What were some of the top (if there is such a thing) minds in paddlesports media doing on a collective zoom call in mid-September, when they should have been out there chasing down stories? Why, playing Boating Bingo, of course, thanks to a promotion put together by PR firm Pale Morning Media (and co-sponsored by Kokatat).
“We did one around the time of the cancelled OR show for outdoor media and it worked pretty well,” says ringleader and caller extraordinaire Michael Collins. “So we thought why not put one together for paddlesports?”
The hard part, with so many defunct paddling publications in today’s market, was scraping together emails of past editors. That task completed, Collins went about making the “cards,” which enjoyed a special paddlesports flavor. The first included names and photos of famous paddlers, from Walt Blackadar and Lars Holbek to such more modern boaters as Rush Sturges, Ben Stookesberry and Scott Lindgren. One square even featured the action figure doll of former extreme kayaker Tao Berman, and another, believe it or not, Ken “Hobie” Hoeve of Gypsum, Colo.
Collins would then call out the name and the editors form across the country would mark off their squares, all amidst good-natured banter and more than a few screen beers. Scott McGregor of Canada’s Rapid Media even admitted that he once served as an official Bingo caller for a spell up north.
Other Bingo cards included one on kayaking terms, which such words as boof, blunt and McNasty, and a third focused on paddlesports publications that have gone under like a squirt boater executing a Mystery Move. Cover images of such magazines as Sea Kayaker, Canoe & Kayak, Paddle Dealer, Canoe, Paddler, Kayak, Paddlesports Business, Sup the Mag, Kanawa, River Runner, Ocean Paddler, Canoe Sport Journal, Standup Paddler and more littered the screen, with Collins calling them out one by one until the winner was announced.
“Dorky as it was, it actually pretty fun, and great to get together with everyone, especially in these COVID times,” says Dave Shively, a former editor for Paddler, Canoe & Kayak and Sup the Mag, now working as an editor for Men’s Journal. “It didn’t really matter who won.”
That’s because we’re all winners in paddlesports. And Collins says perhaps there’s a way to pull it off for regular paddlers as well — so stay on the edge of your kayak seat for the next virtual movement in paddlesports!