Is something wrong at Valley...

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MikeB
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by MikeB »

I'm eagerly awaiting the new Valley website, not least so that the numerous failed links to the old site here on UKRGB can be updated so that they work.

But, just as a general sales / marketing sort of thing, were I selling Audi's I'd not want a picture of a BMW on my website - the one which advertised Audi.

Mike.

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by ian johnston »

Ceegee wrote:I just had reason to speak to Mike at Rockpool on another matter (Excellent customer service as always) who laughed it all off ;-)

That said, I needed to visit his website to get the 'phone number, and guess what I saw there? http://www.rockpoolkayaks.com/courses.php - Thought I recognized that photo from somewhere!

Imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery!

Steve

Come on Steve,

Give the man a break. Was the last line of your post really necessary? So there's been a bit of a faux-pas in the web design. Peter has explained the process, and it must be embarassing for all at Valley to have a competitor's boat on the mock-up. Triumphalism over the mistake doesn't seem justified.

Both Rockpool and Valley design and manufacture extremely good (UK) products. The new website should hopefully be an improved experience all round.

I have no connection to Peter or to Valley, I don't paddle a Valley boat - but my wife has (and really likes) an Alaw. I just don't think that we should be beating him up.

cheers

Ian

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Ceegee
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by Ceegee »

ian johnston wrote: Come on Steve,

Give the man a break.
You're quite right Ian, sorry to all concerned. I'd hoped I was being light-hearted about the whole business. That was my intent. I also hope it was clear that I am a big fan of both companies. I was just a little taken aback at the strength of Peter's initial reaction - afterall nobody has suggested the slighest criticism of Valley (apart from the new Logo - which is a matter of taste).

Cheers

Steve
Cheers,
Steve C. G.

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Steen Johansen
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by Steen Johansen »

Ceegee wrote: I'd hoped I was being light-hearted about the whole business.
Dont worry Steve, I think most of us had a laugh, at least I did :-)
M-J-B wrote: Are you hoping for lower prices or poorer quality? If you wish better quality then you have to go further up north from Estonia ;)
That would work too:-)

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by Graham T »

I don't see the problem, in part one might view this as a statement that Valley are not afraid of the competition. Certainly if you are looking at their site due to being interested in their products would a photo being of a Rockpool put you off or change your mind I doubt it. If I was looking to buy an Audi I would very likely have also looked at BMW's before making my choice of a Skoda !

M-J-B
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by M-J-B »

uksailor wrote:I don't see the problem, in part one might view this as a statement that Valley are not afraid of the competition.
People think differently.

My initial thoughts:
1) How did Valley end up with a web site they could not maintain?
2) How could Valley let the web site die uncontrolled?
3) How did they get a picture from a competitor published on their new soon to be released site?

These may lead to speculation:
a) Does the web site hassle reflect on how they handle their core business?
b) Quality control? Are their kayaks any good or do they apply the same QC to their production line as they seem to apply to their web site?
c) Is anyone in control at Valley?
.
.
.
z) Is Valley so busy designing, building and selling kayaks that they do not have the time or need to maintain a proper web site?

None of the above has any relevance to me. From experience I know that Valley products are good quality and most importantly the design is excellent. However, it does not matter what I think (I'm already a Valley fan and no web site can change that) but what do people new to the sport think? It's impossible to test paddle every kayak before a purchase so choices have to be made early and that's where the info and general image on manufacturer web sites play a big role as people in general tend to buy products based on emotions, marketing hype and price rather than on unbiased recommendations and facts. A decent web site covers aspects including emotions, hype, and facts.

The web site hassle is bad publicity for Valley, but bad publicity is better than no publicity at all, and I believe it's a good thing it happened as it forced Valley to take fast action to wash their face and make a new site that undoubtedly will be a lot better than the old one. Criticism is to be expected and it can never be avoided, that's part of the game good or bad.

My initial thoughts 1-3 have already been answered by Mr. Orton but speculations may linger... I think it's a good sign showing that people care. Although some speculation may sound very negative I believe it should be considered as something nobody wishes to be true (with the possible exception of identified competitor representatives).

