What you want in a Magazine

With all the talk about what we don’t like in magazines, I wonder what you’d like to see in a great magazine.

  • Dump the extreme whitewater coverage.
  • Add in more Sea Kayaking coverage in surf, big waves, tidal currents.
  • Coverage of lightweight paddling and how to do it.
  • Coverage of week long trips by average adventurous people.
  • Coverage of longer trips by average people, like the Chasing the Ana trip by kayakwisconsin.com.
  • In depth reviews with lines, hydrostatics, etc… like in Sea Kayaker.
  • Traditional Canoe coverage.
  • Wooden canoe and kayak coverage.

    What about your list?

Love your site, what happened to it?

Lists don’t work
Because our preferences and interests change. When you are starting out you want lots of articles that will help you out in getting started. But if you have been paddling for years you are going to say “how boring”. And there are people like me who don’t care a rats ass for canoeing. Does that mean the publisher should leave out canoeing articles? Is it just a matter of numbers at the moment? I think publishers have a very difficult job serving a wide audience. The narrower the group being served, the easier.

Having said that, I expect of a broad spectrum magazine that there be something of interest for me in most issues since I actually have a reasonably broad interest (except canoes, of course). I had a subscription to Canoe and Kayak and found I was looking at the table of contents and tossing it in the recycle bin. On the other hand, you also find articles that you should be interested in but are simply badly done. Review articles in C and K and Paddler have been generally in that cataegory in my experience. So I am willing to tolerate articles of no interest to me as long as there are articles I am interested in that are well done (assuming I don’t have really narrow preferences).

How about posting stuff like this on
the Discussion forum, where it won’t be archived? What about “Advice, Suggestions, or General Help” does your post address??

I think print is about done
For sports coverage, daily interest stuff the Web does a better job. It can cover everything from the everyday guy with a Grumman to the guys out smashing themselves down widowmaker runs all in the same format.

Magazines are OK for reviews etc, but they really can’t keep up with the pace of online. I know I don’t purchase magazines anymore. There is more information online, and its free.

more scratch and sniff

it’s kayaking related…
Despite what the descriptions of the forums say, this forum is pretty much for anything paddling related and the paddlers place discussion forum is for everything else that we want to talk about (general discussion).

Why do you have such a hangup on playing forum cop? If you think certain posts are inappropriate, simply press the ‘alert’ button and let Brent decide.

more canoe camping

– Last Updated: Jan-29-07 12:43 AM EST –

would suit me, and definitely less of the extreme whitewater kayaking. There are 3 million canoeists and kayakers in the US, and probably less than 1% of them go in for hucking themselves off waterfalls and screaming profanities at each other for no other reason than shock value.

And BTW I think this thread fits very nicely in the advice forum. its all about canoeing and kayaking. I appreciate g2d wishing to keep the board clean and odor free, but jeez guy, lighten up.....its a friendly forum and we're all sharing our "advice, suggestions and general help", eh?

We're "advising" C&K and Paddler that we don't like their content, we're "suggesting" topics that would be more valuable to us, and we're offering "general help" in how to keep readers entertained and informed. Now what part of that doesn't fit in this forum? Same thing applies to the other 4 threads on this topic, in this forum, today.

You know you’re wrong.
You’re just waiting to jump on me, but you’re too short.

What I’d like to see…
Is articles on canoeing expeditions, sea kayaking expedition etc. Trips throught North America. Informtaive “How To” pieces are good for the genral public. Not really interested in the big whitewater stuff myself too much. It is fun stuff at imes but is not what would make me buy a magazine. If I see a good tripping/ expedition article though that looks good, then I will buy the magazine. Not too interesed in the little articles on things like “Urban paddling” and so on though.

Reviews on boats and equipment are okay but are only as good as those doing the reviews.

Articles pertaining to the history of the sport…canoeing, sea kayaking etc…those are also articles that would make me buy a magazine if they appear to be well done.

Cheers…Joe O’Blenis

advice and suggestions

– Last Updated: Jan-29-07 8:44 AM EST –

on how to improve a magazine.

We discuss on ALL forums. I know this is a challenging nuance for you particularly.

