Opinions wanted: New style camera mount

WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,517 Crazy Baller
As many of you may remember, I've been looking and asking a lot of questions about possible camera mounts and/or cameras to replace my current setup to video skiing. I know there are a lot of options these days like Wakeye, Ski-doc, Trakker, EZ Cam, and one or two others that I'm probably missing. I've seen a lot of videos from a lot of different people and all of these mounts seem to suffer from the same problem. They're all mounted at the very top of the pylon which is the one thing in the boat that actually moves/vibrates when you're pulling a skier (minus the driveline of course). So every slack hit or vibration that goes through the rope goes into the camera. Some mounts are better at dampening vibration more than others but they all move around.

My thought was to come up with something that would either mount to the floor or mount to the engine cover to eliminate both slack hit issues and rope vibrations. The problems I see with the engine cover idea is, it will have to touch the vinyl which boat lovers would probably not appreciate. It would also have to be designed so the engine cover could be lifted without having to disconnect it. I think the floor idea is best but it would likely have to still be stabilized under the engine cover and/or at the base of the pylon and it would obviously be fairly cumbersome if you use it on multiple boats due to the size.

Opinions, suggestions? Should I quit being picky and just deal with it?


  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    @waternut While the shuddering is frustrating from a film quality point of view, the quality is just fine for self-training. In fact, if you ski really smoothly, aka without slack-hits and with smooth progressive pulls, the videos can be very good. Yet another benefit to always training with a camera.
    www.FinWhispering.com ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • HPskier1HPskier1 Posts: 49 Baller
    I've been try to come up with one for awhile. The attached picture shows my best design so far. Much like the others but I placed 3 dampers in different places and it seems to do a pretty good job.adjustable on all axis.
    I looked at making a floor mount but you still have the same problem, the height of the pole would pick up the vibration from the floor and transfer it to the camera which would mean you would have to stablize it ...with the next solid thing in the boat, the pylon then you would get the same vibrations as you woould with a pylon mount.
  • BrewskiBrewski Posts: 475 Crazy Baller
    Masterline makes one also.
  • WishWish Posts: 8,540 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    always interested new ideas. I think the vibration issue from the motor will be there but seen very little if any of that on the current pylon mounts. As for the slack hits, that's just gonna be there if you use the rope to track. I built one for my iPad and spent a ton of time trying to get rid of this. When I started noticing all the other mounts having the exact same issue, I gave up and was satisfied with the videos as they looked no different. I think they are more then adequate for review. Especially if you can run them in slow motion (slack shake not even noticed) which is the best for review. If you have a buddy in the boat and you want great video to show off, hand the camera to them. It's truly the only way to get rid of what you have mentioned. But, I'm sure someone will come up with an idea.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,517 Crazy Baller
    @skijay I totally hear what you're saying. I can usually tell that I'm skiing with good form or not but even riding behind the boat waiting to cut out for the gates can occasionaly be very shakey and hard to see. Going into the buoy is the hardest to tell. The problem I have is when I screw up...and I screw up A LOT, I can't really see what I did to cause it so it's harder for me to learn from my mistakes.

    Good point @hpskier1. So your dampeners are inside the camera mount or on the pylon?

    They use lead ballast in airplanes on vertical stabilizers, wing tips, etc. to help dampen oscillations during flight. Maybe that could help.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,439 Mega Baller
    I don't see how you will get rid of the effect of the rope on the camera if you must have the camera mount touch the rope in order to track the skier. If the camera could track the rope with some sort of electronic targeting device in the rope, you could mount the camera anywhere on the boat that might have the least amount of vibration induced by the rope.

    By the way, I just bought a Wakeye with the shock tube mount. Can't wait to try it out. I think the shock tube might help dampen that rope effect.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,337 Mega Baller
    with all the super cheap hd video cameras on the market today the best solution weve seen is a mount on the windshield frame and setting the zoom to full out so you get the entire course behind the boat. then you can use free software to view it or even edit it so you can slow it down or zoom in for detail viewing. this way you have no camera movement and no shudder from the rope snapping the camera around or the pylon bowing under load etc.
  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    @Waternut I've found that even attaching a short shock tube to the tracking arm damps out some of the rope-induced shaking. I have two ski-docs, one Wakeye and one Trakker 4. The Trakker 4 with the short shock tube set up like this is the most stable so far:

    www.FinWhispering.com ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,517 Crazy Baller
    @skijay Interesting...we use a shock tube but run the tracking arm around the tube. So all of the mounts you have, do you like the Trakker 4 the most or is it just the most stable?
  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    @Waternut For stability, I think the Trakker with its higher damping and long flexible tracking arm holds a slight edge. For practicality, the Wakeye is easier to travel with and to switch from boat to boat. The ski-docs are by far the cheapest and easiest to use and they work nearly as well. They do, however, track a bit narrower and shake a tad more than the other two. The Wakeye is the clear winner in appearance too.

    So I leave the Trakker permanently mounted in my Florida Nautique, and use the two Ski-Docs when going to coaches who use MasterCrafts or Malibus. I got the Wakeye most recently of the four and it travels back and forth between my Nautique and our club MasterCrafts in Canada without any need for adjustment.

    One last consideration is that I had a handl-pop bend the Trakker's aluminum tracking arm completely back on itself. It was an easy fix, but if this had happened to the Wakeye, I expect there would have been some shattered carbon fiber, although the odds of this must be pretty low.
    www.FinWhispering.com ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    Steadicam has the technology. We just need a $150 version of this $20,000 setup ...

    www.FinWhispering.com ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
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