One of the hardest parts of shopping for gear is finding honest reviews that don’t hold back on a persons opinion. While I don’t believe that any one review should be taken as the sole determining factor for choosing a product, I do believe that getting multiple reviews can help you find what you need. As I have given tons of free advice for the last 5 years and written many reviews for many various forums and sites I figure I should share some insight into finding a way to weed through the bull shit that is floating around.
Here’s a few things that I find useful when reading a review.
- Where were they riding
- Did they list their weight
- Riding style
- Conditions they were riding
- Boot and Binding combo
- How long they’ve been riding
- Skill level
These are the top 7 things I think you need to evaluate. After that look for people that make outrageous bold statements like “I never catch edges” , or “I rode better than I ever have on this board”. Statements like these are usually a give away that the person is full of shit. Also look to see if they have other reviews. Are they only praising the boards they ride or are they only putting them down? These can be an indication that they’re on a companies jock and afraid of making them angry or that they’re super biased and just putting a company down for the sake of doing it. Another thing to look for is if the reviewer seems to have an affiliation with a company, I know that personally I have my affiliations with companies, but at the same time I try to review things honestly hence why you see a lot of profanity in my reviews.
If you’ve ever been on a snowboard shops site, blog, or social networking site chances are you’ve never seen a review for anything they sell being super negative. I have my theories that these reviews are heavily moderated, much like most magazines. Unfortunately it seems people take these reviews to heart. I say try to get your reviews from places that aren’t stores.
Finally as I mentioned above don’t take any one review from any one person as face value. There are so many people writing reviews out there that are horribly biased or from people that build a hype around their internet persona. I can’t lie that I have my biases and my preferences. Just remember to get as much information from as many sources as you can.