One thing was clearly apparent about this year’s snowboard demos at Stratton- the variety of new board shapes, profiles and binding features that are rolling out for 2017. This trend has been growing for some time now and it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. The 2017 Jones, Yes and Now offerings fall right into that pattern with a mixing of new and old designs as well as some completely original creations. Here are some of my thoughts on the 2017 Jones, Yes and Now gear that I tried out.
Jones Ultra Mountain Twin 157
The Jones Ultra Mountain Twin has a directional twin shape, camber in the middle and rocker to the tip and tail, a fast sintered base, mellow magnetraction, and an ash veneer top sheet. The ash top sheet gives the board a bit of a snappy feel but also has dampening qualities that soak up heavy vibrations on hard pack. The Ultra Mountain Twin is an all-mountain twin that is great for mixing in freestyle riding and hitting jumps.
This board was super fast and stable right out of the gate. The cam-rock profile loosened up the board’s stiffer flex making it easy to get on edge. The mellow magnetraction gripped the icy hard pack well and held steady through big carves. The mid-stiff flex also gave the board a ton of pop when I was blasting off of rollers and slashing out of side hits. Buttering was a challenge for me on the Ultra, but this board wants to move so I didn’t bother spending much time doing snow ballet.
Jones Flagship 161
The Jones Flagship has been a staple of the in the Jones line since the beginning. It’s a fully directional board, 3 centimeter setback, camber in the middle with rocker through the nose and tail. The basalt stringers add extra torsional stiffness for stability when blasting down steep sections of the mountain. The Flagship has Jones new Spoon technology that works like a pivot point on the base of the board. Spoon gives the board a smooth and fluid feeling when turning and gives it more glide in powder and when blasting through crust and crud.
The Flagship is basically a rocket ship posing as a snowboard. I’ve ridden the Flagship in years past and own a Solution (Flagship splitboard) and its always been a bit much to handle unless I was blasting straight down mountain and turning very little. This new Flagship with Spoon tech loosens up the ride a lot and makes it much more comfortable (for me) to have fun on. The Spoon also seems to make the board faster by cutting down on drag. This is a stiff flex board meant for aggressive riding and it felt great ripping big carves. I attribute its all-mountain playfulness to the Spoon tech, which also saves your legs from burning up due to the stiff flex. This years Flagship felt like a great all-mountain and backcountry board for anyone into hitting the steeps and big carving.
Yes Greats Uninc 154
Yes Greats Uninc has an asym-twin shape with a tighter heel sidecut for more efficient turning with a matching asymmetrical flex. This helps match your heel side turns to the power you naturally bring to your toe side turns. Yes Greats has the camrock profile with camber in the middle and rocker through the tip and tail. Yes has new theme for this board every year and for next year they are doing a throwback to a popular board (Uninc) from years ago.
The Yes Greats Uninc felt super playful and fun right off the bat. It has a really comfortable and even medium flex that suits all styles of riding. Buttering, ripping carves, popping off of ledges and snapping in and out of sidehits was an absolute blast. I really like the way this board pops- it feels little more lively from previous years. I’m totally considering adding it to the quiver for next year.
Yes Typo 155
The Yes Typo is an all-mountain directional twin with a 1/2″ setback and the camrock profile. It uses Underbite edge gripping tech that consists of slight depressions in certain areas of the edge that disrupts the sidecut and helps focus your weight where it should be offering better turn initiation.
The Typo has a medium-stiff flex that works with the directional shape and gives it a pointedly all-mountain feel. The Underbite tech works good on hard pack and I felt the edges grip the ice. Turning on the Typo happens from the back foot due its directional shape, which felt a little catchy when I was traversing on the cat tracks. When blasting down wide open trails it felt much more comfortable as I think this board wants to be at a higher speed before you start railing into your turns. This did not feel like a buttery, playful board to me but more like one designed for ripping big powder lines and blasting off of backcountry booters.
The NOW IPO is the original flagship model for the company. It works well for a wide range of medium flexing snowboards and is incredibly comfortable. The IPO will come in two widths- narrow, and the wider 2.0, to accommodate varying boot profiles. The proprietary Skate Tech pivoting hanger design is unique in the world of snowboard bindings. Skate Tech reduces foot fatigue, enhances board control and is incredibly responsive. The Freewing highback is larger than previous years Flexhinge and has a medium flex. It is also shaped to emulate the support of a highback that is rotated 10 degrees. This gives the support of a rotated highback without having toactually rotate the highback.
The IPOs felt very familiar from previous years. They were incredibly comfortable and dampened all the icy crud on the mountain. The IPOs help get your board on edge instantly but with a smooth, gradual feeling that really enhances the skatey feel of your board. The IPOs were cushy and comfortable with no pressure points. The Freewing highbacks were very supportive and helped keep my legs fresh even on the last runs of the day. The IPOs are a great park and all-mountain binding that will match up well with most park and all-mountain snowboards.
My favorite boards out of this batch was definitely the YES Greats Uninc followed by the Jones Ultra Mountain Twin as they seemed fit well with the type of riding I do. If I were riding huge lines out west or in Alaska I would definitely opt for the Flagship. The Spoon tech works well with this year’s model and makes it a really fun freeride deck. And, as always the NOW IPO delivered in spades the comfort, responsiveness and surfy feel that they are known for.