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X-GAMES is a better venue to showcase Rodeo and Creek Racing

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  • #4184
    markpospisil
    Participant

    New topic based on the "Future of whitewater kayking…"

    #27609
    Perrett
    Participant

    ok so you may be right about the most participants and viewers…but look at the population of where the sport is most popular…obv. its goign to have the most players.

    X-Games, i had totaly forgotten about would be a great place kaykaing to have an International comp. The x-games would also have way better coverage than this years worlds….if you wanted to know what was goign on you had to watch the boater board or go on youtube to watch the rides after they happend.

    #27610
    markpospisil
    Participant

    Perhaps some of the BIG players in the sport need to start pushing their weight with ESPN to get a little expo event action. Even when Summer X Games are held in Ohio, they could have an off "venue" area for Kayaking, and in Cali the same thing.

    But another thought, the Xtreme TV channel has little or no Kayaking, mass public loves carnage, and creekign carnage would be great on those channels, they also do athlete profile crap and locatipn profile stuff like Ride Guide Snow and Ride Guide Bike, what is a group of paddlers got togther and traveled togther, docuemented it into a weekly 30min show, 8 weeks, I think someone or a group of someones…Jackson Kayaks, Dagger, Liquid Logic, Red Bull, Subaru could use their corperate sposership to help the athletes get more TV time, thus increasing awarness of the sport.

    #27611
    Perrett
    Participant

    those are all great ideas, and soo true about the xtream channel, guys doing rockey and technecal drops look amazing and im sure pepoel would love to see it, it would be a change fomr the everyday urban skating, trials, and snowboarding whis we have all seen a million times. they shoudl atleast give kayaking a trial period to see how it works out!

    only problem is getting somone who would be heard to say all of this and suggest it…

    #27612
    Gary George
    Participant

    The best possible method of growing the sport would involve a much more sedate approach than is currently being taken.

    Big and bigger drops may appeal to us and the folks who are looking for that level of involvement and thrill.

    However, realistically the secret to making Kayaking more appealling overall is to down play the hardcore and upsell the scenery, the wild and beautiful places you can get to only in a kayak. Beach scenes from within the Grand Canyon would have broader appeal to the general public than do shots of the giant waves of Lava Falls.

    Most folks eventually grow into families and families aren’t likely to be out taking risky Class 5 river trips. The current flat growth of Kayaking can be attributed to the distraction of raising families. The recent spurt in growth of this sport has slowed for now as the folks who entered the sport over the late 90’s are hitting that spot where mortgages and school are higher priorities.

    They’ll be back soon and bringing with them kids. The largest potential for growth lies with those kinds of folks.

    The higher end, creek running, hard core freestylers are a predetermined portion of society. They are risk takers, the extreme end of a specific personality type. There are only so many of those types in any given segment of society. Based on that real growth lies with the regular joes who aren’t nearly as likely to surpass intermediate / advanced level of skills.

    I’m not saying that we should stop promoting the hard core. I am saying that if we want real growth we have to tailor our image and message to be more appealling to families and other mainstream folks.

    Doesn’t souind like much fun does it.

    #27613
    markpospisil
    Participant

    Well put Gary,

    I agree that growing a family appeal to the sport/activity is also necessary and would likely reap huge results.

    As Father father of a 2 year old, I have a mortgage, which I am gettign ready to double, I can see your point. And I will definietly introduce the sport to my boy in the next 6-8 years.

    My point of creeking/play as growth inducers would be for that other segment of the population, the teenagers/college/twentie somethings.

    I think that the BIG boys in the paddling community need to come together and go after all the groups at once.

    Anther thing which I feel has a big hit on the sport is the price of new equipment.

    $1000+ for a NEW boat, PDF, Helmate, paddle, spray skirt…and once the begginer who is commited to getting into more serious larger water is ready they’ll need a wetsuit/dry gear to get out in the earl spring run off.

    Renting is an option, but still at $35 a day for a boat and some gear its tough.

    Demo’s are good way and the Clinics are great.

    #27614
    CrazyDave
    Participant

    i agree, however, i think both would best.

