Almost four decades of adventure
In 1981 George Michael just started singing with WHAM, researchers found the wreck of the Titanic, Raiders of the Lost Ark was new on the big screen, Charles and Diana got married and Dow Publishing printed the first issue of New Zealand Adventure Magazine.
Under the editorship of Murray Dow the first NZ Adventure Magazine hit the bookshelves; it was an eclectic mishmash of whitewater rafting, skiing, action holidays and windsurfing. It was new, fresh and no one had ever seen anything like it before. It went hand in hand with the emergence of adventure sport and the development of the Adventure tourism industry in New Zealand.
It took hold in a time when there was no internet, no emails, no website or Facebook or Instagram, it would be another 4 years till cellphones (the old brick types) even kicked off, even faxes were considered high tech. Photography was done on slides or prints and editorial by typewriter or pen. But in this desert of technology Adventure flourished. In the early years there was more of an interest in water sports and tropical travel, followed by several years of mountaineering. We saw the boom of multisport and biking and this dominated for a while. The path the magazine took was a combination of what people wanted to read about and what the editor was interested in.
Today in this information overload era, we know at every turn what the readers wants, we can track likes and shares and happy and sad faces, we can count click-throughs and page visitations, so what the editor likes is a lot less of an influence and the magazine has become more reader led.
Strangely enough I took over as editor at the 100th issue and edited issue 101, so I have been at the wheel since then January 2000 (shit those 16 years!!)
I guess you can do this job, being the editor for that long because Adventure, unlike other magazines or other sports, is ever changing, there is no static. Sure some sports will always be there, but they grow and diversify and with new technology come new challenges and new ways to experiment and new ways to record what’s happening. Now every on-looker has a phone and everyone jumping off something or climbing, diving, riding or running has an action camera attached. This on a separate note has changed the way we actually view adventure sports, not so much from a distance but now from a participant’s point of view and this is reflected in the magazine.
But there has been a common theme that runs through every issue of Adventure – using the words of Sarah Moodie (editor issue 100) “But a common thread runs through the years, weaving together 100 editions of NZ Adventure; an untarnished enthusiasm and passion for physical, mental and emotional challenge and recreation in the wild outdoors, be it mountains, sea, bush, rock, river, sky and underground.”
Another 100 issues down the track and we still follow that same ‘common thread’ and no doubt will do so for another 100 issues. Sure the internet and all it has to offer has changed the face of magazines, but in many ways it has enhanced them. There are thousands of great stories and images floating around out there in cyber space and we simply capture the special ones and whether you read them in a hard copy or a digital copy or on our website or Facebook – the bonds that hold our adventure community together is the sharing of those adventures and the commitment, daring and endeavor of others, that is what is at the core of 200 issues of Adventure Magazine – roll on issue 300. Steve and the team at Adventure Magazine
Celebrating four decades in Tahiti with videographer (and son), Joel Dickinson