Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kayak Gear Reviews

I have been wondering for quite some time where one goes to find good impartial reviews on kayaking equipment. Maybe I am spoiled by what is offered for backpacking reviews (backpackgeartest.org) but I really wanted to find a site that offered the same types of reports with good quality writing. I wasn't able to find something that met my standards and as such felt the best way to go was to build my own site to generate that which I was looking for. As I am currently involved in the backpacking site I figured this would be fairly easy. I actually did get permission before going ahead with the site which I feel was a good thing to do even if I was worried I might get shot down.

As such KGR was born and after much work and planning went live on June 1st. The site had been available for a bit before that but the backend was in a lot of flux as I was installing and removing programs to get what I wanted. I feel that I am very close to the final product that I want and am lacking on a few things. The smallest of those things is a mailing list for future use. I foresee a use and I think now is the time to get a mailing list installed and working rather then trying to work out bugs later. The next thing is actually a small piece of programming in order to get the files to sort correctly. I am sure it is a small matter to fix but right now I can't really wrap my head around what needs to be done so I am sitting on it. The biggest thing that is missing other then people and visitors are reviews. The site desperately needs more reviews of gear in order to become the resource I want it to be. I really can only write so many reviews before I run out of equipment to write about. I have roped only one person in so far and hope to rope in more people. I think once I get more people going on this endeavor it will grow without too much help from me.

Summer OR Show
With the birth of this new site comes the need to get not only people on board but if it is possible to get manufacturers interested in the site, then maybe it might be possible to get manufacturers interested in possibly giving gear to the site to have reviews written about the gear. I hope to establish good quality reviews that are impartial and useful. Since I will be going to the Summer Outdoor Retail Show in July, this is a great time to approach manufacturers about the site and get the name out there. Then hopefully get a few manufacturers interested in what we could possibly offer.

KGR isn't just about the reviews either. I really wanted to have a way for people to show off a little and discuss what is going on in the paddling community. As such I set up the site to have a forums and social pages for people to use to form an online paddling community. I am not sure if this will work, but I feel that if manufacturers start giving the site gear, then maybe people will be interested in working on the site and will form groups and interact with each other.

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