Sunday, January 8, 2012

WindSurfing & Boards · Cisco & Jimmie at Jaws

Two windsurfing institutions are changed forever. U.S. based WindSurfing suspends publication; translation: going out of business. British based Boards decides to end their monthly print magazine. Unlike their American competition they will give it a go in the digital realm.

In 1980, Terry Snow, founder and owner of World Publishing, started his second magazine: WindRider. In 1990, they bought out their sole competitor, Windsurf and merged the 2 into the renamed WindSurfing. World Publishing was bought out by Swedish media giant, Bonnier Corp. in 2006. Just 5 years later:

"Bonnier Corp. has announced it will suspend publication of WindSurfing and Kiteboarding magazines. Due to a continual decline and consolidation in the windsurfing and kiteboarding markets, the magazines have been placed on hiatus, effective immediately. The Feb./March 2012 edition of Kiteboarding, currently in production, will be produced and distributed."

They believe the growth potential, increased revenue from advertising, subscriptions and counter sales, did not warrant the continuation of the 30 year old institution. This does not mean the sport is declining rather we are just growing too slowly for a company like Bonnier to stay in the windsurfing entertainment business. They, like all print businesses, continue to adjust their operations seeking to find balance between a finely honed, matured modus operandi and the new digital future. In the end, windsurfing was viewed as too small a market. The abrupt closing surprised everyone in the sport.

WS Mag had just relocated to Hood River in 2011 and shared an office (also closing) with Kiteboarding, the other magazine in their Bonnier Group. A check of the corporate website showed they were quickly erasing names. Former editor, Josh Sampiero, is already searching for new horizons which could potentially include staying in the windsurfing industry. "The sport of windsurfing and WINDSURFING magazine changed my life," says Josh. "It took me all over the world, introduced me to incredible people, and gave me the life many dream of, and for that, I'll always be grateful. And no matter what, I'll always be a windsurfer." The WS Mag website will also close. There was no comment about the possibility of selling WS Mag. Officially, they will retain their property with the hope they might reconstitute it in the future if market conditions warrant. But this seemed a fairly far fetched idea after talking with Dean Turcol, VP Corporate Communications for Bonnier Corp. He put the circulation for 2011 around 25,000.
The latest and possibly the last WS Mag Email Newsletter did not mention anything about the closing. Turcol said: "Current subscribers will receive a notice that they will receive TransWorld Surf for the duration of their subscription. However, if they do not wish to receive TransWorld Surf, they may select an alternate Bonnier-produced magazine."

Boards Magazine started in 1982; the venerable content powerhouse produced 10 issues per year. After much soul searching, they are changing from a print to a digital focused enterprise. Their press release: "Following an extensive review of the current windsurfing market and the demands of both audiences and brands, Boards have made the proactive decision to increase their investment and presence within the online market. From Jan 1st 2012, they will begin a program of investment that will include the launch of a new windsurfing website and mobile applications (please note – the forum will be unaffected other than enhancements to speed and reliability which we realise will be much welcomed).

To complement the enhanced digital experience and to better optimise the use of traditional media, Boards magazine will be restructured into a high quality 'reference' publication with two scheduled releases per year. In addition to these publications, the team will also create a Boards 'basics' magazine aimed at increasing windsurfing accessibility and participation.

Subscribers of Boards magazine, will receive a letter with issue 280 explaining what this will mean to them fully.

Overall, this investment and restructuring represents an exciting future for Boards magazine and one that should continue to increase audiences through media that best support windsurfers in the UK and beyond."

Jaws roared into the new year providing photographer Jimmie Hepp his rookie session shooting the famous wave. And thank you very much for sharing the action from Peahi this Jan 4, 2012. This 8 shot series of Francisco Goya is priceless. Don't miss his story of the day at the bottom of the post.

Just in case you missed the many Jaws videos...

1 comment:

  1. so.... sad....thank you for all your great work though....