What makes a review, a review?
You might think this to be a simple enough subject. Unfortunately, like a lot of things in this existence of ours, it may need a bit explaining. Let me draw a parallel for you.
By saying that a product review on a piece of surf hardware is simple, is like saying that the bottom of a surfboard is just ‘the opposite of the top’. It’s true, but there is a lot more to it than that. I would now like to share with you the different sort of reviews or recommendations a company might use you to coerce you into parting with that hard earned cash.
1- An Advertisement
We all know what this is, we see them daily on our jaunt through life. This, believe me or not, is one of the most ‘honest’ ways of informing you (the customer) and potential punter that “you should buy this”. Why? Because the company has paid for the advertising, everyone knows this and still it works. Tried, tested and (dare I say it) honest. We all know where we stand, it’s an ad. Simple.
2 – Sponsorship
Sponsorship I guess we all know about. There are many different forms but the idea being that a ‘professional’ or someone with some kind of respectful standing within a certain organization, will ‘endorse’ a certain product, verbally or visually. Connecting with these ‘ambassadors’ with the right image, suits the brand. This may lead to wallets being deployed and cash being splashed (best case scenario).
3- An Influencer
Sneaky little Influencers, yes indeed, the name suggests it all. These are people who receive products and can be seen using said product (or maybe just holding it) in that way that makes others want it. In today’s social media driven world, these people are the brands’ cheapest option. All they have to do is have an Instagram following of ?? and be seen to be doing the thing that they are selling. Simple. They don’t have to say or endorse anything per se. Some Influencers may generally believe in the product, some may not, you will never know. Bottom line is, does it tell you that the product is any good? No. It does not. But it does make you want it.
4 – An Aditorial
This is an advert that is made to look like a review, or at least a research article. A sneaky one. The advertiser is in charge of writing their own ‘review’ or ‘detailed piece’. The publisher then edits it all to make it look like a research article. A common example might be ‘The 2018 Full Range Wetsuit Review’ with all the top names. This is not a ‘review’, this is an Aditorial. Does this tell you if a product is any good? No. What it does to is show is all the ‘jargon’ and ‘features’ to tempt you to, again. Splash that cash.
5 – A Paid for Review
Probably the most dangerous of all of them, a ‘review’ that has a cash value to the advertiser. In other words it’s going to be biased. The product owner has final say and control over how their product is ‘perceived’ or ‘rated’. Basically a massive contradiction. Like saying that poo does not smell. It’s an either an untruth or based on an exchange that is untruthful. How can you believe a ‘review’ when money has changed hands. Simple. You can’t.
6 – An Unbiased and Objective Surf Bunker Review
Uhem, so it’s not often that we blow our own trumpets here at Surf Bunker (for one it’s painful and can be difficult unless you are very bendy) so if you will indulge us with a moment of self-importance and maybe hysterical superiority. We are in the business of honesty, here, it’s our driving essence and the whole team get paid zero. Nothing. Nada. It’s not to say we have not been offered it, we have, but how can you have an unbiased and honest, factual review when green notes are changing hands? You can’t.
A lot of people don’t like what we are doing but we care little, happy to blaze our own trail down an honest road and all to bring you the truth about products we have tested thoroughly ourselves. We are a collective of ‘average at best’ surfers who are tired of the old format and seek to bring you a great big slice of unbiased facts about surf hardware.
We invite anyone to send us products and we judge them without prejudice, reporting the good, the bad and the ugly. You know that what you read is actually what we think.
We don’t care about your wallet, we don’t want you to get it out, and we won’t endorse or recommend anything unless we believe it to be worthy. Some might say, if you don’t see the product reviewed here, then those who make it don’t believe in it strongly enough to have it genuinely tested and rated by us. The gauntlet has been thrown down.
What if a company or manufacturer does not want to spend the money on sending us one of their bits of hardware? You may ask. We have very recently reviewed a ‘brand’ with tremendous eco potential, a game changer in the way we should think about a certain piece of surf hardware. The manufacturer has sent us two or three pieces, yet he is a ‘one man band’ still operates at a loss and only make six of these things a week. He could afford it. He believed in it and with good reason.
Okay, so time to put the trumpet away, maybe do some stretches before next time.
To coagulate the flow key taps we have just spewed so you might understand; This is a call out to all those who have developed a product that they believe in and we are throwing the gauntlet down to those think they are too big to fail. Send us some stuff and help get the truth out there.
This has been a public propaganda rant from your team of hardware reviewers. Stepping of the soap box now.