"Not that I’m a science wizard, but here are four elements of a scientific investigation that are very useful in testing."
Today I had an awesome session at Hookipa while testing some fins. Testing is sometimes made out to be a drag but it can be very fun! I think the number one reason why people don’t like testing is because they go through hours of testing without any results. Not that I’m a science wizard or anything but there are four elements of a scientific investigation that I find can be very useful in a test. After all, testing is a science experiment.
The first is the Independent Variable. This will be the thing that changes in your test. For example, it would be the change in fins from a single to a quad. Lots of people make too minor changes and don’t get results. Be dramatic in order to get an idea of what works for you, then fine tune it.
Next, is the Dependent Variable. This is whether or not your independent variable did anything. So if you change from a single fin to a quad the dependent variable would be that the board became more skatey and loose, its basically the result of your experiment. If you don’t get a result, try making bigger adjustments. If this doesn’t work go back to your original set-up and get an idea of what you had before compared to what you have now.
Third, is the Control. This is your set-up before you began testing. So if you were switching from a single to a quad, the single would be the control. It's always a good idea to go out and have a short session before you start testing in order to see what your set-up feels like in the conditions you are sailing. You don’t want to have sailed in on-shore winds the day before and now start testing your new stuff in off-shore winds because it will throw your results off completely.
Finally, there is the Constant. This is the element of your test that cannot change in order to get perfect results. Say you are sailing in the morning with your single fin and then in the afternoon you decide to sail your quad but the wind and waves have changed completely. Well, you can’t do that because you’ll never know if the new set-up is making a difference or if its just the fact the the wind has died to an awesome 15 mph and you are catching glassy shoulders that weren’t there this morning.
Well hopefully this isn’t just a bunch of jibberish and it can actually help someone out there who wants to test but doesn’t know the right steps. Thanks!