I’ve had GoPros for quite a while now. I originally bought my first action camera, a polaroid cube, with capturing my own riding in mind. I wanted to track my progress and play the footage back to myself so that I could see how much I’d grown. Unfortunately, the cube didn’t live up to my expectations and I purchased a GoPro Hero 4. That did. It’s been a constant on my rides, so much so that I purchased a second camera so that I could film 3rd person and 1st person on the same take.
Taking videos grew from something that I was watching to see progress into something that I was also filming to share with others. It became a way to document my riding and the fun that came with it as well as shared experiences with my good buddy, George. We started filming our rides and putting them up on YouTube so that we could watch them back and share them with friends and family. That evolved again into To The Trail, a YouTube channel where we now document our riding and share our opinions on stuff from trails to products. It’s actually loads of fun to get creative with filming as much as riding and if we provide someone with entertainment along the way then that’s a bonus.
I’d been filming using the chesty mount, which I actually won in a giveaway from Sam Pilgrim. I found that the footage was most stable on my chest, rather than on my helmet (maybe something to do with fit?) so the chesty and the GoPro started to come on regular rides. Eventually, I stumbled across some other YouTube channels with buttery smooth footage. You know the sort, the stuff that looks like the camera is just floating between the arms of the rider somehow. Well, it turns out that these clips are filmed using electric gimbals, of which there is a large selection. I did a little research and decided I’d work towards saving for one so that I too could have gliding footage. After narrowing my search down a little I found that the Feiyu Tech WG 3 Axis gimbal was on offer. Buy now is a little too convenient…
It arrived last week and this weekend was the first opportunity I’ve had to take it out to test. Sherwood Pines perhaps isn’t the most comprehensive test venue. Sure, it’s got some rocky sections and some roots but it’s fairly well groomed and there’s nothing that would bounce the gimbal out of alignment. All the same, it was the first time I took it for a spin and I must say, I’m impressed. The footage I’ve got from it is far superior than the regular chesty. It’s smooth and easy to follow. It makes watching it back a joy rather than, sometimes, a task to keep up with what’s happening.
Sherwood Pines today. Video features @trailabuse (bottom of the ramp), @feralmarmotfilms (photography on the run) and @monkeyboy_21 keeping the stoke levels high at the end. Top day, cheers folks. Also first test of the @feiyutech gimbal and seems to work nicely. Braaaap. #RIDEDIFFERENT #gravityclothingco #santacruz #gravitytheshop #santacruzbikes #MTB #mountainbike #mountain #bike #biking #mountainbiking #mbr #mtbr #mtbuk #mbuk #mountainbikelife #bikelife #mountainlife #loam #roost #loamlife #lifebehindbars #nature #riding #bikelove #mtblife #ridemore
The weight of the gimbal itself is more than I anticipated. When I pulled it from the box I was quite surprised with how much it actually weighed. However, once it was on the chesty and I was riding I forgot all about it and it made absolutely no difference. The gimbal does stick out slightly further than the GoPro on the chesty alone but again not so far that it gets in the way or causes any difficulty to the riding.
The only major downside that I can find is that it’s not waterproof so I’ll only be able to use it on the 3 dry days of the year that we get here in the UK. Feiyu Tech have just released the WG2, a waterproof gimbal, which I would’ve considered if the price was a little lower or if I was planning on taking on some really awful conditions. As far as the gimbal I’ve got goes, I’m happy with it so far and will be able to put up with storing it in the rain and using in the dry.