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Peter Holgate
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by Peter Holgate »

I would also say that the new valley site is so similar in lay out and colour scheme to the Rockpool site that there is a chance of confusion (once you stop laughing). It would take seconds to change the background. Crazy not to IMO ... Unless there is a buy out on the way.

DominiqueS
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There is nothing wrong at Valley...

Post by DominiqueS »

there is a chance of confusion
THAT was a good laugh... I guess it would take being colour blind, unable to read, and never having seen any kind of boat in your life, and then only maybe...

Why not letting them finish their work, especially when you know it is a mock up? There will be plenty of time to comment afterward.

Nice to see there is such a sense of ownership toward Valley though. I suspect many competitors would die to be able to generate half such feelings...

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watt
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Re: There is nothing wrong at Valley...

Post by watt »

DominiqueS wrote:Why not letting them finish their work, especially when you know it is a mock up? There will be plenty of time to comment afterward.
These days it shouldn't last weeks to set up a rather simple site like that (give me an Avocet RM and I'll do that within a weekend!). It's not only the Rockpool, I just followed some links on this site like http://www.valleyseakayaks.com/nordkapppoly.htm and ended with ads for - Point 65°N!

That's something Valley doesn't deserve.

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MikeB
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by MikeB »

In fairness, that's a generic 404 error page which also incudes a variety of sponsored links to accomodation and other activities.

This is the downside of the internet - it's very hard to keep links up to date and there's no way to control what's on something like that 404 page.

Mike.

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watt
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by watt »

It's from Valley's URL - so it's quite simple to ask the provider for a neutral 404, it's 5 minutes to write a .htaccess file and upload. Even worse, the page doesn't have a contact or disclaimer link, which makes it vulnerable to lawyers - the ads are commercial!

Don't get me wrong - the kayaks are top, but the company needs a better website/-master.

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wilsoj2
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"...it does not matter what I think" M-J-B

Post by wilsoj2 »

I'm with M-J-B. I already own a Nordkapp LV and an Aquanaut. I am a Valley fan. I have helped persuade at least a dozen others to buy Valley boats. I would hazard that the majority of regular posters on this site are intimately familiar with Valley boats and have opinions that are unaffected by the website snafus.

However, I am not the primary audience for whom the website is important. The website is very important for those not already well versed in Valley boats. It is an aid to those doing research in order to make informed decisions regarding what boats they should try, buy, and/or recommend. It is also an aid to dealers/reps and authors of articles.

A vital, accurate, and user friendly website is essential to any enterprise that relies on patrons beyond those within shouting or walking distance.

islanders66
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by islanders66 »

Glad the new web site is almost ready. I think the old one was more useful than most others. I liked how Valley listed an optimum weight for each kayak.

If you need another picture you can use this one of me last week with my NordLV. ;)

Image

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by orkfay »

MikeB wrote:In fairness, that's a generic 404 error page which also incudes a variety of sponsored links to accomodation and other activities.

This is the downside of the internet - it's very hard to keep links up to date and there's no way to control what's on something like that 404 page.

Mike.
Not actually true
- if you're the webmaster with full control, you can actually show whatever you like instead of the generic 404.
Problem is knowing that the link producing the 404 page is actually there (although there are now tools to scan your website for such)

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MikeB
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by MikeB »

Indeed. The key word I used though was "generic".

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watt
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by watt »

Update - still no update... man it's so easy to make a basic website...

BTW - Skim kayaks has stopped production.

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wilsoj2
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by wilsoj2 »

watt wrote:Update - still no update... man it's so easy to make a basic website...

BTW - Skim kayaks has stopped production.

How unfortunate on both counts....

I hope the new Valley site is really dynamite when it appears. I hope Peter and Valley are fairing well.

Is Skim gone, or is it simply a hiatus?

Jonny-the-ski
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by Jonny-the-ski »

My initial thoughts:
1) How did Valley end up with a web site they could not maintain?
2) How could Valley let the web site die uncontrolled?
3) How did they get a picture from a competitor published on their new soon to be released site?

