Over the next couple of months as well as doing our usual detailed kit reviews we are excited to announce we will also be carrying out our first head to head SUPboarder Pro tests. These tests will be open to all brands and available to see on SUPboarder Pro.
Initially we will be carrying out 4 tests on composite boards and inflatable wings. The test categories are as follows:
- All round race (14’ x 25-26”)
- Performance surf (85-95L)
- Longboard surf (100-115L)
- Wings (4m)
Just like our reviews, our tests will include plenty of water time. But our reviews and tests will be very different.
Our SUPboarder reviews go into much more detail on the features and design / construction of products / explaining the brand / product and test brand claims, as well our thoughts (both positive and negative) and who we feel the product is best suited for. Detailed, honest information about the kit so you know if it would suit you. Our reviews are also a great way for brands to put their products in front of their target market and get honest experts to let consumers know if a product really does what a brand says.
In our tests, we will be looking less at details of the kit itself, but more comparing it to other similar kit on the market, to help you decide exactly which kit is best for you.
Just as we often say, a board best suited to one person may not be best suited for another. So rather than having just one ‘best on test’ we will be allocating numerous awards which better reflects the kit out there, and is also more useful to you. An example of these awards might be e.g best improver performance surf sup or best entry level all round race SUP.
Over 40 brands were invited to participate in the tests, at no cost to them – they just had to get the kit to us for the testing period.
Why are we doing it?
We know from popular demand, that SUPboarder readers not only want to know in detail about a range of kit, but also want to hear our thoughts on which is best for them, and which one they should buy. Thorough tests which readers can trust 100%.
SUPboarder Pro members will have already had a glimpse of our kit comparisons in the bonus SUPboarder Pro videos. But we’re keen to expand this further to include even more kit to help you find which board/gear is best for you.
Why is it only available on Pro?
From day one our SUPboarder ethos has always been to provide detailed, honest, accurate information which readers can trust, allowing them to make the right kit decisions for them.
We 100% believe that we have achieved our goal, and the positive feedback we receive on a daily basis confirms this. The fact brands do not see our reviews until the day they’re published and they have no say in our reviews demonstrates this. We know brands want us to be honest and that they value our feedback, both positive and negative, as this only helps them to improve their products further, which is of benefit to us all.
But whether we like it or not, we all know, when work is involved it unfortunately involves money and somebody has to pay for it! It takes a lot of time to thoroughly review/test, film and produce quality videos. SUPboarder is owned, managed and run by a team of passionate paddleboarders, and is not backed by any large publishing houses – we are a team of passionate paddleboarders who love what we do, but still need to live.
SUPboarder is keen to reduce its reliance on paid advertising, which we know is perceived by many to impact what is said in reviews/tests etc… Our reviews have always been 100% honest but when it comes to testing two or more products against each other it’s vitally important money is out of the equation. If testing is funded by brands, how can it be opened up to all brands? How can we guarantee brands don’t influence test results? A bad test result could result in a brand cutting all funding for the magazine, stopping us producing the content all together.
The answer is that to conduct true quality testing, it must be funded by the consumer. By doing our kit testing as part of SUPboarder Pro, we see it as an awesome step forward for proper testing that should never be at risk of being influenced by advertisers. SUPboarder Pro allows us to carry out tests in what we see is the only true way. Thanks to all those who are already supporting us by subscribing to SUPboarder Pro.
What are the categories
To start off with we will be testing 4 categories, but we plan to grow these tests over time and appreciate your feedback on how we can improve them further.
In an ideal world we would be testing every single board size in every category, but at present this is just not possible. With most board shapes continuing throughout the ranges you can apply the same style/feel of the boards to other sizes to some degree, and therefore even if the kit we’ve tested is not the size you usually ride, our findings will still be useful.
With limited stock and demo boards available some brands couldn’t take part in the SUPboarder Pro tests this time. But over time we’re confident this will change allowing us to carry out an even wider range of tests with even more kit.
About the testing
All the kit used in the 4 tests will be used multiple times in a wide variety of conditions, to give us a thorough understanding of when it works best.
We will be testing at a higher level than we’ve ever tested before especially with the race boards. More details about the testing criteria will be included alongside the videos.
Our SUPboarder Pro tests will be published over the next few months (Nov—Feb) weather and conditions permitting! These tests will only be published when we are confident we have sufficiently tested all the kit, and are able to confidently allocate awards.
We are really excited about being able to test this wide range of kit head to head, and we really hope the tests enable you to make your kit choices with even more confidence.
After watching the test videos if you’ve still got questions or would like more info, please get in touch via the ‘Ask the Experts’ and remember to check out the full reviews on specific kit too.
This is just the start of our SUPboarder Pro testing. So please let us know your thoughts, and what you’d like to see.
If you are not yet a SUPboarder Pro subscriber and want to join ready to see these tests, you can sign up below