Well Bill I appreciate your response. I guess I have some issues with magazines taking responsibility for effectively controlling the market "The UK importers felt, and we agreed completely, that pushing SUPs for their windsurfing potential simply wasn't a wise plan for the UK market." Certainly let Starboard define this in their own literature, implying that the boards are not suited for use with sails seems to be a blanket statement that is certainly not the usual Boards minute detail examination of the issues. Your simple explanation in your response above would have been enough - it particularly irked me because I find that the 12'6" works so well with a sail and in fact this board has provided me with a fun solution for light wind with or without waves after years mucking around with Formula style gear and big sails.
I'm perfectly happy for you to criticize a board in a test - in fact it is essential if the tests are to have any credibility. I don't own a Kombat 89 but have tried one in non planing wave riding role and found it worked amazingly well considering it is an all round board - sure it didn't have the original fin, just a 24cm MFC wave fin (I'm 70kg). I was astonished with your findings but admit I've only used the board in this role and do have some personal Starboard preference. It concerns me that the mag. tests are taken as gospel and I do have some sympathy with Starboard or any other manufacturer getting pissed off with the whole nature of the testing and reporting process. Stopping advertising seems a little petty I must admit, maybe there is some middle ground with board users and manufacturers being able to respond to the test results and those responses printed a couple of editions later on. I believe that the gear testing is such an important role for the mags that to introduce some sort of ordered feedback would only enhance the credibility of the whole process - just an idea.
Thanks for responding.