These may lead to speculation:
a) Does the web site hassle reflect on how they handle their core business?
b) Quality control? Are their kayaks any good or do they apply the same QC to their production line as they seem to apply to their web site?
c) Is anyone in control at Valley?
Being in the design business, the above is easy and IMO not a fair observation of a company. Plenty of people have put their trust and cash with a company that promises to deliver. A said web company that you pay for the hoasting etc, might be crap with content management, sale control - it might go down often, and as such not get their invoices paid etc. The company can get held to ransom for the domain name etc. Can be millions of reasons.
This very situation happened for one of the worlds largest brands that I worked on. Shocking and embarrasing for em. The key thing is if you have an interest - give them a call and go by the info they provide.
Likewise - there are plenty of cool websites with shit-holes behind em!

This is probably a testing time for Valley, they have a great rep (and I am a waveski'er??) and one of us, so if you feel so inclined - show em some support.

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wilsoj2
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Any word from Valley?

Post by wilsoj2 »

Anyone hear anything from Peter or anyone else at Valley?

Is it just the virtual Valley world that is moribund?

Have those who are near or in Nottingham noticed if the actual VCP is still functioning?

orton1966
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by orton1966 »

Yes, Happy New Year from all at Valley.
The New Website is going live latter today (11/01/2010), I know for many including ourselves, this has been too long in coming but at last here we are. Whilst the site will now be live we are still in the process of populating some areas, so if you find a page isn’t working or something is factually incorrect please come back in a few days, when hopefully things will have changed.

So what’s new! Generally the intension is that this website will be more dynamic with information beyond a mere electronic catalogue. There is a news section where we will be posting the latest Valley and also general sea-kayak related stories. On a more personal level we are going to be incorporating some Blog entries from our friends active in the planning fraternity. Additionally we are adding some downloadable items, including a copy of the original Nordkapp Expedition report, from 1975, in sea kayaking terms this is a historic document with feedback that directly led to the finalisation of the Nordkapp design.

So for now enjoy the site but please appreciate certain content will be added and edited over the next couple of weeks, the aim being to have all areas populated and functional by the end of January. On a final note, anyone with images that might be good for the gallery section, these would be very much appreciated. Also if you spot an image, on our site, that you feel should be credited to yourself or that you feel should not be on our site please contact us and we’ll respect your wishes

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by chrism »


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chris-uk
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by chris-uk »

I like the new site Pete, no surf boats though..?

Chris

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Steen Johansen
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Yes something is wrong at the site of Valley

Post by Steen Johansen »

My advice to Valley - if they want to stay in business - would be to bring the old webpage back until the new one is really ready - which seem to take a little while. The old website was OK but the new one is a joke. Just look at the description of the range of kayaks:
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Mauris tempor consequat lacus sit amet tempor. In aliquam molestie lorem, in lobortis libero semper et. Suspendisse in leo nisl. Nunc sit amet nulla nec arcu elementum malesuada at eu nibh. Praesent et venenatis ante. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Proin iaculis, nisi ac bibendum elementum, sapien erat tristique nisl, eu pulvinar felis nunc cursus est. Donec in enim sed elit blandit placerat in volutpat dolor. Duis eu cursus nisl.
Does this make any sense for anyone? My latin is not what it used to be.

Most of the website is empty and the rest is full of errors. The old website gave credibility and respect for Valley even if there were problems with some browsers. The new one? Well if I had not tried a Valley kayak I would never consider one. In my opinion Valley had the best website of all the kayak manufacturers. Now they have the worst.

I have tried the Avocet, the Aquanaut LV, the Aquanaut HV and the Nordkapp LV. They are great boats. They really are and they deserve better than this. Is Valley really planning to close down and is this and the pictures of the Rockpool kayaks before this just a bad joke?

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wilsoj2
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Re: Yes something is wrong at the site of Valley

Post by wilsoj2 »

Steen Johansen wrote:My advice to Valley - if they want to stay in business - would be to bring the old webpage back until the new one is really ready - which seem to take a little while. The old website was OK but the new one is a joke. Just look at the description of the range of kayaks:
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Mauris tempor consequat lacus sit amet tempor. In aliquam molestie lorem, in lobortis libero semper et. Suspendisse in leo nisl. Nunc sit amet nulla nec arcu elementum malesuada at eu nibh. Praesent et venenatis ante. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Proin iaculis, nisi ac bibendum elementum, sapien erat tristique nisl, eu pulvinar felis nunc cursus est. Donec in enim sed elit blandit placerat in volutpat dolor. Duis eu cursus nisl.
Does this make any sense for anyone? My latin is not what it used to be.

