RE: Drake fins, cheap but not chearful
If I want to buy a guitar I can sit down in the shop and play on the different models for three hours or so. If I want to buy a bicycle I can take a trip around the block first, the same with cars, jeans, glasses etc.
If I want to buy a 1300$ windsurfer I have to order it, pay it, cross my fingers and hope for the best... "was I lucky this time?"..
I guess that's a main part of the problem.
My Aero was ordered form Germany to Denmark, so no chance of a "no.. I guess this is not me... can you try to order another one..." conversation with the dealer....
Demos are very rare. If I want to demo two or three different models before deciding I will have to pay or the dealer will have to sell a lot of demo boards with a loss.
On the other hand all dealers might be able to keep a handful of demo fins in their shop. This would help a lot as the fin can actually dramatically change the performance of the board related to the individual rider.
When buying a bicycle you can always choose the standard model from the window, but it's always possible to make other individual options.
If I had had this choice with my Aero none of the standard fins or the footstraps would have been my choice....