The thing about gear is that, its relative to the hill or region. Sure there are the fan clubs...burton in east, ns and venture in colorado, lib/gnu in pnw, and prior in bc....and the reasons are partly based in fact that the team/proto testing is generally done in those areas...therefore a board/gear made to handle those conditions/terrain. In a general forum, like here, some folks forget that the local hill is a huge influence of their riding style, preferences and what they tote as the best. Perhaps at the beginner and intermediate level it doesn't matter so much but at the expert level the little design things for the conditions/terrain just add up. So just take into account their region and riding level and style and perhaps check in with a local core shop and their seasoned riders to see what they ride or recommend.