All too often the latest gadget is labeled as a ‘game changer’. Manufacturers increasingly claim to have re-written the rules, raised the bar, pushed new boundaries. And more often than not, it’s marketing spiel, aimed at shifting generic products to a mass market. Sometimes though, something pokes its head above the parapet of mediocrity, and can genuinely lay claim to being revolutionary. The GoPro fits into this category, bringing professional quality recording equipment to the average Joe. But the problem with the GoPro for surfers has always been how to get ‘that shot’. Yes, there are poles, straps, braces and grips, but finding a method of filming an entire wave from a satisfactory angle is challenging. The only way to really get decent footage is to have someone else holding the camera. But who is going to reach for the camera, rather than their 5’11 thruster, when the waves are firing, just for the gratification of those they call their friends.
However, it looks as though there is now an answer. A bona fide ‘game changer’ that can genuinely lay claim to have set the new standard for those looking to record footage of their sessions. AirDog have created a drone that through GPS tracking technology follows its owner, hovering at a predetermined height and distance while recording the action occurring below, replicating the loyalty of its four-legged counterpart.
The surfer chooses a take off point on dry land, which also acts as a landing point when time is called on the session, and on the wrist wears a waterproof tracking device and control unit, summoning the drone and camera back to its starting point when satisfied with the footage that has been captured.
It’ll be interesting to see if the claimed 250 metre range is enough to play with when faced with the shifting peaks of a solid beach break. And whether the battery life inspires enough faith to confidently send your costly GoPro camera heading skywards on a path of its own. But the stats look good, and the initial footage impressive. It’s expensive, especially considering that it requires an already pricey GoPro to actually do the recording, but if it works as well as claimed, and you’re serious about capturing unique and previously unobtainable footage of your surfing, AirDog really could be your new best friend.
To learn more visit the AirDog website: www.airdog.com