Are We Too Close To The Action?

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The Problem With Action Sports Cameras

If you’ve been involved in action sports over the last decade or so, you will have noticed a change in the way we view our sports. It used to be that some people would partake in said sport, someone would be videoing it with a handheld camera or, in the case of snowboarding films, someone spending money hiring a helicopter for those super rad shots. Times were good, times were enjoyable and it’s watching videos like that that got me into the industry.

Recently I was chatting to a friend of mine where they commented on the fact that they would never try snowboarding because of the video content that is currently being released. By that they meant that there’s a lot of interactive videos and videos that are just a GoPro strapped onto someone. Their argument was that with the amount of immersive content, and the extent that it tries to immerse you, why would they ever try the sport? You’re getting a first-hand view of what it’s like to take a run down a course, or try out a rail in the Olympic snow park. It’s certainly a level of immersion that we’ve only had in the recent past.

However, is it a good thing that we’ve come to rely on action sports cameras to show off this much if the consequence is alienating a potential convert?

I’m not saying that we haven’t tried to get this angle on sports way before the early 2000s – just look at this F1 clip from 1988.

We’ve had onboard footage for years but now these cameras are accessible and cheap, it seems that the pure influx of footage is forcing professionals and companies to go one further with a deeper degree of interactivity. And this is where the water gets murky for some people. Not for me though.

Personally, I think that action cameras getting us closer to the sport is a beneficial thing. The amount of people that would not go and try something out because they’ve ‘experienced’ it through a video are drastically outweighed by the amount of people that would go and try. Those people that would try are the thrill seekers looking for something to tip them over the edge into trying something. The ones that aren’t were the ones that wold never have tried it anyway. So in my opinion – you keep filming, people of the sports world.

You get those action cameras strapped to your face, your eyes, your legs, your equipment, whatever you need to do, and just keep filming. It’s an online world now and we need to encourage as many as we can to get involved.

Don’t worry everyone, I’m off to slap my friend for their ridiculous opinion.

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Kel Verbiest

Kel is a content manager and sports writer based on the south coast of England. When he's not typing away, you can find him in several super people watching spots.


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