Actually that is exactly what separates good review sites from bad ones. Bad ones are in it to get the free shit. If you want to keep something, that decision should be made after you've ridden the product. That way the review is done already and is as unbiased as it can be.
Only picking Mervin cause they have high value, but if you consistently get like 10 Mervins to review that Mervin does not expect back, and you start giving them bad reviews what are the chances the next year they're willing to send another $5000 worth of boards? Expecting the free product influences your review. Don't wanna bite the hand that feeds.
That's almost exactly what happened in the case of my 2012 Evo review. That board was a loaner from NS for me to ride and review/give input. A call tag was sent out for it when I was done. I ended up missing the delivery truck. At which point, NS asked if I liked it enough to keep it.
Your Mervin analogy is missing a few variables. What if you actually like most of their boards? What then? What if Mervin actually likes if you don't like a board and can give them specific details on why you dislike it?
This seems to be the common theme with this debacle. People against this are viewing it as negatively as possible. They leave no room for the bright side.
I was going to save this for the review, but eff it now. I'm not particularly stoked on the new Proto. I prefer the old one. I bet now people are going to accuse me of saying that because of this stupid drama.
Funny because I told the people I ride with, some members on this forum like Sabatoa, that I wasn't stoked on the new Proto.
Who knows though? This is only after a day on the board. My opinion could change.
Rest assured, I'll be letting NS know the exact reasons why I prefer my old Proto if it should remain that way as I ride this board more.