The snowboarding media has ultimately changed and no one can deny that. Web 2.0 or whatever version we’re in now has made publishing and web site building easier than ever, there’s a new crop of self proclaimed “journalists” (I use that term loosely). All one has to do is look at any of the big three here in the United States (snowboarder, snowboard, or transworld) they’ve all gotten thinner with their print form and most of their web content is crap or identical. But the real question is where does it go from here?
A while back I was having a conversation with my dad about print versus online media and where things were going. You see back in the day (1980’s) my dad worked in print media handling advertising, lay out, and other publishing bullshit so he has some idea of what’s going on right now. One point that he made that stood out to me was how all these Newspaper agencies were going under and the local Penny Savers were filling their void with local content. If you look around, at least here in North America, you can see that the big print mags are dying but in their void localized content is being filled.
It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. The fact the big magazines have gotten thinner, their content has stagnated, and for the most part these localized scenes aren’t getting mainstream attention. Thankfully snowboarders have always been a do it yourself culture and we have offerings from all over. From the east to the west and north to the south we have other publications in North America to enjoy.
On the east coast there’s always been some form of Eastern Edge and the current incarnation is East Coast Snowboarding. But coming this fall there will also be the Ice Coast Annual from East Coast Kills Shit. For those in the land of farmers daughters and hand rails a.k.a. the Midwest there’s Corduroy Magazine. New on the magazine scene is Shred North West with a quarterly publication. Utah has the Arkade Snowboard Culture with its grasp on their scene. Colorado had All Us but that died a painful death and now there’s Snowboard Colorado coming into play. Up north in Canada there’s Slash Snowboard Magazine from professional photographer Oli Gagnon as well as Up Down Magazine (although I think this might only be digital now). Even the manly men of Jackson Hole have time to enjoy a publication showcasing their local scene with Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine.
So is print dead? Well I don’t think we can deny that big mainstream print as we know it is probably on life support, but could localized print become the next evolution in that medium? Well the potential is there if it’s done right and done on a lesser scale than what is done with the big print magazines. So what are you reading and what do you think?