skate through nyc with a gopro

the footage gopro cameras produce is fantastic and i’ve seen some crazy stuff filmed with a gopro, but i think i found it’s achilles heel – my skateboard.  the day i bought the camera, i strapped it on my board and skated for 2 hours before the camera was completely dead.  wouldn’t even turn on.  i sent it back and got a new one, determined that i started out with a bad copy, and slapped it on my board.  about an hour into my ride, the little guy started spittin blood.  i could tell it was going to give up the ghost, so i tried to be easy on it (kinda defeated the point of getting it), but even so, the sd card would disengage after any jolt, and sometimes it would just power off or give me an “SOS” message.  just before the battery died, i found out that the vibrations had caused the lens to start unscrewing itself from the camera body.  it had slowly been unscrewing for about 15 minutes, making all that footage blurry and useless (you could actually see it unscrewing in the clips as i was skating).  to add insult to injury, almost half of the good clips i had taken that day didn’t record on the card.  between the 2 days and 2 cameras i ended up with about 4 hours of recording time and about an hour and a half of usable footage.  despite the fact that i had to be gentle, i ended up with an awesome video – and a new paperweight.

UPDATE 4 Aug 2011: the last thing i want this video to be is a negative PR campaign for gopro.  gopro cameras are tough as nails – but while they might be bomb-proof, it’s crazy to think that they’re indestructible.  i skate very hard wheels and the roads are amazingly bumpy, so the cameras i used took a massive beating before they bit the dust.  a few of you have asked me if you should buy a gopro – of course you should.  they haven’t lost me as a customer and i hope this video gains them a customer or two.  they’re solid cameras and i expect that they’ll get tougher and tougher as time goes on.


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  1. #1 by LMT on July 31, 2011 - 18:41

    Wow. That was rad. I think I was smiling the whole time. My heart is pounding too. That was fun!

    • #2 by Josh Izenberg on August 2, 2011 - 12:29

      Man, that was great. Thanks for offering up the sacrificial gopro. We recently shot this short doc where we strapped a bunch of gopros to a dirt track racecar and had the driver, Donny Schatz, spin them around the track at close to 100 mph. They were pretty banged up, but miraculously, survived:

  2. #4 by Dan Littlewood on August 1, 2011 - 00:54

    Nice one Josh. Skate park scene was bonkers.

  3. #5 by Mark W on August 1, 2011 - 01:28

    Love it mega funs!

  4. #6 by anna adams on August 1, 2011 - 09:11

    so sweet! Love the rail slides, I can really see how you ride in the street against the cars real aggressive

  5. #7 by Jake on August 1, 2011 - 10:59

    Dude, this is ridiculous. I love it.

  6. #8 by Dave M. on August 2, 2011 - 12:45

    That really sucks about the camera not being able to take the vibrations. The whole point of that camera is that you can use it almost anywhere.

    I wonder if skydivers would have similar problems with vibrations during free-falls. There is a lot of wind going by that might cause similar vibration issues.

    Great video though, although I have to wonder how crazy you are to be skateboarding down New York streets in traffic. Watching enough of Cash Cab to know that cars don’t really mind the road lines all that much.

  7. #9 by CG on August 2, 2011 - 15:48

    So, any tips on mounting a GoPro on the underside of your skateboard?
    I had a rig like RB Umali’s with the Pedco Ultra Clamp on the top of the deck, and it took all the rubber washers I had to keep it stable. And the footage was STILL kinda rough.
    I’d love to get results like yours… unless it involves a bunch of duct tape or something.

  8. #10 by Fernando Diaz on August 2, 2011 - 18:08

    Haven’t skated in years, but this video makes me want to go buy a board right now. And a GoPro, obviously.

    Thanks for posting. Found your site via Coudal

  9. #11 by Chad on August 2, 2011 - 18:54

    The video makes me want to get a GoPro but the post is saying they aren’t that hot.

    I’m torn.

  10. #12 by Darryl on August 2, 2011 - 19:48

    Huh – I think a company that prides itself on how tough their cameras are should back them up with some kind of warranty or return policy. I mean, your video is a rad advertisement for when they *do* work. A friend just started working for them — I’ll see if he can get your video to the right people in marketing.

  11. #13 by loui77 on August 2, 2011 - 21:51

    Sick!!! great Video! Cheers!

  12. #14 by Tony Anastasi on August 3, 2011 - 07:21

    we had a test shot a month or so ago… little gopro loved it !..

    My mate G-balls on the deck, Testing a new Nano clamp & Friction arm combination for mounting the Go Pro Hero HD Camera, with the camera mounted to the side of a skateboard the results are quite on the visual… any lower like under the board it would just scrap along the ground all the time.. how did you manage to fit the entire unit under your deck without ripping it apart ?

  13. #15 by Keith Hopkin on August 3, 2011 - 12:05

    Hey, awesome video. It’s on Gizmodo right now:

    I just started a GoPro meetup group in NYC. We’re meeting tonight at 7pm at Heartland Brewery in Union Square. Would love to see you there.


    Brooklyn, NY
    19 GoPro Pro

    This Group has been moved to become more localized. Check out GoPro NY!

    Check out this Meetup Group →

    My GoPro Vids:

  14. #16 by Lee on August 3, 2011 - 20:48

    Rad video! From how you have the camera mounted, it appears that you may be mounting the camera without the housing? Not using the protective housing while skateboarding will make the camera much more susceptible to shock, and heavy shocks in turn can cause the SD card to dislodge and corrupt videos. Should there ever be a manufacturing fault with the GoPro cameras, such as a loose lens, we do stand behind our product and will take care of repair or replacement under warranty. Simply contact our support team via for assistance.

  15. #17 by shawnbrophy on August 5, 2011 - 09:05

    you killed it at chelsea

  16. #18 by Jennifer Perciballi on August 7, 2011 - 11:20

    Awesome video! I especially liked when you were skating into the sunset. Question: Can you find the video of your video picked up by CNN, CBS, etc.? Then I can give you my perspective…

    Great to meet you and fam yesterday!

  17. #19 by Keith Hopkin on August 7, 2011 - 14:22

    Great points on your 8/4 update. The amazing thing about having this camera is the durability of the design. And every time I take mine out or put a video up I probably help sell 5 more!

  18. #20 by -ST- on August 9, 2011 - 23:53

    Good job 🙂

  19. #21 by dr.floyd on August 26, 2011 - 04:37

    super! i dont speak english, but i love it. I wish now the name of the band.

  20. #22 by hijacker26 on August 29, 2011 - 04:04

    Awesome VDO. I love it. Very cool

  21. #23 by Robert on September 14, 2011 - 14:14

    Your regular haha.

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