Go Crazy for GoPro


Brent Uberty

(Photo by Brent Uberty)

(Photo by Brent Uberty)
(Photo by Brent Uberty)

Have you ever been skiing or snowboarding, enjoying the beautiful scenery, only to have the moment destroyed by that dude shredding down the mountain screaming with his GoPro on a pole? You know that dude — the one dressed in blue jeans with a flannel shirt and a ridiculous spiked helmet cover. We all dislike him, and we have all seen him looking like a fool just to get a few shaky clips of himself. But when did this GoPro craze start?
It was 2001 when creator Nick Woodman went on vacation in Australia and Indonesia for a few months. He spent almost every day surfing and hanging with his bros. His only complaint was he couldn’t take his 35mm camera with him and capture all the sick ocean waves he was surfing. Because Woodman is a problem-solver, he decided to fix his situation. He made the GoPro Hero 35mm, an all-seasons sports camera.
Next thing you know, the surf community was all about this new camera. It held a roll of 24-exposure Kodak 400 film with a handle strap and a waterproof case at just 2.5 by three inches.
In typical GoPro fashion, there wasn’t much time before the next product hit store shelves. It was 2006, and the jump into the digital era changed the product forever. GoPro unveiled the Digital Hero with an amazing array of options, from VGA video to 10-second video bursts. But it had no audio capabilities. With the need for a better setup, the Digital Hero was short-lived and was quickly replaced with the Digital Hero 3 that introduced simultaneous video and sound recording. This brought an increase of helmet-mounted GoPros to skiers and snowboarders who wanted to impress their friends with the new toy.
Competitors like the Epic Stealth, the Tachyon Micro, and the Contour quickly joined the bandwagon, but everyone was too far behind in following GoPro’s success.
Now the GoPro Hero HD is reaching the wallets of every wannabe with too much money on their hands. People on the slopes are mounting GoPros to the sides of their helmets or on their chest to share their moment of triumph with the world. A small percentage of athletes actually want to use the camera for their original footage and have been able to capture some skilled tricks on the slopes.
On the bright side of things, GoPro has created a whole new industry and has companies producing thousands of copycat products so you can capture some awesome aerial footage. My personal favorite is putting your camera on a four-foot pole and looking up at it. It really is the best shot.
The current GoPro Hero 4 has more fancy features like slow motion video, time lapse capabilities, and different viewing angles. The bodies have shrunk in size and the accessories have grown. But one thing has never changed — there are still those people who get a GoPro in their hands and make it their mission to piss off everyone else who is skiing or snowboarding.
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