YES! Greats UnInc Review
Rider Weight/Height: 160 lbs 6'0"
Stance: Goofy +12, -9
Boots/Bindings: Salomon Hi-Fi Sz 10.5 | Union Strata
Conditions: Bluebird powder. Soft chalky groomers. Firm pack. You name it.
Resorts: Mission Ridge | Whistler | Snoqualmie
YES has always been a brand that pushes the envelope in snowboard progression. When JP Solberg founded the company he made it his mission to avoid the status quo and design rider driven decks. Their Greats UnInc is an asymetrical twin that has always been notoriously sound as a freestyle deck. In 2019 the Greats took on a major re-design. It still features the asymmetrical sidecut and flex that make it a freestyle machine. The main difference however is added width and a MidBite sidecut that allows for more stable landings and railing turns on groomers. Not only does the wider waist width (25.6 for the 154) support larger boot sizes, it makes this board an all-mountain genie. With a binding as damp and responsive as the Strata I felt like I could rip the whole mountain to shreds.
Feel: For an all-mountain freestyle deck this board has a really stable feel on snow. It doesn't wash out on turns like similar boards in this category. The new Greats feels solid at speeds as well, something it's predecessor struggled with.
Switch Riding: Switch riding is what really sets this board apart. The asymmetrical true twin is absolutely made for it. If you're the type of rider who likes to ride and carve switch aggressively, this is the deck for you. It was designed with traditional camber throughout and modern rocker in the tip and tail. I've never ridden anything that makes switch riding feel more natural. Tight heelside turns both regular and goofy are more than good; they're GRRRREAT!
Turn Initiation: This board, especially in the 154, is lightning fast edge to edge. MidBite is a modern engineering marvel. I had a feeling that the new Greats with it's wider waist would feel cumbersome on groomers but that wasn't the case at all. Paired with a responsive binding like the Strata, turning was quick and easy.
Carving: That asym MidBite heel edge on the Greats makes it look funky, but carving is super fresh. The extra edge hold made me feel more confident in my carving abilities. As mentioned earlier, you can even carve switch effortlessly. You can really lay into your turns without feeling like toe drag will be an issue; even in a 10.5 boot.
Sizing: I sized down a bit because I heard rumors that the new Greats rides longer than it is. I normally ride a 159 but in the Greats, 154 is perfect. Before this season the Greats was available only for riders with size 9 boots or smaller. The new widths should be able to accommodate up to a size 12.
Powder: For a freestyle oriented all mountain board, the Greats holds it's own in the deep stuff really well. On the Blackcomb Glacier, deep turns are the order of the day. I was honestly surprised how well this board floated through the deeps without much effort. I didn't even have to lean back that much to keep the nose up.
Speed: This board can be a little chattery at higher speeds because of the rocker tip and tail. Don't get me wrong; it holds it's own at Mach One but that's not really what it was designed for. It did feel super stable between the feet, but if you're a speed demon you might want to size up to the 156 or the 159.
Freestyle: The Greats has been a park staple for years. The added width helps a lot with butters, presses and locking onto rails. This board is known for it's park tendencies, and for good reason.
Jumps: Like racking up your air miles? Jumping on this board is a Great experience. The wider waist width makes it much more stable on takeoffs and landings than the previous Greats. You can really load up energy in the tail and pop into the sky like Yoshi. One of my favorite things to do while riding is spring-pop off natural features and side hits. FS 180's on the Greats feel too natural.
Thru The Treez: I definitely wouldn't classify this as an excellent tree board. It's agile enough to cut through the forest but in deeper snow it felt a little awkward. I do like the tight turning radius but there are better shapes out there for tree runz.
Overall, the redesigned Greats UnInc has the same flex and feel that has inspired legions of fans to keep coming back. The extra width and deeper heelside edge appeal to a wider variety of riders than the old Greats. If you haven't experienced the asym-revolution yet this might be the board to try it on. With a funky fresh shape you'll be turning heads all over the mountain and wondering why you didn't tap into your GREATness sooner.