Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

·
Registered
Joined
·
570 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,453 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,453 Posts
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...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,440 Posts
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.,.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Yeah, 5000/year sounds more realistic. Then factor in the number of "only on the river twice" used boats for sale and you start to see how small the ww community really is.

Personally, I didn't think the outside article was that negative. So: the pros are competing in front of no spectators for no money, and people expect them to act like astronauts?
I'm pretty sure I'd want some whiskey after being stuffed in a macking ledge hole and cooking dinner off a camp stove in a Tim Horton's parking lot.


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,453 Posts
Yeah, 5000/year sounds more realistic. Then factor in the number of "only on the river twice" used boats for sale and you start to see how small the ww community really is.

Personally, I didn't think the outside article was that negative. So: the pros are competing in front of no spectators for no money, and people expect them to act like astronauts?
I'm pretty sure I'd want some whiskey after being stuffed in a macking ledge hole and cooking dinner off a camp stove in a Tim Horton's parking lot.


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz

Sorry for our misunderstanding on numbers. I'm a boater, I like to party too. I've known many of the WWGP guys since they were juniors. As a father type, I'd rather not see some of them binging the way they do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,453 Posts
I think it's hilarious anyone has a problem with the article.
Its not completely accurate and puts a somewhat over the top spin on some of it, especially the title(s). I could see why Patrick, who has poured his heart into the event, would write a rebuttal. Its written more for the non paddling, arm chair, weekend warrior than the core athlete. There is a much broader picture to be drawn if you want accurate reporting or even just a window into the event and that level of the sport. IMO, it short changes the sport, the event and many of the athletes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
I felt like the article lamented the decline of boaters in the sport...if that's the truth. What does dead mean? That it's not commercially viable???? I feel like the WWGP celebrates the devotees to the sport that are pushing it to the limits and gives the weekend warrior kayakers like me who live vicariously through Vimeo some entertainment.

I've been boating for 10 years now in the PNW and am perfectly content with the number of people kayaking. I used to be really into skiing and would buy a pass every year but since I started boating have been turned off of skiing due to the crowds and the scene. I would hate for kayaking to be as popular as snow sports. That would completely ruin kayaking for me.

Who cares if it's a relatively small few who boat regularly? Guess it's less add space to sell in Outside. The primary ones that gain are ww retailers, instructors, guides and??? I guess the core boating community may lose out on innovations like the "hi-n-dry" or new boat designs but it seems like there is enough demand to produce quality boats every year.

The 5,000 boats a year might be right. In my 10 years I've bought one new boat and many used.


Sent from my iPad using Mountain Buzz
 

·
God Amongst Men
Joined
·
1,994 Posts
The Throne just after Double Knife on Clear Creek;)
There are few things better than sitting on the side of the river, enjoying a safety meeting, on a warm CO summer's day, with rapids above and below, with some of your best buds. There are damn few places I would rather be.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top