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Old 22nd December 2007, 12:50 AM   #1
Windwetone
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Default Reviews on Boards mag.

On the Boards mag forum the Editor wrote..

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So we have to be really really sure of our facts when we give a bad test out. And the chances are that the brand will then cease to cooperate with any further testing. So we negotiate an extremely perilous tightrope walk in our relationships with the industry when it comes to testing. Right now, we don't have any Starboard products in our tests (nor advertising in our mag), as we pissed them off so much with our Kombat test last month. So be it - it is their prerogative if they want to pull out. Hopefully they will return to the fold eventually. But there are several other brands who have not let us test them for quite a while now.
Can Starboard comment on this?
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Old 22nd December 2007, 05:38 AM   #2
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Lord No.........
Please dont drag the drivel (any of it) from the Boards site over here.
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Old 22nd December 2007, 10:23 AM   #3
Philip
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Here in Australia the UK and USA windsurfing or ski mags cost around $US17. Two of those for the cost of a good book! So I don't buy many.
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Old 22nd December 2007, 04:15 PM   #4
Jonathan
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Did you read the review of the 12'6" SUP Board - summed up saying that none of the SUP boards are really very good with a sail. Absolute rubbish, the 12'6" is fantastic and contrary to what they said points very well upwind even with a wave fin because of the length of the waterline. I'm certain that they didn't even try it. There seems to be a smugness form Boards Mag that really leaves me cold.
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Old 22nd December 2007, 04:49 PM   #5
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I highly enjoy the analytic approach of the boards.uk mag, and also their courage to stand up for what they believe (and find while testing). In some other magazines it is virtually impossible to find any negative comments. It is of course true that "all" boards are good nowdays, but there are still differences.
And the boards test team do have their preferences, for example with regards to what style of FSW they like (and oddly enough, what the guest testers like).

Another area where Boards.uk have strong opinions is in the area of longboards. And they don't seem to understand the philosophy behind them, neither flatwater nor wave-oriented longboards. In the latter case it is like "if the longboard cannot do shortboard wavesurfing (bottom/cutback) like a 75 l waveboard then it is crap".

Sometimes one just has to take opinions with a bit of salt, and "agree to disagree". So, as a christmas whish for Boards.uk: "Please continue to honestly flag your opinions"!
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Old 23rd December 2007, 02:31 AM   #6
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Boards is the best testing magazine in the industry with their analytic approach and put a lot of resources into it. You can agree or disagree with their findings, but they are good at explaining on what they base their finding on and their general thinking behind it. The also has a lot of integrity which is underlined by some companies not letting their test their gear and stopping advertising.
I donīt know the behind the scene scenario on the Kombat case, but I am sorry to hear that Starboard not send boards to Boards.

Iīm also sad to see that Starboard has put a test result from Windsurf UK on their start page. Windsurf tests are bad. If you read them its often hard to separate one board from another, the test seams inaccurate and full of faults. I am prone to believe a manufacture putting a lot into test results from Windsurf to either not having other good tests to show to or having a bad product.

I know Starboard is a good product, but I strongly recommend them to get their act together and give us the opportunity to read Boards test of their stuff.
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Old 23rd December 2007, 06:27 AM   #7
Bill Dawes
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Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
Did you read the review of the 12'6" SUP Board - summed up saying that none of the SUP boards are really very good with a sail. Absolute rubbish, the 12'6" is fantastic and contrary to what they said points very well upwind even with a wave fin because of the length of the waterline. I'm certain that they didn't even try it. There seems to be a smugness form Boards Mag that really leaves me cold.
Actually, I own a 12'6 Starboard (bought as a result of doing that test), and use it regularly in both windsurfing and SUP mode. I've been out on it in both styles this morning, in fact. There were other issues going on in that test write-up though, with regard to the windsurfing suitability of SUPs. 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. Firstly, they wanted to see Starboard SUPs sell as quality boards in their own right, and not be seen in any way as glorified windsurfing boards (seeing as we have a strong surfing market to compete with here). Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it is a tricky one for other reasons. SUPS are not built strongly enough to cope with regular whacks from the mast, which is what is very likely to happen if the board is used by beginners or intermediates for windsurfing. They had nightmare visions of a long stream of 'warranty' crushed decks coming in. And also, yes, if you're good enough to ease a board upwind on its waterline length, they do go upwind perfectly well. But we put early intermediates on one, in about half a knot of tide, and they simply couldn't cope. It is not an ideal board for upwind performance compared to other boards with daggerboards. So again, it's all comparative really. The bottom line we felt is that people should buy the 12'6 because it is a damn good SUP, and if they are a competent windsurfer and want to use it as such as well, then fine. But to actually promote its windsurfing capabilities at all will inevitably mean that some people will buy it primarily as a windsurfer. And then the problems will start.

As for the long board waveriding issue, our problem was actually the other way round. We have absolutely no issues with long board waveriding. It IS different to short board waveriding. What we were concerned about was the sudden plethora of pictures appearing showing people hitting big lips and getting huge jumps on long boards, at the same time as the "you can use these boards in the waves" message. Which simply wasn't right. Unfortunately I guess on both these issues we didn't really explain ourselves as well as we should have, since quite a few people have ended up getting the wrong end of the stick about what we were trying to say. Apologies for any confusion caused.
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Old 23rd December 2007, 01:55 PM   #8
Jonathan
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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.
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Old 23rd December 2007, 04:04 PM   #9
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Just like the old days.
It's just that Starboard is now the new Mistral.
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Old 24th December 2007, 01:32 AM   #10
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Your simple explanation in your response above would have been enough -
We did explain it in the article though, pretty much exactly as per my previous post. Did you see the whole test, or just the Starboard write-up? We went in to the whole windsurfing issue in quite some detail in the section entitled HYBRID BOARDS. The UK importers brought the potential warranty issue to our attention, and it did seem to make excellent sense.

The Kombat 89 is a different issue, and I would feel a bit impertinent arguing our reasoning behind the test here on Starboard's own forum, so I'll leave that topic alone, if it's OK with you.
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