Few things are as enjoyable to watch as a well-shot shredding session. Whether it's point-of-view scenes from a helmet cam or professional footage shot from the inside of a helicopter on a $30,000 field production camera, good action sports footage is inspiring and motivating. And can make for a damn fine Thursday night with the buddies.
The inverse, however, is also true. Few things are as boring to watch as the helmet cam footage your blue-square buddy captured last winter as he threw wedge turns down the already-tracked-out bowl of Tumalo Mountain. A YouTube search for "helmet cam" reveals more than 27,000 hits. The ubiquitous helmet cam problem is getting worse, not better.
Helmet cam usage for the mundane is a further extension of the phenomenon inextricably linked to the me-generation (or iGen), one that has been so profoundly shaped by technology that it feels compelled to constantly update the world with non-news. "I'm going 2 grocery store!!!" says one Twitter user. "So drunk rt now!" says a college Facebook user. Helmet cam use in the sporting world is the near equivalent to this, especially when combined with popular social media.
Once reserved for folks who were actually getting extreme as they rallied a noteworthy feature, helmet cams are now used ad nauseum throughout the action sports world, which means Bend. I can assure you, no one wants to see the jumpy, C-grade footage taken while your ass of great significance bounces along the pedestrian paths that are Lower Phil's. Nor does anyone care to see you creeping down some horizontal trails at Mt. Bachelor (bonus points for setting your "film" to trash rock. Or Nickelback).
If you're truly getting rad, then please by all means make record of it for the rest of us to lust after.
Still not sure if your activity deserves recording for posterity? Here are some handy helmet cam guidelines. Do's: anything involving base jumping, achieving speeds greater than 60mph (100mph if not human-propelled), jumping off stuff in any capacity (minimum 20-feet of air between you and the ground), first ascents/descents. Don'ts: slow speed anything, everyday outings, or any footage from anyone whose last name isn't Pastrana, Sharma or McConkey.
We're fully aware that there are plenty of arguments for using a helmet cam. "Being prepared," is probably the best, because with out helmet cams we'd never have seen the antelope tackle that cross-country mountain biker in South Africa. "Creative expression through multimedia" is another, but how many artsy helmet cam videos have you seen?
Save your hard-earned pesos for a trip to somewhere rad and leave the filming to someone who's actually shredding the gnar.