Ocean Paddler Magazine - First Impressions

Since I've just written a review for the magazine, let's hope the editor doesn't mind me writing a review of the magazine.

We heard what would be in it last week. Now it is here, what's it like?

Early comments on the Forum concentrate on the feel of the magazine. With a laid spine, thicker paper and much thicker cover it feels like an up-market holiday brochure.

It certainly feels better than Paddles of Canoe & Kayak UK, and there's more about sea kayaking in one edition than in a year's worth of either of them. The old guard have a battle on their hands.

But quality comes at a price. TGO-The Great Outdoors, a hiking magazine I write for, tried this a few years ago but couldn't sustain the costs.

Ocean Paddler has a cover price of £4.99. That has to be about right for this quality. So the current offer of a full year subscription for £25 (£2.08 an issue) is a hefty discount to get subscribers. And 98p of that is postage!

Is it a loss-leader? Can you produce that mag for £1.10?

I have one complaint. I know the Editor understands the importance of maps, especially to a destination type article, but there are none in this issue. That's despite describing routes in the Firth of Clyde, Cornwall, Tasmania and particularly the Elafiti Islands in Croatia. I'm sure this will be addressed in future issues.

I have some niggles too, regarding the size of some photos and the punctuation. But that's all they are, niggles. Very entertaining is the editor's blog which reads more like the words of an expectant Father.

This is a superb first edition. I know it will only get better. Congratulations!

1 Comments Here:

Bertie.. said...

Hi Simon, thanks for the review and the great words of encouragement - after reviewing so many other things over the last few years it feels slightly weird having someone review your own publication.

Rich and I have always wanted this to be a high quality magazine, both in terms of 'look and feel' and in terms of content. We've managed to do this despite having to keep costs low through the first couple of months of working on this project. Now we have some money rolling in we can afford to spend a bit more!

Maps will be coming in future issues, we just didn't have the budget for the first one. But we have been talking to a few different suppliers.

And yes, the term 'loss-leader' could be used to describe the subscription cost at the moment - but then we've always said "Hurry, susbscribe before 1st August" in relation to it - leaving only 13 days to snap it up!