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A different perspective
January 16, 2014 4:40 AM   Subscribe

North Shore of Oahu+Drone+GoPro+Waves= a pretty neat surfing video by Eric Sterman.
posted by HuronBob (18 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's pretty magical, including the fact that they somehow avoid hitting each other when the crowd is spread away from the beach like that and those who managed to catch the wave must pass between those who didn't.
Aw. Again I regret not having been born somewhere where surfing is a thing.
posted by hat_eater at 4:54 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


That was really cool. I feel like I learned something about surfing from that - it's literally a new perspective.
posted by carter at 4:56 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


TUBULAR

I also learned something new about how waves work (previous videos I've seen never seemed to pick up the exhaust plume as the tube collapses in on itself). Neat!
posted by tigrrrlily at 5:13 AM on January 16


Awesome stuff - thanks for posting this.
posted by jquinby at 5:32 AM on January 16


(FYI - I know some here don't exactly love her , but the background music is Lindsey Stirling's Crystallize)
posted by HuronBob at 5:39 AM on January 16


In some of the shots, you can see how extensive (and close to the surface) the reef is. Don't want to wipe out if you can help it!
posted by rtha at 5:51 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


What carter said.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:58 AM on January 16


Awesome. Thanks for posting.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:06 AM on January 16


Very excellent.
posted by OmieWise at 6:08 AM on January 16


As a child of the 70's who was acclimated early to grainy broadcast TV, I could normally give a rip about HD video. This is the rare case where I think it makes a huge difference in the effectiveness of the film. I don't now feel that I know what it's like to surf through a pipe like that, but I feel as if I've been one of the others in the water nearby. It's like a memory of something I've never done.
posted by jon1270 at 6:08 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Amazed that there are not the occasional report of decapitation by surfboard but it sure looks like fun... well until slammed into the sand and coral by a few million tons of water, but worth it I'm sure.
posted by sammyo at 6:29 AM on January 16


We have a swell on route that will hit San Diego this weekend, 8 feet predicted. Even our fastest break, Black's, won't see a wave as ferocious as your average good day at Pipe. (i'll be surfing at a much mellower reef break in Carlsbad). Pipe may not be the biggest, or fastest, but it's the wave that every other wave in the world is measured against.

" I don't now feel that I know what it's like to surf through a pipe like that, but I feel as if I've been one of the others in the water nearby. It's like a memory of something I've never done."

Here is a video of Slater at Pipe with a GoPro, with a little bit of commentary about surfing it. ~ he surfs Backdoor (the right) and Pipe (the left) in that vid.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 6:38 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Oahu is around three million years old. I don't know how old that beach is - I'd guess a lot younger, due to sea level changes and erosion.

Yet every time I see a video like that, I am irresistibly drawn to thinking about the endless, endless days when those waves rolled in under perfect blue skies but there were no humans to see them. That evokes a very strong wistful, nostalgic sensation - almost as if I had been there for thousands of years - which is inexplicable but compulsive.

I've often wondered why this happens: the best explanation I can come up with was that I was very moved at a young age by some similar description in books. It's certainly similar to the visceral longing I get from Ballard's descriptions of humanity crumbling into an unknowable eternity.

(The surfing? Not so much. Don't judge me.)
posted by Devonian at 7:16 AM on January 16 [4 favorites]


In that one tilt-shift shot, the surfers all looked like newly hatched baby sea turtles trying to make it out to sea.
posted by cazoo at 7:59 AM on January 16


I'm still waiting for someone to backdoor the peak at Pipe *with* the drone. I want drone footage shot from inside the barrel.

...including the fact that they somehow avoid hitting each other when the crowd is spread away from the beach like that and those who managed to catch the wave must pass between those who didn't. Aw. Again I regret not having been born somewhere where surfing is a thing.

Not hitting people isn't that hard. Not hitting people and still maintaining optimal positioning on the wave can be, and so once you catch a good wave, especially on a crowded day like in the video, on which you may have waited an hour or more, you can put yourself pretty close to anyone who happens to be paddling out in your way, because 1) that's how surfing's right-of-way rules work, and 2) they haven't been waiting for an hour to paddle around, so just get out of the way already.

Collisions actually happen fairly often because of this. I've both hit people and been hit. Based on the rules of the sport, this is usually the person getting hit's fault. Surfing is also a fiercely territorial sport, as the parts of the beach with the best waves are actually fairly few and far between. I have seen disputes over waves come to arguments many times and even blows a few times, though people around here seem to have mellowed a bit since I was a kid.

The combination of the territorialism and the ever-increasing crowds are the main reason I'm spending more time sailing that surfing recently. Otherwise, surfing is an absolutely amazing experience unlike anything else on earth.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:17 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


I was surprised how many photographers you could pick out from the crowd. There's an orange-helmeted chap at about 2.07 and a bunch in a kind of pack a bit later in. Also, as mentioned, so many riders out there. (Go sponger!)
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:46 AM on January 16


So, seriously. I know lots about cameras but not a ton about drones. Are they that fail-safe now, that it's cool to throw five or six hundred dollars worth of GoPro gear onto it and then hover it over world-class surfers? What happens if/when these things fail? Do you just lose the equipment and hope to hell that it doesn't hit anyone on the way down? I'd have a ton of trouble feeling confident about it. But like I said, I know next to nothing about RC stuff.
posted by nevercalm at 2:30 PM on January 16


Finally remembered to go back and watch this video. Stunning.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:58 AM on February 6


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