A couple years back I tried a 360 camera while surfing. I scored some footage but the editing was an unexpected ridiculously long and tedious ordeal, and the camera was really heavy. So I sent it back and gave up on 360 VR video.
This week I found a lighter camera and am surprised at how relatively easy the software is to work with, and the GPS speed and distance overlay works! Foil surfing can difficult to capture with the long rides and the board being above the water and the hydrofoil submersed. The 360 cam seems like a good solution. So here is my second go at filming in 360 and first time uploading in immersive VR:
I procrastinated in making this tutorial partly because it’s difficult to build and film at the same time, I had already made mounts for myself, and I enjoyed being one of the few with this unique camera angle.
Now with foil surfing I have seen a revival in foilers using pole cams, myself included. So I was inspired to make an ultralight bamboo design for foiling.
Dedicated foil board and a high speed foil on some end of season juice. A few video clips from a few swells in March. I am realizing first hand how purposely designed foils and boards ride radically different than converted gear. Jeff Clark made me a foil board matched with an F4 hydrofoil, really digging the design as I have had some breakthrough progressions on this setup.
Video log from day one on a foil through session number 150. Crashes and all in hopes of giving a realistic account of what learning to foil surf looks like. When struggling I take comfort in knowing I am not alone. Learning to foil surf I felt like a total “kook” failure, flailing and crashing hard for many months. Also I beat myself up because I couldn’t come close to foil surfing like the people in the videos.
Introducing our Bungee 2.0 hydrofoil launching - pulling - towing system. Lot's of fun, and enough towing power to get us all up on a prone foil board, I weigh about 200 pounds and there was enough pull for me to fly. The two big additions to our bungee are the hand crank winch for pulling back the bungee and a quick release attachment.
We used a 16 pound anchor I found on craigslist. Some of the recommendations are at minimum a 25 pound Danforth anchor. Our bungee in this video ended up being 100 feet, we made our own braiding three lengths of 3/8" thick 100 foot bungee cords. We winched the bungee back far enough that the anchor gave way a few times. When it did the anchor would move through the water relatively slowly, maybe 20 feet or so and then settle on the bottom, we still had tension on the bungee but not a very much. Our setup has enough weight to it that there is little chance of the bungee or anchor from flying back towards us, we felt safe even when the bungee was really tight and we could barely crank it back any further.
We also had an inflatable buoy to let us know where the anchor was and hopefully serve as a barrier if the anchor came loose. The other function of the buoy was to keep the bungee up and mostly out of the water. My thinking was that a raised straighter pull would help us lift the foil, whereas a downward underwater pull might make it harder. The buoy also helped other folks on the water see us and our bungee line and go around it. Using a longer rope (100 feet) between our buoy and the anchor helped the anchor stay put, so the anchor had a more horizontal pull rather than being pulled slightly up.
The trickiest part of our first Bungee test was getting up on the board and staying balanced in he first few seconds while launching the bungee. Water starting seemed to difficult, so we set a 2x4 board in between two ladders and used this as our "dock" starting platform. I suspect some kind of floating "dock" would work, maybe an inflatable inter-tube or raft.
One of my motivations for this is to find a human powered affordable way to practice and have fun foil surfing.
These sessions were on a smaller wing (around 120), prior to the winch addition on a bigger wing (160) lift was much easier. So I suspect a bigger wing on this bungee setup would enable some long rides, and give newbies another way to try foiling.
I hope this helps!
And below is a members only longer version of this how to video, 10 minutes and 10 seconds:
Also available for members are more video tips and info on our setup and some details that allowed us to have more pulls faster and easier:
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