Ollie Harding has added magazine editor to his already long list of skills. The marathon paddler, photographer, coach and canoeing parent has produced the first edition of The Paddler, a glossy new digital magazine dedicated to canoe racing.
The title fills a big gap in the market, most of the current magazines are very picky about what they write about and for no good reason other than their own narrow editorial remits.
Canoe Focus tends to dip in and out of the disciplines, Canoeist magazine seems more touring oriented these days and other publications focus on squirt boats, whitewater, surfing and what one might term the ‘hot hatchback’ end of the sport as opposed to what one might see as the Formula 1 part.
First impressions are very positive, there are write-ups on the marathon world championships, an ICF perspective, the Liffey Descent, a no-holds barred review of the sprint championships in Szeged by Ivan Lawler, and an article on ‘old school canoeing’ by Ian White, now canoeing coach at Cokethorpe school.
Ollie’s foreword says the magazine is ‘unashamedly’ about flat water racing and cites the lack of interest by other titles in articles he’d written about the sport. It’s their loss and our gain, judging by this first issue.
There’s advertising by Marsport, Plastex and Dansprint, good to see these companies supporting a dedicated editorial product.
I think overall we’d give it a 5/5 and look forward to the next issue.