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View Full Version : Slalom video set-up


shepherd
06-15-2006, 12:28 AM
Thinking about getting a video camera and pylon mount so I can film my slalom skiing (for educational purposes, improve my form). But someone told me that they don't work too good because the picture will be too jumpy to really see what's going on.

Anybody have experience with video setup? If it is worth it in your opinion, can you recommend some good, but relatively inexpensive, equipment? By that I mean good enough to give me a decent shot of what I'm doing, but I'm not trying to make "Edged in Water II"

Thanks.

erkoehler
06-15-2006, 12:36 AM
Wakesport has one (camera mount) that he designed and made himself. From what he told us a Mag Mania, he gets some pretty good footage from it.

kpickett
06-15-2006, 03:50 AM
I just started doing this last month. You can buy a Trakker pylon mount, or you can do what I did. I just bungeed my tripod to the pylon and put a tiny clamp on to run the rope through. It's not the most elegant thing you've ever seen, but it works perfectly, and it saved me $160.

Get a nice small digital camcorder with image stabilization. My JVC mini-DV works really well. It doesn't bounce around too much. I will say this - my buddy has a really expensive 3ccd hard-drive digital camcorder, and every time we went over the wake - it crashed. I'd stick to a mini-DV. Order an extra big battery from Ebay.

Farmer Ted
06-15-2006, 08:11 AM
http://www.waterskivideo.com/

I have an older version and it works pretty good as long as you don't zoom in too much.

I've often thought about taking the part that loops around the rope and putting a handle on it so the observer can pan the camera.

Lerory made one out of PVC

I also believe the Trakker guy is a member here.....

bigmac
06-15-2006, 09:18 AM
Thinking about getting a video camera and pylon mount so I can film my slalom skiing (for educational purposes, improve my form). But someone told me that they don't work too good because the picture will be too jumpy to really see what's going on.

Anybody have experience with video setup? If it is worth it in your opinion, can you recommend some good, but relatively inexpensive, equipment? By that I mean good enough to give me a decent shot of what I'm doing, but I'm not trying to make "Edged in Water II"

Thanks.I'm very impressed with the Trakker P3. Seems to be good isolation where the camera attaches, and it mounts solidly enough to the the pylon that I get very little jumpiness even in pretty rough water.

BrianM
06-15-2006, 09:33 AM
I just got a Trakker P3 and am very happy with it. I get very steady video even with skiers at 32 and 35 off 36 mph. I am just using the video feature on my digital camera and it works great.

krakolos
06-15-2006, 09:53 AM
The new damper works well as advertised. When you receive the unit you will think it is defective considering the effort needed to move the pivot, but this is normal. The only little problem is that I own a Sony digital 8 camera and the mounting hole in the bottom is not in the centerline of the base so it as a tendency to be angled instead of beeing perfectly horizontal, so I placed a small piece of masonite between the neoprene pad and the camera. The down side is that it is easily disturbed since it is slippery and I lost all the offside turns beeing out of the viewfiender. Solution, I will stick rubber on the masonite.

Other than that it is worth the investment since you start the camera and let it roll for as long as your tape will last getting all the coaching talk on it. Also put your focus on manual and set it since the rope lenght won't change. It will prevent the auto-focus to go in and out when a bit dark and it will stay clearer that way.

Have a good run

p.s. Brian at Wakevideo.com is nice and cooperative. I suggest you buy direct from him if you can. Being in Canada, internet stores sometimes make mistakes in shipping instructions.

Pull hard and have fun

Ryan
06-15-2006, 10:29 AM
Thinking about getting a video camera and pylon mount so I can film my slalom skiing (for educational purposes, improve my form). But someone told me that they don't work too good because the picture will be too jumpy to really see what's going on.

Anybody have experience with video setup? If it is worth it in your opinion, can you recommend some good, but relatively inexpensive, equipment? By that I mean good enough to give me a decent shot of what I'm doing, but I'm not trying to make "Edged in Water II"

Thanks.
You won't have any camera shake or bouncing at all if it's on there good and tight. Both my hillbilly trakker and my real trakker have stayed rock solid. Make sure you check the zoom before you hit that red button. It's not so exciting to have the best run of your life on tape and all you can see is your ankle.

Ryan
06-15-2006, 10:38 AM
I just started doing this last month. You can buy a Trakker pylon mount, or you can do what I did. I just bungeed my tripod to the pylon and put a tiny clamp on to run the rope through. It's not the most elegant thing you've ever seen, but it works perfectly, and it saved me $160.


Nice! I never thought of using C clamps. I went for the paint roller (http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=4146&highlight=hillbilly+trakker). Just keep watching Ebay, I got mine for about $40 due to a less than genious listing title.

east tx skier
06-15-2006, 11:24 AM
I have an older trakker and it works well when there are only two of us (driver and skier). If you have digial image stabilization, use it. Don't zoom in too much because when there is a little rope slack, the camera will lag behind a bit.

The only problem I've had with mine is that the wing nut that keeps the swivel balanced on the pylon mount loosens up with every pivot. I need to get some sort of lot nut to keep it from backing off.

Kevin 89MC
06-15-2006, 03:03 PM
I got a Trakker last year, and like it a lot. Not quite as good as an observer holding the camera, but almost. I use a Sony miniDV, works pretty well. It's the best thing I did for improving my skiing (that and PP). Now I just need to find the time to ski!
Good luck.

TrakkerGuy
07-01-2006, 02:31 PM
kpickett is right, it is pretty easy to mount a standard tripod head to the pylon and attach some kind of arm to the rope and it will track very well. One problem is that if you don't have enough tension, the tracking will be good, but the rope will fling the camera back and forth a bit. Works well for some, but can be irratating to watch for others, depending on how much slack you get, line length, etc. We've been tinkering with different size rotary dampers and tracking arm lengths to try and get the best compromise on tracking and smoothness for the most users.

A second problem with a standard tripod head is lack of shock absorbtion. Having a quick release plate is nice, and what we used for years. But it makes for a small surface area and a solid mount. We went with a larger surface area and a 1/2" foam pad that is partially compressed to mount the camera on. It takes care of the shock problem and engine vibrations that can be a problem, especially at higher rpms. If you're lucky enough to ski on a private lake, or weekdays when you don't deal with other boat wakes, bouncing the camera around is not a problem. But otherwise, it can be hard on a camera - the extended warranty is good to have :)

If you're building your own, a fluid tripod head is best, adjustable tension is good, the more the better. The arm length should be between 8-15 inches, depending on how much tension the tripod head has. Also, mounting the pivot point on the tripod head 2-4 inches behind the pylon (closer to the skier) helps. It causes the unit to track farther in front of the skier as he progresses farther out beyond the wake, which helps as the unit quits tracking when the line goes slack approaching the turn. Hope that helps - is fun to see the homemade stuff.

east tx skier
07-01-2006, 03:19 PM
Hi TrakkerGuy! Is there something I can do with my older model to keep the wingnut underneath the camera mount from loosening as the mount swivels? Thanks.

TrakkerGuy
07-01-2006, 08:41 PM
You mean the one that holds the mount part to the tripod head? A small washer, with a rubber washer underneath is what we added to some units for that problem.