Most of the website is empty and the rest is full of errors. The old website gave credibility and respect for Valley even if there were problems with some browsers. The new one? Well if I had not tried a Valley kayak I would never consider one. In my opinion Valley had the best website of all the kayak manufacturers. Now they have the worst.

I have tried the Avocet, the Aquanaut LV, the Aquanaut HV and the Nordkapp LV. They are great boats. They really are and they deserve better than this. Is Valley really planning to close down and is this and the pictures of the Rockpool kayaks before this just a bad joke?
Lighten up! I understand that the shortcomings of the Valley web presence are frustrating. However, this is the longest standing kayak manufacturer in the UK who has often set the standard for kayak design and features. It is run by a man with deep roots and experience who has done an admirable job of honoring Valley's heritage while moving forward. Slack has been earned!

The main job of Valley is designing and building great boats - which they do VERY well.

BTW, the faux Latin is a designer's tool to fill spaces with temporary text until actual text is ready.

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chris-uk
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by chris-uk »

I wish I'd never started this thread, sorry Peter.

Chris

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by Bards »

Valley have already been cut a lot of slack already over this, quite rightly as their pedigree earns it. I think it's a case of many paddlers feeling deeply about the company and its products, and are vexed by an inadequate public face being presented... With such a long hiatus, simple text ought to have been available months ago.

Valley deserve the support they are always given, and I hope they will take some folks' horror and exhausted patience as consistent with that - it reflects the high VCP regard which we feel is being undermined by the inadequate portal currently available to the internet public. The website may indeed be technically 'live' but months on from initial concerns, is still close to a persistent vegetative state (light-heartedly intended, so calm down if you're offended, please...;-) ).

At least your thread has increased Valley's 'net exposure and given a venue for paddlers to voice their affection for the name in all its different hues, Chris...


I consider myself as a concerned Valley aficionado who wishes to malign neither Valley nor the web company, but just to express how he feels with regard to the still inadequate web presence on offer. This site, the old one, or any one has little value for my direct personal use, but anything which calls the good name of the venerable VCP into any question is bound to frustrate a few of us...


All the best, Valley - I'm sure your core company and products still rock :-)

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chris-uk
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by chris-uk »

Bards wrote:At least your thread has increased Valley's 'net exposure and given a venue for paddlers to voice their affection for the name in all its different hues, Chris...
True, I hope its all sorted soon.

Chris

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wilsoj2
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by wilsoj2 »

Bards wrote: All the best, Valley - I'm sure your core company and products still rock :-)
I think Bards articulates well the feelings of many of us.

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by MikeB »

I'll echo that, but as I've jsut updated the Nordkapp article in the Almanac, which includes references and links to the new site and the specific current Nordy models, I'm wondering if the dimensions shown for the Nordkapp Classic are accurate?

I've just picked up a mail from a chap who's ordered a new boat who has queried the cockpit height - which now shows as 14 inches. Not 12 as per the original website. I also note the lenght is now showing as 18 feet, and originally it was showing as a little less than that.

Peter - should you see this, could you confirm the accurate dimensions please so I can update the article.

I've the very greatest respect for Valley and Valley boats, but the website is the vital "front window" for a business and getting it "right" (and within that, accurate) really is vital.

Mike.

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wilsoj2
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by wilsoj2 »

As noted the photos for the Nordkapp, Nordkapp LV and Nordkapp PE (or RM or Enthusiast) are all of the same Nordkapp LV.

As I recall the poly Nordkapp is between the length of the Standard 'kapp and Nordlow.

Sea Kayaker magazine measured the Standard (an H2O) at 17' 11" or 5.48 meters and the Nordlow at 17' 5.5" or 5.32 meters (I'm relying on SK's conversions). It seems reasonable for Valley to round to 18' and 17'6" respectively. She Kayaker also measured slight differences in the beam and deck heights between the H2O and Nordlow. The SK technical sheets for both are posted at http://www.seakayakermag.com/reviews.htm

I'm guessing it will be a while before the detail information is rock solid reliable on the Valley site.

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