    The nice beach scenes and grand canyon shots would be great for helping people who are not as enthused about running giant waterfalls and nice technical rapids. I think that there should be shots of the big stuff as well because it would actually show the limits to which we were actually taking the sport. The big stuff would get the extreme channes and the x-games looking into paddling and help the sport grow that way, and all of the nicer shots would help entice people more. It would show them what a real day on the river is really like.

    #27615
    MacMahooon
    Participant

    Gary your right that you cant expect a huge influx of people into the higher, more "extreme" aspects of kayaking by showing it to the masses but there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the wow factor and getting a little recognition and showing whats possible. This parallels the same conversations that have gone on for years in skiing/snowboarding and mt biking. Like you said it is fairly predetermined the type of people who will progress into the upper levels of all these extreme/adventure sports, those of us the public normally label as "Crazy", but thats not to say it doesn’t encourage a few new weekend warriors.

    One problem I see with XGames type events for kayaking is accessibility. How many of the huge creek runs worthy of showing have epic drops where you can line 2000 spectators along the shoreline and ridiculous amounts of broadcast gear. What X has done well with other sports is take a small slice of sport and mold it into something that can be included within their venues. In kayaking case this would most likely be an intown or manmade wave for freestyle.

    As for big showy creeking, a redbull event (the likes of the Redbull Rampage for mt biking) where the events are still hosted in the natural less accessible settings, but sponsored, advertised, filmed and rebroadcast to show off the most impressive aspects of the sport, seems more appropriate.

    Over beers I could talk about this for hours as I have been with skiing for years. Theres also the olympic discussion but I dont feel like typing that much.

    #27616
    Gary George
    Participant

    The cost of entering this sport is not a real factor limiting participation.

    Essentially there is no cost once your all geared up. Transportation aside.

    Consider that the Dancer was worth about $800.00 new in it’s day.

    The current price of a boat is lower than that when you consider inflation.

    As for "the big stuff" being an attractant, it is more likely a repellant. Someone used the word "crazy". That is exactly what holds this sport back in terms of ordinary people.

    Reality is we tend to paddle in very safe places, the accident rate is exceptionally low compared to much more accepted pastimes yet we have an image, that we perpetuate, that is "extreme" and risk oriented.

    It is that which keeps us on the fringes, it keeps insurance companies twitchin, it makes business owners and school administraters nervous and it represents a very limited aspect of the overall sport.

    Shed that image and promote the more common approach to the sport, that being river running and play in features like S-bend or Pushbutton, the things most of us do, and we’ll see participation go up.

    There will always be a place for hair boating and full on freestyle but reality is that its not for the masses and it appears out of reach and highly risky to non-initiated civilians.

    #27617
    h2sk1
    Participant
    "Gary George":3qspklkf wrote:
    The cost of entering this sport is not a real factor limiting participation.

    ….snip…….

    Shed that image and promote the more common approach to the sport, that being river running and play in features like S-bend or Pushbutton, the things most of us do, and we’ll see participation go up.

    [/quote:3qspklkf]

    Well said. I agree whole heartedly. Talk to your friends who have NO interest in whitewater canoeing or kayaking. They’ll mirror this sentiment exactly — they don’t want to get hurt or risk their life. Many suggestions have been made on how to involve young (pre-teens) and families to the sport. Kayaking in particular has an incredible drop-out rate. The number of people that take courses, buy a boat, paddle for 2-5 years, then give it up completely is high. I saw the stats last winter at a conference related to the ski industry (which has the same issues, btw). The belief is that 20 somethings are drawn to the sport because of the perceived thrill & cool factor. These factors wear out quickly, and the participant loses interest as s/he settles down. This wouldnt happen if the sport was seen as more inclusive, kid friendly, etc.

    #27618
    Phitty
    Participant

    Hmm – I disagree Gary (twice in 2 days… sorry).

    If the ski industry (which is many many times more lucrative and popular than ww kayaking will ever be) took that same perspective, the brochures, ads, tv shows, movies, fashion, magazine would show 40+ yr olds crusing the green runs.

    That is where the money actually comes from. (And the ski industry knows what exactly what they are doing, and how it will work.)

    But to attract their attention, the ski industry shows the big stuff. Resorts advertise their "powder" and trees, the glossy pics are show cliff drops and hi speed powder turns (even though the likelihood of that occuring in resort boundaries is pretty slim.) Rarely – maybe on an inside page – they show Little Timmy practicing his "pizza slice" under the watchful tutelage of some blonde instructor chick.

