Originally Posted by Floyd
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.