Kevin Shaw: Welcome To The Watercraft Journal

Welcome to The Watercraft Journal. My name is Kevin Shaw. I’m glad you’re here. Before we get into what is The Watercraft Journal, I feel it necessary to rewind a little.

It’s been a long road bringing me to create The Watercraft Journal. I’d say about 10 years, but then that might be rounding things up (or down, depending on how you measure it). Of course, I’ve been around personal watercraft most all of my life. During the ’80s, my father had a pretty successful rental outfit loaning out scuffed up 550s and WaveRunners to strangers willing to sign their lives away promising they’d bring back the skis in running condition. As I recall, many failed to fulfill that promise.

But these were the heydays of Southern California litigation abuse, so the rental business was short-lived. My brother always had a love for vintage standups and boasted a pretty warmed-over SuperJet that he insisted I learned to ride “vertical” on. So when the day came for me to take command of Personal Watercraft Illustrated in 2007, the old memories came flooding back. I suppose that’s what made it’s ultimate demise (January 1, 2010) so painful. I truly loved what I was doing.

It is said that one cannot learn to appreciate the sweet until they taste the bitter, and the following years have been bitter sweet to say the least. Nearly a year ago I launched Watercraft Performance Magazine. The first of its kind, the online magazine shook the PWC industry and gave enthusiasts a whole new way to stay plugged in. As I expected, it exploded in popularity but at quite the cost. Pushing WCP to its level of supremacy injured a few very valuable friendships. But it also brought me back into the industry which I had come to love during my time at PWI.

But, that too, was short-lived. Thankfully, I had already birthed the idea of The Watercraft Journal in my head well before the axe at WCP fell. It – and a week’s worth of very encouraging conversations from all three major manufacturers – was the push I needed to venture out on my own. In fact, were it not for the tidal flow of support from my PWC family, I don’t think I’d be here right now only a few days away from pressing the “launch” button. Alas, here we are.


So, what is The Watercraft Journal? A blog? A magazine? A website? A store?

The short answer is: Yes. If you loved the daily dose of personal watercraft news, reviews, event coverage, technical how-to’s, and interviews that you were getting previously, welcome back. If you’re looking for something a little more mainstream and family friendly, welcome home. Although you’ll be seeing plenty of high performance PWC and some heart-racing action here at The Watercraft Journal, there’s much more to offer. We’ll show you some awesome secret spots, easy do-it-yourself tips and tricks, and making you generally hate living anywhere it snows.

What I want to emphasize with the launch of The Watercraft Journal is its distinctly different tone. This is not a “hardcore riders only” news aggregate. This isn’t for “racers only” – the only “only” you’ll see here is that The Watercraft Journal is only for those who love riding personal watercraft in all its forms. Here you’ll find really honest product and watercraft reviews, plenty of interviews with people within the sport and industry who’ve made a difference, and spotlights on companies that continue to make a difference.

The Watercraft Journal wants to introduce personal watercraft enthusiasts to the people, products and places that will increase their passion for PWC, and keep them wanting to spend as much time on the water as possible. To help do that, The Watercraft Journal is paired with Watercraft Outfitters. An exclusive online retailer, Watercraft Outfitters provides enthusiasts the products reviewed on The Watercraft Journal at the lowest prices available! Magazines live to sell advertisements. The Watercraft Journal lives to support those companies who support our sport.

I am really excited for what we’ve have planned here at The Watercraft Journal. It’s going to be a lot of fun. So again, thank you for supporting me, The Watercraft Journal and the soon-to-be-launched sister-site, Watercraft Outfitters

Go Get Wet,

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – [email protected] Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.

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