YES The Greats 2013 - 2011 Review by The Good Ride
The 2013 Yes The Greats comes from a line of Greats from the past few years. There was the YES Great Dudes of History for 2011 and the Yes Great Women of History for 2012. The 2013 Greats mellowed the edge hold, changed the nose design and has a more sturdy/better made all around feel to it making it a nice improvement over the past models. 2011 Snowboard Magazine Platinum Pick. 2013 Good Wood Award Winner.
This review is for the Yes Great Dudes of History, Great Women of History, Great Boobs of History and Great Riders of History.
Size: 158, 154156
Riders: James, Jimbo, Kyle, Peter, Stephen and a few other riders not on the site.
Boots: Burton SLX, Rome Libertine Pure Flex, Salomon Synapse, Nike Kaiju, Burton Ion, Burton Imperial, Nike Zoom Ites
Set Up- 23.5 15 front -15 back. 22.5 12 front -12 back 23″ 15 front -15 back all set ups were centered.
This is a board that reacts best to riding duck or very close to it because that is how the asymmetrical side cuts are designed for.
This all started to with the 2010 Yes Twin Rocker 156.5 Asymmetrical and evolved into it’s own line that’s had a “great” theme/name since. We have seriously enjoyed the past models and the 2013 model is different but equally enjoyed.
The 2013 significantly changed the design making it a completely different ride. To us the 2013 YES Great’s is the best of them all but it’s so different it will appeal to a completely different style of rider than the past models will. The 2013 is much more of an Aggressive All Mountain Freestyle ride where the older models were more of a mellow all mountain freestyle ride.
The demo model and production models were drastically different so you will see some reviews based on the demo model and others based on the production model. This is the production model.
Here is a summary of some of the major changes in the 2013 YES Greats this year.
1. No Ultimate Grip- It no longer has the chain saw like ultimate grip between the bindings. Instead they say it has ultimate traction which is a mellow magnetraction like side cut but it’s not on there. It’s just a normal side cut. This new change to what they call Tragna Maction is much more fun in softer snow but not as good as it use to be in ice.
2. There is much more camber. It use to be a little bit of camber that ended before the bindings. The 2013 has camber that extends a little past the bindings before the rocker starts. It makes it more aggressive but much more fun to carve and much more lively when it comes to ollies and hitting kickers. This is a very good blend of camber and rocker. It’s no longer the butter/press board it use to be and now it’s much more of an ollie, carve and pick up some speed kind of board. This is now a borderline aggressive all mountain freestyle ride where it use to be a pretty mellow all mountain freestyle to freestyle ride. The 2013 is much more for advanced to expert riders where the 2012 and below is more of an intermediate to expert kind of board.
3. Asymm Nose/Tail- The Nose/Tail now has an asymmetrical design that accentuates the asymmetrical side cut and also is nice on the eye.
4. Made at GST now instead of Nideckers remote plant. The build quality and all around feel to the board seems much more stronger and more reliable. The board seems to be a little more thick as well. It feels like it will last as long as any board out there.
If you are a more aggressive all mountain freestyle rider the 2013 is the call. If you want more edge hold for icy riding and like to butter the 2012 and below is the call.
On Snow Feel- The small camber between the feet makes it stable for one footing and flat basing. It’s stable but there are no consequences for that stability. If you take a switch and regular approach to the mountain you will really like this board for a buttery but it’s stiffer flex allows you to take on a all mountain freestyle ride. The 2013 Greats has a lot less of a buttery feel and feels better taking a more carvy/jumpy more aggressive all mountain freestyle approach to groomers. We like the extra camber for mountain riding and it makes the board feel more stiff/aggressive even though the flex is pretty similar to the older models. It’s stable but now is a little catchy like a forgiving camber board.
Powder: You can’t really expect much from a twin snowboard with a centered stance but this hybrid camber shape is more like a rocker board when it comes to powder. It floats well in most moderate powder situations and allows a more effortless float for a park inspired attack. The YES The Optimistic or Big City will do a better job in powder but again we were surprised on how well the Dudes/Women could ride in powder even with a centered stance for a park board. The 2013 Greats is little less floaty as the 2012 and below models but it’s still pretty close to the point where the rating of good won’t change. It’s just more on the bottom of Good where the 2012 and below was a little closer to great.
Turn Initiation and Carving- The 2012 and below models are very easy edge to edge. You could make tight or wide turns very easy and both were a pleasure to do so with. The mini camber between the feet makes you feel like you are riding a smaller board and smaller boards are easier to turn. It’s hard to describe but the It takes a little getting used to but after a few runs you will be very happy. The Asymmetrical shape is not very noticeable to us but switch or regular turns were super easy. Maybe that is what it’s supposed to do though. The 2013 Greats is a little different because of the extra camber. It’s not as easy for quick edge to edge transitioning but wider radius turns are much more fun than the 2012 and below models. The extra camber makes the 2013 carve much better than the 2012 and below models. There is much more spring out of a hard turn and it feels almost like a normal camber board. The 2012 felt like you were carving on a much smaller board than you are riding so we are happy with the 2013 changes.