    In short, showcase the big stuff (powder and cliffs), but provide the small stuff (green runs and hot chocolate). The money will follow.

    IMHO the same will work for kayaking, but freestyle is not "powder and cliffs" it falls short as an eye catcher.

    Edited to add: It is easier and less intimidating to "try" skiing for a day though. Kayaking is a bit more intensive to get started.

    #27619
    h2sk1
    Participant
    "Phitty":3rtdinya wrote:
    Hmm – I disagree Gary (twice in 2 days… sorry).

    If the ski industry (which is many many times more lucrative and popular than ww kayaking will ever be) took that same perspective, the brochures, ads, tv shows, movies, fashion, magazine would show 40+ yr olds crusing the green runs.

    That is where the money actually comes from. (And the ski industry knows what exactly what they are doing, and how it will work.)

    But to attract their attention, the ski industry shows the big stuff. Resorts advertise their "powder" and trees, the glossy pics are show cliff drops and hi speed powder turns (even though the likelihood of that occuring in resort boundaries is pretty slim.) Rarely – maybe on an inside page – they show Little Timmy practicing his "pizza slice" under the watchful tutelage of some blonde instructor chick.

    In short, showcase the big stuff (powder and cliffs), but provide the small stuff (green runs and hot chocolate). The money will follow.

    IMHO the same will work for kayaking, but freestyle is not "powder and cliffs" it falls short as an eye catcher.

    Edited to add: It is easier and less intimidating to "try" skiing for a day though. Kayaking is a bit more intensive to get started.[/quote:3rtdinya]

    Phitty – true enough, but the ski resorts HEAVILY advertise their ‘learn-to-ski’ and kids programs, with these facilities being prominantly placed where everyone can see them. New comers feel they can try it.

    I disagree that kayaker or canoeing in WW has a higher learning curve. It is all a matter of choosing location and setting expectations of the students.

    #27620
    Gary George
    Participant

    Phitty you wouldn’t be so much disagreeing with me as with Kent Ford and the ACA.

    This is exactly what they found in studying the differences between the relative success of Skiing and Whitewater Paddling.

    The ski industry has focused much more on family experiences, and targeted the mainstream of society when developing ad campaigns.

    Conversly Whitewater has used almost exclusively hard core imagery and has marketed to itself. The fact that we refer to our videos as "porn" pretty much says it all.

    I’m just relaying the message put over to instructers at the Canadian Whitewater Instructers Conference held this spring at Palmer. The focus of the instruction industry for the last few years has been attrition rates and these ideas are the results of extensive study, conference consultation and observation from within the industry. The ski industry has been used extensively as a point of comparison. You cannot argue the fact that almost everybody has been down a commercial ski hill. On the other hand whitewater paddlers and people who have paddled their own craft in whitewater is a very small number by comparison.

    #27621
    MacMahooon
    Participant
    "Gary George":1c2bu6ex wrote:
    Conversly Whitewater has used almost exclusively hard core imagery and has marketed to itself. The fact that we refer to our videos as "porn" pretty much says it all.
    [/quote:1c2bu6ex]

    Ski videos are also referred to as "Ski Porn" as they are targeted at the people already in the ski culture, or the outsiders simply looking for the Wow factor. You’ll never see a ski video with someone cruising a green run, its showcasing the biggest lines and progressive park tricks.

    The thing that skiing has are giant commercial venues advertising and enticing people to join the sport. Your first time is extremely accessible. You can go, rent gear take lessons, even stay at the mountain and just enjoy the nightlife if its really not your thing. You can then buy gear either right at a resort, or any of a large number of retailers from Core shops to SportChek. Theres no Tremblant or Whistler’s that I know of in the kayak world spending big money to draw in the people. Its not the retailers who encourage newcomers, its the resorts themselves.

    Kayaking is not a widely advertised or publically known sport and unless some of these major canoe/kayak organizations really step up to broadcast it to the world, an event like XGames showcasing even a small facet of the sport will do more to attract people then a few pictures of a leisurely family river run.

    #27622
    mark.d
    Participant

    skateboarding in the olympics 2012



    http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/news?s … &type=lgns

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