Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

You guys may have heard we made a print magazine. Well, people keep asking me the same questions about it, and I’ve been meaning to post the cover outtakes anyway, so I figured I would shoot some IMs across the office and get Jared to answer for a change. Jared is a (flatland) BMX legend who also happens to be Yobeat’s creative director, and is responsible for the design and production of the magazine. He knows his shit. So here’s more than you ever wanted to know about the first ever Yobeat print issue.

Why did Yobeat decide to make a magazine? I know I never would have thought that was a good idea.

Good idea is a stretch. Making a printed publication in 2014 is in most respects a terrible idea. A significant chunk of the niché action sports audience is right around 20, making them born in the early to mid-90s when the internet started taking over publishing. The snowboard industry from a brand marketing, shop, and media standpoint is largely comprised of a slightly older group. People who grew up reading magazines, and wanting to be featured in them. But the audience is a different generation entirely. The 30 and 40 something industry types still push the printed matter because they relate to it. But a lot of the younger audience just doesn’t care. That’s not to say all of them — but the majority are connected to a device, and really just want to see videos and share content in a different way than print allows for. Many young people now, even a still photo won’t hold their attention.

So why make a magazine? I guess because you’re not supposed to. Many of the old-media outlets are cutting back magazines, either from their library entirely or dramatically in page count. They’re finally, about 15 years late, starting to accept the fact that the Internet might be around for a while, and taking online content more seriously. A magazine for us was sort of a fun way to play with nostalgia. We grew up reading and making them. But a monthly magazine in action sports just makes no sense and really hasn’t since the early 2000s. We went into it saying we’d do it once for fun, but in reality we’ll probably do it again.

The fact is, magazines are terrible environmentally, but then again, this is snowboarding which no one has ever accused of being green. The amount of waste generated by most of the mainstream snow magazines with printing overruns is huge. We wanted to make ours limited so we knew we could get them all into the hands of people that wanted it, without having to send shitloads of paper to the recycling bin.

One reason TO do it nowadays, is it’s so fucking cheap to make a magazine. Years ago you had to deal with scanning fees, prepress work, color separations… from the production to the printing the costs were 10 fold what they are now to produce. Today printing is cheap and production is far easier.

I wouldn’t say it was a good idea to do, but it was fun to do again all these years after print died. And we like to do things that are opposite of what you’re supposed to do around here.

How did the idea for the cover come about?

Assuming we might only do this once we didn’t want to do the same formulaic action magazine cover. Traditionally going out and planning to shoot a cover specifically can be tough. You snowboard for fun. That’s the only reason. So we wanted to communicate that. We work with Timberline a lot throughout the year, and it seemed logical to do something up there. We shot it during the summer, and while there is summer shredding happening up on hill there, we didn’t want to end up with a stock action scenario. I’m not sure exactly how the hot tub party idea even came about, or who thought it would be okay to let us do it (thanks Brian and Ricky) but it ended being fun. PBR gave us a bunch of beer, we built a quarterpipe on the back of the wall, and just told people to get wild. It turns out getting snowboard summer camp employees to create a drunken party scenario is not actually much of a stretch, so that part was easy. The guys who rode did the hard part.

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Johnnie Paxson wowed Stan with this air to fakies and also his manish good looks. 

Why isn’t there a rider credit in the mag?

That’s one of the many “by the seat of our pants” type oversights in the issue. The fact is Yobeat is small, so that thing got made in the midst of everything else. None of us could drop everything else we were doing and focus on making the mag, it was just something else to do on top of the day to day. Brooke and I wanted to kill each other while making that thing, and I probably threatened to trash the entire thing 10 times. It’s a wonder we finished it. There are plenty of human mistakes in there. In my own defense, not only did I not credit the rider, I also failed to credit myself for taking the photo.

Who’s idea was it to let a Canadian copy edit it?

That was yours. I’m not even sure they spoke English. They also submitted photos shot on film, so that should have been some sort of red flag.

Why did we put it online for free so quick? Didn’t you want to sell some?

We have advertisers that helped us pay to produce it. It would be a disservice to them not to put it out where everyone can see it. The people that want print will seek it out regardless of whether they saw it online first. And some people have bought it because they saw it online and liked it enough to get a copy. Some of the mags make you pay to read e-mags unless you’re willing to wait months until they’re relegated to back-issue status. Nothing says “we have no respect for our audience” like making them pay to look at a flip-book paid for by advertising.

Why a $5 “suggested donation” since it was paid for by advertising?

I’m an advocate of free magazines. The downside is that free magazines generally get tossed in a pile by the door next to the free weeklies and resort guides. And they get picked up by whoever, then often flipped through and tossed.We wanted shops to get something out of it.

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Why is the design so gritty when most of the other mags these days are so clean?

My favorite magazines design wise are still from the mid-90s. My style has always reflected that. There’s a place for clean, gridded out minimalist design, to me it’s just never really meshed with things like snowboarding. I wanted to make something that felt like it came from an era when print really flourished, and not like the latest issue of Wallpaper.

If you look in the production photo I sent you, you can see the cover originally started out much more blah/ clean in design. A clean logo across the top, more direct typography. I’m glad we didn’t go that route.

Is it weird I am interviewing you?

Yes. Do people still read? Where is the video?

Guess we’ll find out. Get your copy of the Yobeat Magazine here or at select shops. Or just flip through the damn thing online here

It’s a funky chicken, with a chicken! WTF?

About three runs at Ski Bowl. We probably would have tried harder and done a better job filming, but it started raining.

Jared was allegedly a “pro” BMXer. He even has gone so far as to unearth old video parts, and has a plastic medal from an early 90s BMX contest hanging up in the office. Despite all of this, it’s still quite amazing to me when he actually breaks out the bike and can do some tricks. I mean, he’s old! So when we went up to Mark Rainha’s jungle ramp in the SW hills, I was impressed to see Jared even carry his bike up the treacherous and steep dirt stairs leading to the 8-foot wide, four-foot tall ramp in the woods, but even more impressed was when he proceeded to actually ride it. I felt this miraculous occurance needed some serious documentation, so I broke out Jared’s camera (which he’d also lugged up there) and attempted to capture the moment. Though I stumbled a bit using a Nikon (everything is backwards dammit!) and nearly killed myself trying to get a sweet angle on the ivy-and-thorn-covered hill, overall, I succeeded in capturing Jared actually riding BMX. Which, let’s face it, is sort of like photographing a Sasquatch.

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Aaron was concerned having his finger on the brake made him look like a puss, but I assured him that was not what was doing it.

For some reason my work day turned into a very brief foray into bike photography. Apparently Jared wanted to know what he looks like on the other side of the lens, which as it turned out, he wasn’t very happy with. He only let me use one photo I shot of him, but since Aaron isn’t here, I get to pick the ones I like of him!

The shoot was filled with Jared telling me where to stand and letting me know I “wasn’t shooting the right thing.” As far as I could tell, there was no point when they were actually “doing anything” but I suppose that’s what happens when you shoot something you know very little about. So take that as a note to aspiring action sports photographers. Even when it seems like there is nothing going on, apparently, there is a “correct time to shoot.” Follow the jump for a few more shots from today’s shoot. Hard to believe, but I won’t be saving these for print.

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Everyone wants to be a skateboarder (except of course rockstars and Gods.) Luckily for me, I am totally awesome at skateboarding. That is of course, unless you put me in a video with people who are actually good. I guess since Jared’s video is arsty, I will forgive him for making my stunts look less cool by juxtaposing them against Ben and Scott.


Dude Ranch Mini Ramp: Portland from Souney Media on Vimeo.