Speed: These YES boards are pretty fast for their riding style. We are pretty impressed with the ability to straight line. It’s no freeride board but it does very very well for an all mountain freestyle twin. The 2013 has a noticeable improvement when it comes to speed. The extra camber and thickness reduces the chatter we felt with the 2012 and also makes for a more stable ride between the feet.
Uneven Terrain: Very easy negotiating any bumpy terrain and not bad going over it too. The 2013 isn’t as mellow as the older models but it can deal with crappy snow pretty well too.
Approximate Weight- The Greats boards have been getting lighter over the years but for 2013 the board is a little heavier. It’s also thicker and more reliable. The 2013 Greats was made at a different/better factory and it’s noticeable when it comes to the construction but not as much the weight. It feels thicker in the waist but not any heavier.
Edge Hold: The combination of hybrid camber giving more pressure between the feet and the chain saw like shaped edge between the feet makes for great edge hold. It will climb a pipe wall or get you through an icy patch without much of a problem. It’s a little grippy in softer snow but excellent for riding in hard pack. The 2013 model says it has “Tragnemaction” or mellow magnetraction but none of us could really see the bumps like we could with the Pick Your Line or other boards that have it in the line. This is our one complaint about the 2013 model. Most of us were happy to see the ultimate traction go because it can be too grippy but we wanted to see some or more mellow magnetraction. The Greats went from excellent in 2012 for edge hold to being on the good side of great for edge hold in 2013. Maybe next year they can add a little more “tragnemaction” to match the Jackpot and Pick Your line. Still the edge hold does well in most conditions you want to ride.
Flex: The 2012 flex is almost medium between the feet and the rocker makes it feel soft at the tip/tail. You seem to get more out of the flex than you should and it’s super easy to butter or press. The 2013 Yes Greats has a stiffer flex throughout the board and combined with the camber it feels much more stiff/aggressive than the older models. It’s much less easier to butter than the 2012 and below models and it changes the personality of the board. We are happy to trade that in exchange for the extra pop and stability that the stiffer flex offers. It took the board from an all mountain freestyle ride to an aggressive all mountain freestyle board. It’s much better now for jumps and carving than before but no where near as good for butters and presses.
Switch: Super easy to ride switch and it should be with the twin shape and asymmetrical side cut. The asymmetrical side cut might even make this board easier to ride switch than a regular twin or that could just be in our head. All years pretty much ride the same here because this has been symmetrical since it’s inception.
Jibbing- The 2012 and below was pretty good. It was more like a Good rating on rails and jib’s but it’s not as good as some of the noodle boards on technical challenging rails. The 2013 is just not there any more for jib park play. It’s much more suited for jumps, pipe and mountain riding. We preferred the Yes Jackpot much more in this category.
Pipe: Oh yeah this is a lot of fun. The 2012 and below Greats has enough edge hold to ride the pipe and also a lot of forgiveness to allow for a sketchy re-entry. If you like a softer board for the pipe this will be really fun. The 2013 lost some edge hold which isn’t ideal but it made up for it with the extra camber that makes it more fun to drive the board toward the wall in the flats.
Jumps: The 2012 and below was not a bad jump board when it comes to lapping the roller coasters of almost any size. The YES Great Dudes/Women of History also has an average amount of spring when it comes to making a board ollie over something on the mountain. There are many more boards out there that have more spring but it’s still not terrible. The 2013 has a lot more pop and is now closer to the top of it’s peer group. It’s fun to ollie all over the mountain and there is more spring off kickers of almost any size. The 2013 is a much better all around jump board. It’s not as forgiving but it has more spring so most will really like that. It’s super fun to ride around the mountain at higher speeds and look for shit to launch off of too.
All in all we were very impressed with the new 2013 YES Greats. We are especially fond of the more balanced blend of camber and rocker with the 2013 model and this is the choice for most riders. The only ones who might like the 2012 and below models are those that ride in icy conditions or like buttering over all other things. If you are about pop, jumps, carving and better speed regular or switch the 2013 is the call. Also the construction quality is better too and it just feels like a better ride.
This video review is from the on snow demos and the production model is very different from the demo model which doesn’t often happen. So this video is much more of a review for the 2012 and below models.
2012 Yes Great Beauties
Here is how we felt the 2012 and below models rode
Rails / Jibs
Aggressive All Mountain Freestyle
Advanced - Expert
On Snow Feel
Hard to Soft
User Reviews of the YES The Greats
This is a fantastic all around board. I am true believer in all YES products and stoked I picked up this one. It seems to be a great all around board-- has great pop-- yet excellent in the deep pow. Highly recommended. And I dig the graphics
Since reviews are all matters of opinion, I'd say this board is a little overrated. IMO it's too stiff! Good if your more into steeps, speed and groomers. But if you like to butter around, jib some stuff and hit natural features, this wouldn't be my top pick. It's just as stiff as my Lib BanMagic for sure. I would go 3.5 stars cause I do like speed and the board is pretty fun. I liked the Gnu RC which also has some asym heel edge tech, or the NS Proto if you don't live on the east coast!