As to who reviews cater too i will respectfully disagree. In my thought, an experienced rider will not rely on a review to make a purchasing decisions. A casual snowboarder doing their research is going to hold a review to a much higher regard. If i had to take a bet i would say that reviews get much more
traffic from the casual rider who doesn't have an account and who found the review by typing into google.
Yeah, and what's the problem with that? I'm a noob, I don't get to demo (either not all companies I might be interested in will demo in my area OR I am just unable to make it up to the mountain when they do). Reviews, when done well, help me make an informed decision. I ended up getting my first board based on various online ratings, asking people in a thread here, AND what the shop people told me about it. I am happy with it. The end.
Also, are you saying that everyone who DOES have an account here is an experienced (not casual) rider? Well I've got news for you, pal!
And what's wrong with people typing into google and finding reviews?
I expect these people on the team to write good, thoughtful and helpful reviews. For now, I will trust them that they will be objective -- as objective as they can be, as any review carries a note of subjectivity simply because it was done by a human being. If, from reading their stuff, I find that they're not being objective, I will put less value on their reviews and maybe even call them out on that. The forums will be open for users to comment on the reviews. Again, what is the problem?
Also, the fact that these people will be able to INFLUENCE NS's design decisions will likely result in better boards for the rest of us. Gee, I tried really hard to stay out of this shitstorm, but this has been blown way out of proportion! Can we just draw a line, say we're done and whatever happens will happen? What's the big deal? Really!