By the way, the Beta USA site just got updated and is MUCH better. Time for Sherco USA's site to step it up now... Yes, the barriers to entry and sheer lack of exposure make it hard for the sport to grow. I wonder if tapping into the MX crowd would be the most effective way forward. Pre-show demos etc to an already motorcycle oriented crowd. Not only the riders themselves, looking to improve their skills in a different way, but their families and spectators. Many of whom may find the slower/safer pace of trials a welcome introduction to a different side of a world they are already involved with indirectly.
@cbutler - your post is a piece of art. Dismissive, yet off-topic. Belittling with a hint of condescension. Clearly written by a luddite, yet by one savvy enough to post to an internet forum. Observant enough to follow a thread, while simultaneously offering evidence of narrow-minded indifference towards modern sources of information. You use the very mechanism you denounce to denounce the mechanism you use! Brilliant! The deft sense of irony! You smacked down a person newly interested in the sport who is trying to engage with the community and posted about how the internet face of the sport is less than ideal, using an internet forum thread about how to grow the sport to newly interested people just like me. Kudos to you if you actually planned that out so perfectly. And then - to cap it off with an emoticon of graphic violence! Sir, I am in awe. And all in just one sentence with 27 words?! Very dense of you. (bah-dum-tshhhh)
I just recently became interested in Trials and have spent the past couple of weeks trying to learn everything I can about the sport (e.g. costs, which model to buy, used vs new, technique, places to ride, available training, videos, dealers, etc. etc.). Generally the experience has been much more painful than it should be, and less than confidence inspiring, for one overall reason: Trials oriented websites are generally awful. Dead links galore, ugly/amateurish/outdated design, jargon that often goes unexplained, outdated information (e.g. 2015 model links that go to 2013 PDFs, when I really wanted 2016 info), etc. I know there are legitimate reasons for this and a few exceptional sites, but as a whole it gives the impression of stagnation. Also it makes it really hard to confidently get up to speed on the sport. You get tiny bits and pieces of information from all over the place, IF you're persistent enough to work at it that hard. Web surfers are notoriously quick to abandon a site that isn't delivering what they are looking for. I believe studies show that users give a site about 1.5 seconds, on average, to decide if they are on a useful site before they hit the back button to try somewhere else. Put it this way: if something caused a surge of interest in Trials (e.g. a video that goes viral or a spectacular scene in a new movie), I don't think the web presence of the sport as a whole would be very inviting. I've also been researching snow bikes (kind of like a snowmobile kit for a motorcycle), which is also for a very tiny market. In stark contrast, check out how good the website is for Yeti, who just launched their site a few weeks ago: http://yetisnowmx.ca Now that's a fresh, informative, well designed site. It makes the product and sport itself seem fresh, vibrant, and engaging. What am I going to do about it? Assuming I actually pull the trigger and buy something soon (though the first snow just fell), I intend to offer my local club my web design knowledge to help spruce up that site. It'll be a start.