By Adrian Jones (Publisher)
Welcome to the brand new Boards website!
As many of you will have heard, the format of Boards Magazine has changed quite radically for 2012. Unbelievably, it’s been almost 30 years since Boards started delivering a monthly print magazine and through these times, we have seen changes to the contribution team, the brands, the riders, the editors and countless other details, but very little to the actual delivery of the content.
In all areas of life, changes are inevitable. Not just inevitable, but essential in order to survive and prosper. As you can imagine, during these 30 years, much has changed in the way we, as consumers, source our information and more specifically how we obtain our media. I am sure it comes as no surprise, that a format which was right 30 years ago is perhaps no longer the most effective way of delivering today. With the plethora of technology currently available, such as mobile devices, high speed internet and of course computers, we are spending ever increasing amounts of time in front of various screens.
It goes without saying that no-one will be excited about the prospect of losing a monthly printed magazine. Boards printed has been a huge source of inspiration in many of our lives. I personally started reading Boards magazine at 10 years old and now 25 years later will certainly feel the loss of not having that monthly printed magazine to look forward to.
However sentiments aside, the reality is that times have changed. Like many of us, the print magazine used to be my only source of windsurfing media and information, but now, for better or worse, the web has taken precedence. If we want information, we go to the web and find it within seconds. Whilst the strengths and weaknesses of web delivery are clear, this trend has certainly made a lasting impact on the future of printed magazines in general.
That’s not to say that print is dead. In fact I personally believe quite the opposite. With all the changes of the last 10 years, it’s been hard for print. Many titles have not been quick enough to embrace the change, adapt their ways and to tackle the massive influx of information that is now available free of charge and more quickly on the web. They have lost their way a little. In my mind, the real future of printed magazines is in delivering high quality publications of photo content and articles that fully engage you as a reader. The kind of material that you ‘clock out of daily life’ and lose yourself within. Print has the ability to create the kind of experience that is difficult to get whilst sat at your computer.
So, whilst on the surface, losing the monthly printed magazine may look to some like a backward step, I believe this change is one of the most forward steps that Boards magazine has made in its 30 year history.
We now have the format and resources to deliver windsurfing news, information and entertainment to all types and styles of reader in a format that really suits:
>> We have a brand new, much improved website, delivering you the latest information and definitive reference resource right to your computer screen.
>> We have two high-quality printed Annuals (summer and winter), with more pages, better pictures and more in-depth features.
>> We have a mobile app (launching spring) that will give you the latest windsurfing news at your finger tips, together with the coolest features and articles to read on your tablet.
>> And finally we will be delivering a free of charge, 100 page Basics magazine. This will be a sales pitch for windsurfing and a helping hand for anyone who wants to get into our fantastic sport.
I personally think it’s a great package and it’s a format that will safeguard the future of Boards for many years to come.
As with all these things, success relies upon having a great team behind the project and I can safely say that we are fully covered in this department.
UK Freestyle Talent Adam Sims will head up the web editorial of the Boards brand. Adam used to be a regular columnist with Boards Magazine, and is an extremely talented and passionate windsurfer who brings an abundance of fresh ideas and enthusiasm to the brand, with a handy background in web marketing and social networking.
On the print side, we will have two new co-editors: Amy Carter and Oisin Van Gelderen.
Amy Carter, ex UK Ladies Speed Champion, Formula & slalom racer, more recently known for setting up the ladies windsurfing brand Flow, is just 24, yet brings nearly 15 years of windsurfing experience to the table. She is full of new ideas for the printed magazines and has made an impact already with her regimented efficiency!
Oisín Van Gelderen has been Irish Windsurfing Champion more times than even he can count. He has competed Nationally and on PWA level in wave, slalom, racing, freestyle and speed, and has windsurfed for almost as long as Boards has been in existence. Having worked closely with Surfdock, Ireland he has a great understanding of all aspects of the sport from beginner to pro-level and will be a great asset to Boards.
Lukasz Zajdowski is our new sales manager. He is also an accomplished windsurfer who has an extremely valuable seven years windsurfing retail experience behind him (UK and abroad). He is now recognized for being one of the judges on the BWA wave tour, so if you want to do well on the tour, you had better start advertising!
I (Adrian Jones) will continue my role as test editor for Boards Magazine (and our sister site Boardseeker) as well as serving as publisher for the two titles.
In addition to the team listed above, we have many helpers and freelancers who have already got fully ‘stuck in’ to the new project. Many of them have worked through the Christmas period and countless late nights to get this project moving.
THE NEW WEBSITE
You are now, of course, on the brand new Boards website! This will become the core of the Boards brand and rather than being an ‘added extra’ to a print Magazine, this website now has the resources behind it to provide you with your ‘windsurfing fix’ of information multiple times per day. Here is a quick run through some of the sections:
News – This will be updated multiple times per day, so keep checking back!
Features – These are our more lengthy stories and articles and will receive several updates per week. These will include regular columnists, interviews, stories, photo galleries etc etc
Equipment – Product news and testing. Our Clone test team will be back in action shortly to bring you a whole new testing format to Boards Online.
Travel – A definitive resource of international and UK travel locations. We will be greatly expanding this database over the next few weeks.
Forum – The hugely popular forums will continue relatively unchanged, but will link a little more into the content of the magazine, to keep the discussion fresh. The forum will also be fired up every couple of weeks with a scheduled live debate, where users can ‘chat’ online to key windsurfing people.
Directory – Again, this will be expanded over the coming months to provide you with a definitive directory of windsurfing services.
Classifieds – For now this links to our sister site, Boardseeker.com. We are however rebuilding the classifieds system and will launch this on the Boards website when completed.
Basics – This is our definitive guide for beginners and will link into our FREE Basics print magazine. We will be launching this section soon.
So for now, I will leave you to go and explore the new site! Please feel free to post any comments or suggestions onto the forum and we will keep listening!