Dream list

– Last Updated: Jan-29-07 9:02 AM EST –

I agree 100% on the cutting WAY back of the extreme kayaking stories. The main article should not be of a kayaking expedition to Peru. How many of us can relate to that? I also feel that rafting gets about 2 to 3 times the space it should. How about MANY more boat, paddle and gear reviews. More stories of real life canoe adventures. Articles aimed at improving technique. And most important: Full nude centerfolds splayed across the latest whitewater open boats!

My two cents, for what it’s worth
Maybe just take a look at what Canoe Magazine was like in the early nineties. I was fortunate enough to pick up some old copies that Pat was disposing of at a recent Ozark Rendezvous. Reminded me of what a good paddling magazine was like.

Well written articles. They reviewed gear people used. Had regular articles on technique. Had good articles on places to paddle, including some detail on what the area was like, what you could expect to encounter while paddling, good descriptions on how to get there, and what level of paddling experience would be needed for a safe trip. Unlike the current rag they chose a wide variety of destinations to write about, not the same few places over and over again.

I’ll admit it was more about canoeing than kayaking, but as kayaking gained popularity they started publishing more kayaking related pieces. In my opinion when it first started as Canoe and Kayak it had a good balance of both canoeing and kayaking articles, and it was of good quality regarding its writing, editing, and layout.

I dropped my Canoe and Kayak subscription years ago. I started to see the same articles reappearing. Articles on destinations that were beyond my reach, to the exclusion of places I might actually be able paddle. Those few articles on destinations of interest to me were superficial, poorly written, and provided no real useful information or a feel of what it was like to actually paddle that destination. Also, the focus of the magazine shifted almost exclusively to what I call gonzo or extreme kayaking.

Face it I guess I’m just an old fogey, but stories about going over waterfalls just don’t do anything for me. Also the overabundance of advertising bothers me although I understand the need for revenue, but why does the editorial content have to look like the advertising?

I guess the final straw was one issue where I did not see anything, neither articles nor advertising, related to canoes or canoeing until page 38.

I can think of many other places I would rather spend my time and money.

Everyone wants their own magazine
It’s not feasable but, every paddling discipline would like a magazine geared exclusivly to what they paddle. Just give me a magazine 100% canoeing content. I have no interest reading about the ‘other’ floaty plastic things that everyone and their mother buy’s now. Seakayakers have ‘SeaKayak’ magazine, sounds like it’s geared exclusivly to seakayaking. ( I did, use to pick up Seakayak magazine and read it back in '90-‘91, still have a few issues packed away from back then). How about ’ Box Store boats’ magazine ! A magazine designed to help those who buy their hunk of plastic from a Box store know what the limitations are.

Everyone’s Different…
so one’s “local trip” is someone else’s “exotic” location. One’s mellow trip is someone else’s challenge. One’s exciting trip is another person’s craziness.

The mag’s try to compromise like hell to get the broadest readership. For people just getting into the sport and wanting to soak up everything, the mags are great for about a couple of years. Then, they become less exciting and more redundant. Plus the individual begins to acquire very specific preferences for their paddling where the coverage by mags is 90% off from the specific interest.


down to earth
I agree with those above who suggest that atricles on EXtreme kayaking in Afganistan and the like are of no or little interest to the average paddler. I would prefer to see stories on rivers and routes here in the USA or at least North America. I want to see stories on places where I might actually be able to try.

ah you’re RETIRED
That explains things.

There are some kids on your lawn…

Magazines exist to serve advertisers
Not to serve you. They are all about convincing you that you need to buy more stuff to be fulfilled. That’s why they are ultimately unsatisfying. Pnet exists to serve advertisers, too, of course. But WE control the content, and through search functions can access the precise information we need at any time.

But as for those articles about extreme kayaking in Afghanistan–those are the ones I read all the way through. I have never paddled anything more than Class II, and am never likely to paddle Afghanistan. But I find stories about extreme adventures entertaining, nonetheless. Far more entertaining than an article on how to perfect a draw stroke.

Still There
Should still be there. I guess my host shuts down the servers on the hour every hour now, which is annoying, but it should work. Let me know if it doesn’t for you, and I’ll figure out how to make it work.

except consumer reports
and specialty mags.

They may serve advertisers but if circulation drops those advertisers go elsewhere.