hunt for a new ride
Yes. Optimistic
Photo: Backcountry
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $670 List | $569.99 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Floaty, precise edging, good construction, playful
Cons:  Switch performance
Manufacturer:   Yes.
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 29, 2020
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84
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 16
  • Edging - 25% 10
  • Float in Powder - 20% 9
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 7
  • Playfulness - 20% 8
  • Pop and Jumping - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Yes Optimistic edges like a formula one car and floats like an eagle riding an aerial thermal. It plays like a park board; the 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Yes. Optimistic
This Product
Yes. Optimistic
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award    
Price $569.99 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$570 List$489.99 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$499.95 at Backcountry
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$579.95 at Backcountry
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Pros Floaty, precise edging, good construction, playfulUser friendly, turning experience, versatile, playfulResponsive, snappy, maneuverable, durable topsheet, powder performanceLoads of pop, stable, fun turning experienceManufactured with 100% hydropower, beautiful graphic, playful
Cons Switch performanceTopsheet scratches easy, topsheet is slipperyBackseat landings, switch ridingAverage powder floatation, pop is less user-friendlyBack half of the heel side edge feels like it can slightly disengage under certain circumstances
Bottom Line If we could only buy one, this would be itHigh performance embedded with a consistently playful charterAgility meets stabilityA board fit for those sunny all-mountain laps filled with turns, methods, and straight linesPower meets finesse for performance in all conditions
Rating Categories Yes. Optimistic United Shapes Cadet Weston Backcountry Backwoods Jones Mountain Twin Capita Kazu Kokubo Pro
Edging (25%)
10
8
9
8
8
Float In Powder (20%)
9
8
8
7
8
Stability At Speed (20%)
7
8
8
8
8
Playfulness (20%)
8
9
7
8
7
Pop And Jumping (15%)
7
8
8
9
9
Specs Yes. Optimistic United Shapes Cadet Weston Backcountry... Jones Mountain Twin Capita Kazu Kokubo...
Shape Directional Directional Directional Directional Directional
Camber/Rocker Hybrid-Rocker/Camber Camber Directional Multi-Radial Camber Rocker CamRock Hybrid- Rocker/Camber
Flex Stiff Medium Medium Stiff Medium Stiff Medium
Weight 6.2 (lb) 6.22 (lb) 6.63 (lb) 6.1(lb) 5.4 (lb)
Tested Length 151cm 156cm 157cm 157 157cm
Available Lengths 151, 154, 157cm 144, 152.5, 156, 159, 162cm 152, 152 wide, 157, 157 wide, 160, 160 wide, 163, 163 wide, 167, 167 widecm 151, 154, 155, 157, 158, 160, 161, 162, 164, 167 151, 154, 157, 160cm
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Carbon-wrapped wood A11x (poplar, bamboo) Slayer (bamboo, poplar) FSC Mountain (dual-density wood, hardwood bamboo stringers) Wood
Waist Width 26.6cm 25.6cm 25.6cm 25.3cm 25.5cm
Radius 6.5m 7.5m 7.5/6.8/7.8m 7.8 m 8.4m
Taper 6m 20mm 18mm 0mm 9mm

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Yes Optimistic has a slightly more aggressive camber profile than the past season. 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.

Performance Comparison


The Yes Optimistic looks like a powder specific board yet is one of...
The Yes Optimistic looks like a powder specific board yet is one of the most capable boards on edge.
Photo: Laredo

Edging


At first glance, the Optimistic looks very powder specific. However, it 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, particularly the nuanced and 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 available in the category. We felt we could make the tightest and most symmetrical turns on both our toes and heel with this model in all conditions. On the firmest of surfaces, it 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 firm 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 Underbite found on the Yes Optimistic provides additional edge...
The Underbite found on the Yes Optimistic provides additional edge hold as demonstrated on a firm firm day at Squaw Valley.
Photo: isaac laredo

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 skill level threshold to unlock its potential. The Optimistic 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 hard carver, it's 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.

The Yes Optimistic provided a versatile and fun on edge experience...
The Yes Optimistic provided a versatile and fun on edge experience which made it one of our go tos.
Photo: isaac laredo

Float in Powder


Looks like a powder shape, right? While it excels on edge, the long rockered nose and natural setback provide the 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.

The diamond tail shape of the Optimistic provides excellent...
The diamond tail shape of the Optimistic provides excellent flotation and agility.
Photo: Laredo

As a result of the different surface areas, the tail will naturally sink further in the snow. It has a unique and surf-inspired diamond tail to promote 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; the sheer amount of fun and lack of rider fatigue.

Cultivating stoke with the Optimistic.
Cultivating stoke with the Optimistic.
Photo: Ryland West

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 on-snow feel of a 157/158cm. Its stiff profile keeps chatter to a minimum which adds to the mental comfort and physical security that you feel. 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 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.

Playfulness


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 still be 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 tail 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.

The Optimistic is rather stiff yet its flex pattern is stunningly...
The Optimistic is rather stiff yet its flex pattern is stunningly playful. This allows us to hold the longest nose butters of any board we tested.
Photo: isaac laredo

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 a tighter margin in every step. Once we adapted, our testers found the pop generated from the camber 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 ourselves when landing off balance but didn't provide as much stability as other models. Once a rider is tuned into this boards popping and landing style its pretty darn good.

The Optimistic provides plenty of pop once you adapt to this style...
The Optimistic provides plenty of pop once you adapt to this style of a tail.
Photo: isaac laredo

Value


The Optimistic is a great value for the performance and durability provided in this wallet-friendly package.

Conclusion


The Yes Optimistic provided a high quality of experience all over the mountain. It was a stand out performer in edging, float in powder, and playfulness, which makes this an awesome board. Its well-rounded performance helped secure its spot as our first choice. 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, you should probably go buy it; at the very least, add it to your list of potentials.

Yes. This board is spectacular!
Yes. This board is spectacular!
Photo: Laredo

Isaac Laredo