Bamboo Action Camera Mount
On day I added up the parts cost of one of the carbon fiber camera mounts I was making, the total was almost $200. I saw the bamboo poles that were sitting unused in my garage and remembered I only paid a few bucks each for them. So I spent the next hour hacking together a bamboo mount, tried it in the surf the next day, and it was a total and instant failure. I gave up on bamboo for a while.
Then over the course of a few months I tried a few different building techniques borrowed from bamboo bicycle frame builders. It worked! I have been using the same bamboo camera mount since July 2016 and it still works and is in great shape.
Bamboo Shoulder Camera Rig
When the pro SUP surfers came to San Francisco I needed a stabilizer rig that I could walk around with. I made a shoulder rig out of bamboo the morning of the event. It works great and the total cost was maybe a few dollars. Years ago I bought a used handheld stabilizer for around $400, new the price was $800. I sold it earlier this year for around $30.
Why spend hundred or thousands on gear that we can make for free? The most common answer is probably that most of our time is spent working to pay the rent/mortgage/bills. Why get stuck in the rat race when we can build houses for free from plants, trees, and earth? Eat for free.
Bamboo Crane Jib Arm
Wanting to practice foil surfing in the off season I made a “foil” skateboard out of old skateboards and wood. When filming myself riding it I was tempted to buy a motorized gimbal or use the big heavy camera crane I already have.
I used a long bamboo pole as a mic boom pole when making this video. Might as well reconfigure this pole as a camera crane. So I put a GoPro on one end and weights on the other end, this way the camera is far out in front of me, moves smoothly, and is free of vibration.
Here is the video using the bamboo pole crane:
Now I look to build everything out of plants and trees. Why not? It’s free and clean and renewable. Yes free, a local nursery has a pile of discarded bamboo poles that anyone can gather for free. Also in some areas some bamboo is an invasive species so harvesting it can be good for the local ecology.