White Water Grand Prix in the news... - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-25-2015   #1
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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White Water Grand Prix in the news...

I recall a heated discussion about fundraising surrounding the WWGP a few years back. In that vein, the discussion continues in the sports media realm.

Does Whitewater Kayaking Have an Image Issue?

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Old 03-26-2015   #2
 
San Jose, CA, California
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money not image

I think the root here is money. The professionals are trying to make a living kayaking in paddling gnar style races. And its is just as hard if not harder than ever. Even while athletes are producing great media, there is a trend of kayak companies in paying them less and less. At least according to the articles.

One point I find interesting was the data, "Outside" used suggesting kayaking peaked in 2002 with 3.9 million paddlers and then fell by half in two years. That does not seem logical. I do not recall a large exodus of the sport and subsequent boat sales during that time.

parent link to the outside article: Behind the Scenes at the Whitewater Grand Prix | Whitewater Kayaking | OutsideOnline.com

response to the article: News – Whitewater Grand Prix - #whitewaterismagic

The image contention: Today's Pro Kayaker Image - EXPLORING ELEMENTS

My take in three points:

1. Kayaking is scary most people that start do not make it past that fear and into the fun.

2. People who try a make a living off the sport do so by marketing products through media. There is so much content these days that its value has decreased. Supply and demand. No pro kayaker has made it on a Forbs wealthy list. Now more than ever they are trying to make it out of Moms basement.

3. I think the best kayaker is the one who has the most fun. If you can do this while being respectful to others around you the image problem is not a problem.
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Old 03-26-2015   #3
 
salem, Oregon
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3.9 million ww kayakers at the peak?! No way in hell is that even in the right order of magnitude.
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Old 03-26-2015   #4
 
BV, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinsdaba View Post
3.9 million ww kayakers at the peak?! No way in hell is that even in the right order of magnitude.

Too many or too few?
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Old 03-26-2015   #5
 
salem, Oregon
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what does your intuition tell you?
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Old 03-26-2015   #6
 
BV, CO
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My intuition tells me you are misinformed...
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Old 03-26-2015   #7
 
salem, Oregon
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yeah, probably Jerk-off Analytics Research Firm has a better idea
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Old 03-26-2015   #8
 
BV, CO
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I have some knowledge on this subject and 2002 is probably a good call on the peak, at least as measured by ww boat sales. That was when flat bottom boats were new and companies were putting out significantly new designs sometimes multiple times a year. There is *very* little money available to the best pros. Many that compete on the pro level are getting nothing more than free gear.

Unfortunately, I think much of the Outdoor article is pretty accurate. Hard charging partying is a real part of the WWGP and a sizable number of the participants are part of it. I'd point out that the consistent winner and most that finish on the podium are not part of that group, at least not during the comp, and 2 of the PHD candidates mentioned in the article who were not present for the over the top stuff are members of our immediate community here in CO.
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Old 03-26-2015   #9
 
BV, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinsdaba View Post
yeah, probably Jerk-off Analytics Research Firm has a better idea
Great retort. Doode, I had the CEO of one of the top companies tell me 10 or so years ago that there were 5,000 ww boats sold each year industry wide. 3.9 million ww boaters sounds damn high to me. I've boated in most regions of this country and on 4 different continents in my 20 years of boating. I've also had some close contact with the whole competitive side of the sport, including through the "Golden Era". I was the prime sponsor of one of the best freestylers for quite a few years and engaged a lot of other sponsors and ww companies on his behalf. That's the basis of my observations...
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Old 03-26-2015   #10
 
Denver, Colorado
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Phil,

I am sure you know more about it than I do ,but that figure does seem way high .That would be well over 1% of Americans kayaks whitewater.How was the figure arrived at? Perhaps by extrapolations from boat sales that peaked that year for the reasons you stated.I would question that methodology' s accuracy and the results it yielded .Think of all the people you've encountered in life.Were anywhere near 1% of them we boaters...well you are in BV and have a kid who competes ,so maybe in your case......think of the population of boater wastelands like New Jersey,Chicago,Miami,LA ,etc.

I can 't see someone performing near their best with a bad hangover...semi sobriety probably is a big advantage ...that's coming from a semi alcoholic ...I don't like to boat drunk...maybe a beer or two on mellow stuff or a safety meeting after the crux..now at camp.,.
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