After trying out the K2 Cool Beans and Turbo Dream over the course of the morning on the first day at the Stratton Snowboard Demos I decided to revisit the Yes Basic, but in a 158. The last couple of years I’ve ridden the Basic but it’s been in the 152 and 155 sizes. This year I’ve been getting into a more soul-riding groove with big, loopy carves and boned out switch backside 180’s so the more effective edge the better- hence the 158.
As for the Terrapin, it was the last board of the day I was demoing and I simply asked the rep for “your most fun board.” Without hesitation he snatched up the Terrapin, a wee 145-er with a shape that looks like aliens designed it. Fair enough, strap me in with a pair of 2018 Flux DS bindings and I’m off.
Conditions were variable with 3 or 4 inches of fresh snow left over from the night before. You could definitely find pockets of powder to surf through off to the side on several trails so testing out the powder-specific Terrapin was a go. So here are my thoughts on these two boards.
Yes Basic 158
The Basic has been in Yes’ lineup from the very beginning and for the simple reason that it is one of the most versatile and predictable boards on the market. It has a true twin shape with a medium flex that is consistent throughout its length. And it has just enough camber to give it good pop, stability and edge hold.
The Basic uses small indentations that they call underbite, along the edges to increase edge hold in icy conditions. Their Camrock profile puts camber through the middle sections of the board with a slight rise at the tip and tail for a less catchy, and a more buttery ride. So the overall design strikes a balance between a fun freestyle snowboard with all-mountain capabilities.
The extra length of the Basic that I rode this year as opposed from last year’s 155 really didn’t change the ride for me all that much. There was a bit more edge hold on heavy carves but the pop and feel were pretty much the same. For my size, I actually prefer the 155 for what I would normally use this board for- that is, park and all-mountain side-hit mayhem with lots of buttering thrown in. But the extra length would be a great asset on a full-blown powder day.
Arbor Terrapin 145
So the first thing you notice right off the bat is the surf style shape of the Terrapin. It has a long, wide, arrow shaped nose with a lot of taper from the waist to the tail. The Terrapin is veteran slayer Bryan Iguchi’s board of choice for deep powder days and he helped design it using spec from his old school surf boards.
It’s really designed for epic powder days, but with just a little snow here and there I was still able to have a lot of fun. The word surfy doesn’t do justice to just how surfy this thing feels. The edge-to-edge action is really effortless, although the edge hold on hard pack is pretty washy as expected from a 145 pow board.
With 5cm of setback and 6cm of taper you will need to ride this beast totally off your back foot. That became apparent to me after my first three or four turns, but once I relegated myself to that mode of riding the board did all the work for me.
Using just a little edge pressure off my back foot brought the nose swinging around with a very easy and fluid feeling. Surprisingly, I was able to get some decent pop off the tail, at least for a board with only 15cm of length. Needless to say I did not even attempt riding this thing switch.
Other features include directional parabolic rocker (full rocker with direction shape) and a grip tech side cut. There are also what Arbor calls uprise fenders at the nose and tail of the board that lift the contact points off the snow for an even more skate-like feel.
Flux DS Bindings
Being a long time fan of Flux bindings, the RL's being my main ride for the last couple of years, I wanted to check something with a similar medium flex in their new line up. Our Rep hooked me up with the DS and they felt almost identical to my beloved RLs but with a beefier upper highback section.
I definitely felt more locked in and secure on my heelside turns, especially on the surfy Terrapin, but other than that everything just as spectacularly solid and open as my RLs. I must say though, the newer EVA ankle straps fit better and feel nicer and more supportive my RLs.
So that concludes my thoughts on day one. Two totally different boards designed for different purposes.