Learn how to choose the best board size.
At YES., we tend to do things a little differently. Some of these things run counter to some widely held beliefs in the industry or habits that the snow-majority has fallen into. We understand that a shop, a friend, or another company’s website/spokesperson may have told you the exact opposite of what we’re saying here, but that’s only because they’re wrong. And we’re right.
In simplest terms our boards can fall into 2 categories. TRADITIONAL and NON-TRADITIONAL. Even our traditional boards have some non-traditional thinking into their design, but for the sake of finding the right size for you we’ll use these terms, ok?
Libre, Emoticon, Basic, Typo, Jackpot, Standard, TDF, Greats, Hel YES., PYL.
When looking at any of these models you can use the trusty standard of; if the board sits between your chin and your nose, then it’s a good length for you. That’s with you and the board standing up lengthwise – understand? Don’t have the board in front of you? - Then measure that zone. Don’t have a metric tape? - Then convert the inches to cm’s via any number of means readily available on your phone.
One thing we want to stress while we have your attention is that far too many people are not riding boards wide enough because they believe a wide board will be too heavy, or too slow edge-to-edge. While theoretically this belief is not without merit, functionally it means that far too many people are dragging their toe-and heels on a regular basis and missing out on one of the most joyful aspects of snowboarding which is: leaning over and TURNING. All our wide’s have not just been widened, we’ve adjusted the turning aspects of the design so that the boards are just as lively and responsive as the narrower versions.
Remember; the traditionally accepted width of boards was established when the average foot size was an US 8 / MONDO 21.5 or an US 9 / MONDO 24.0. Now the bulk of boot sales are a US men’s 10 / MONDO 26.5. Which means anyone riding a regular width board with a size US 10 / MONDO 26.5 is dragging their toes. And if they’re not dragging their toes, then they’re not leaning over on their turns enough and they’re missing out on some fun.
We at YES. encourage you to have fun when you snowboard. We want you to feel joy. Aren’t we awesome?
In conclusion: If you have a size US 10-10.5 / MONDO 26.5-27.5 boot, then please, seriously consider a wide. If you have a size US 11 / MONDO 28.5 boot, do not ever consider anything other than a wide when looking at these “traditional” models.
Optimistic, 420, 20/20, 420 PowderHull
These boards have fixed the above problem for you and defy any notion of traditional length and width. After we designed the 420 5 years ago (yes, five years ago), we proved that width does provide much of the stability we have always associated with length. Also, that with careful study and development of our sidecuts, we can create a board that is highly responsive and holds an edge better than the traditionalists would have you believe.
This realization has influenced several designs that followed.
The 420: This is all about volume or surface area displacement to create float and stability in a package that much less swing-weight due to its dramatically shortened length. Anyone over 175lbs / 80kg will be right at home on the 152. Its surface area and therefore floatation is similar to the Basic 161-163W, but in a far more maneuverable package. So it “feels” more like a 156. Anyone under 170lbs / 80kg will want to be on the 148. Its surface area is similar to that of a Basic 159, but when you ride it, it’s as easy to throw around as a 149-152cm board.
Optimistic: While not quite as drastic a design as a 420, the Optimistic still packs more width and therefore more surface area than traditional boards of the same length. While this certainly helps it float in powder, width in this case is employed so that the board allows complete freedom to lean it over so that you can properly engage (and enjoy) the Underbite sidecut. As a general rule you can ride the Optimistic about 3-5cm shorter than your traditional snowboard.
20/20: Hard to say much about he 20/20 that hasn’t already been written. While its width is greater than a traditional board, it’s still not as wide as the 420. Additionally, the lift created by the PowderHull and it’s true twin, symmetrical design puts it in a uniquely versatile grey area. The 150 will float better than any 158 you’ve ever ridden, but spin and maneuver more like a 152. Likewise the 154 may have similar surface area calculations to that of a traditional 160+, but it floats like a 165 and spins like a 156. And if that just made your head spin, maybe just go with this: Under 175lbs / 80kg – go with the 150. Over 175lbs / 80kg – go with the 154.
420 PowderHull: Right now we only make one length of the 420 PH, but as in the case of the 20/20, the PowderHull base design allows such extreme versatility, a wide range of riders can be comfortable on this one length. It’s narrower waist width and refined sidecut make it more responsive that the 420, it’s longer effective edge gets a little more bite into the hardpack and the Powderhull makes it near impossible to sink the nose. If your weight range falls between 150 to 200lbs / 68 to 91kg , the 154, 420PH is perfectly suited for you. If you’re over 200lbs / 91kgyou will still have a blast on this board and will be shocked at how well it keeps you on top of the deep stuff.