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15th November 2007 12:09 AM
Originally Posted by Floyd View Post
Are testers testing boards or fins ?
The article claims boards.

It's always been the board + stock fin combo. Reality is too complex for magazine's test crew to fizzle with different fins in all the boards to be tested. In an ideal world, one should have only 1 variable at play, ideally the board, anything else being equal (fin, sail, trim, rider's weight & skill, wind & chop/waves). In the real world, you know it's nearly impossible to achieve that. Some mags have test crew with lots of rider's weight range (60-100 kg) but similar skills, other have same weight range but dissimilar skills, etc...Some try to compare 2 boards (each with its own stock fin) with same sail by match racing for race/slalom/freeride use but this is useles for freestyle or wave boards for obvious reasons.

The best board for rider A is not necessarily the best for rider B or C...depending on a vast number of variable as the location/weather conditions/skills/preferences/sails & fins quiver of each rider. Diversity is what makes this sport so interesting but such a daunting task as well when it comes to choose the perfect dream board that suits your needs. The best testing laboratory is actually made by racers. Just look at the board/sail/fin/mast/boom quiver choice of some wave, Formula or slalom racers : the combination has almost no limit, but at the end of the day, some win and some don't.

Cheers !

14th November 2007 07:28 PM
Unregistered http://www.boards.co.uk/forum/default.asp

above link to the boards mag forum.

why dont you post the query there and ask them for their opinion?

they will normally respond with the whys and wherefores.
14th November 2007 06:30 PM
Floyd See your point Ola but that means a person buying a particular board might well choose it simply because of the fin choice and not because its been well designed or suits their purpose paricularly well.
Are testers testing boards or fins ?
The article claims boards.
14th November 2007 04:01 PM
Ola_H I agree Geo, but I like Phill just think its a to time consuming task. Some "cross comparison" is reasonable though.

Many mags today try to provide some kind of idea of _why_ the board in question work like it does. In this "analysis" I think discussions about the provided fin should have a more prominent role.

In a category like FSW/crossover it is remarkable that the VERY different fin choices does not get more attention in the tests write ups.
14th November 2007 03:25 PM
Phill104 In defense of mag tests, they already have a very packed schedule and I know they woork their butts off trying to test a large number of boards in a limited time. If each boards needed to be tested with different fins there would be no time to give each one a fair time on the water.

If the manufacturers are asked to provide a board for a particular location the they should provide it with a suitable stock fin for the test. If the manufacturer get it wrong then tough. They need to go back to the drawing board and get it right next time round.
14th November 2007 02:51 PM
geo In the end, why do we read board tests? We assume that testers are skilled enough to tell us how the board goes. I think it's up to them to determine which fin type best suits one board; it would be nice for them to actually test the board with such fin type too, and let us know the outcome. Do the tuning for us and give us some good advice.
14th November 2007 01:53 PM
Ola_H I think two things are at play here. First, it is reasonable to demand that manufacturers supply a good fin that suit the board, ie is a good all round fin for the board both in terms of sail sizes and in terms of type of sailing. It is also reasonable that magazines first and foremost test the boards with that fin. The only alternative to that would be if boards were not delivered with fins anymore. Since OEM fins nowadays are very good and the price the end customer pays for having them delivered with the board is MUCH lower than the price of a comparable aftermarket fin, I think this option would be stupid.

The other thing at play is that to "fully" characterize a board, one need to test how it responds to different fins. It's just as important as testing with different sails and in different conditions.

But I think standardizing size/area is going to far. Even within rather narrow groups of boards and with a given sail and rider, two different board designs can work their best with different fins. I think it is reasonable to let the manufacturer chose the "main fin". Then testers need to get more open about the fin choice and how that might reflect the performance and preferably also do at least some testing with different fins. That would be reasonable even within the limited time available.
14th November 2007 04:55 AM
Floyd No thats not my point at all PG.
Fact of matter is that fin size and shape etc can (and does) radically alter performance of any board. If we test a board and then draw up conclusions which are more attributable to fin choice then the board test was somewhat pointless.
I just dont see how any worthwhile conclusion/comparisons can be made between two boards when they are carrying such radically different fins.The tester couldn`t differentiate between characteristics attributable to the board or those derived from the fin; so how could any reader ?? If its worth carting the gear all the way to Egypt surely its worth standardising fins !(or at least size/area.) In years to come we will look back and say yes it was barmy !
Besides how can testers then recommend a largest sail size without trying board with a bigger fin ??
BTW I dont have a favourite brand.Nobody should have.I like certain boards within most manufacturers offerings.
13th November 2007 02:04 PM
PG I absolutely agree that fins radically can change the character of the board.
I do think that we to a large extent can thank the board tests for the increase in stock fin quality! There really is an incentive to equip the boards with decent fins in order to do well in tests.
On another note: the most typical complaint on this and other forum about board tests is "how on earth could they say anything sensible about a board with that little time on the water". If they would complicate the testing process by having 3-4 different fins to try out, then what...
And at the end of the day the designers and brands decide what kind of package they want to produce, and what market segment they go for. Some, like Goya, want to produce turny boards, others like Tabou want to go for light wind performance. Don't blaim the magazines, but go instead and tell your favourite brand that they have lost it in the fin department.
13th November 2007 04:42 AM
Floyd All above very good points.
Agree that boards should be tested as supplied but the choice of fin given with the board probably has a bigger influence over boards character than the board itself; especially when there is such massive difference in fins; on boards essentially sold towards same customers.
I sail the FXR mentioned.Findings of mag are much as I find board untill I stick a massive fin in it (like the one supplied with the Tabou) The board`s entire character changes.Its more directional; goes upwind better and planes earlier (as you would expect) problem is how would it compare with the Tabou.
If we were only talking about diffferent fin styles problem wouldn`t be as pronounced but when we are talking of comparing two very similar sized boards carrying fins with a difference in area approaching 40% (my estimate; I happen to have both fins) it totally overides any possible differences in the boards characters.The test was testingt fins.
We would ridicule a test that said one board was an early planer but forgot to mention it was carrying at least 30% more sail; yet we accept it with fins??!!!
The Tabou has got a reputation for being an early planer ; probably on the back of that massive fin supplied ??? But the problem is it is probably ; we dont know even after reading the tests.
Would the FXR carry an 8.5 if it had a 46cm fin ??? Yet again ; no idea.
Its certainly not very good testing.
Perhaps fins should be supplied with rigs and not boards !!!
If boards are being tested with 7 metre rigs the appropriate fin size for that sail should be used in all the boards.(Perhaps a 38cm for a 7 ???)
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