It’s time to get excited about the next revolution in action sports film: unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) footage, otherwise known as quadcopter videos.
Quadcopters, otherwise known as UAVs or quadrocopters, have the ability to fly through the air controlled by a remote. These high-tech droids can have a GoPro camera attached to them for capture some serious aerial footage. Some quadropters, like the DJI Phantom, even follow your every move automatically.
We’ve been excited about these cameras and wanted to check out some of the most extreme quadcopter videos out there today. Lucky for you, we compiled the footage right here.
This exhilarating quadcopter video captures a show rell of two-wheel athletes in action. First, you see mountain bikers whizzing over some ramps. Next up are some scramblers taking a dirt track bend. Then the action is grounded on tarmac in a road race. The UAV camera keeps rolling, across a silver stretch of water, through a tunnel, before it finally focuses – sort of – on a starting line where serried motorbike rivals jostle like jockeys to get ahead of the field. Their motion carves grooves in the powdery soil as they charge off camera toward their destination.
Welcome to Whitewater. No, that’s not some frothing kayaking venue but a snowboarding resort set deep in British Columbia’s Kootenay region, just outside Nelson British Columbia, on BC’s famed Powder Highway. The resort targets Adrenalists “with a passion for epic winters, in a most unique and authentic setting.” The resort routinely serves up over 40 feet of light, dry, powder every season. In this quadcopter video, some Whitewater snowboarders swerve downhill flanked by pines. Seemingly glued to their boards, the athletes jump, spin and wipe out, showing that the secret to snowboarding is to get up more times than you fall down. The tumbles become part of the dance in this clip where music and motion are seamlessly interwoven. Filmmaker Rob Antill says the UVA camera footage is shaky but he’s counterbalanced and made it silky smooth.
Every bit as cool as it sounds, Byron Bay is a beautiful Bohemian enclave that takes in a bunch of surf beaches to the north and south of Cape Byron – Australia’s most easterly point. This UAV camera footage takes you on a wild ride through The Pass. The top-notch Aussie surf site, Surf the Coast, describes The Pass as “one of Byron’s iconic breaks, famed for its long, peeling right-handers. In bigger swells the Pass can be challenging, but in general it’s a great location for surfers of all abilities, largely favored by long-boarders.” Like all the featured quadcopter videos, this one has a nice “up” vibe that chases the blahs awayAlso watch how the surfer in the opening frames deftly switches stance as if he were standing on a rug, not a board on a thrumming liquid surface.
There is nothing dull about this “drone-work” – as this quadcopter video captures some breathtaking footage in the snow. The clip inspects one of the biggest events in motorsport, the Monte Carlo Rally, which unfolds along the French Riviera in the Principality of Monaco and southeast France. From the get-go in 1911, the rally that forces competitors to tackle treacherous conditions has been an excuse to test the latest automobile wizardry – winning teams earn a ton of publicity and credibility in the auto world. In the UAV camera clip of this year’s proceedings, you are whisked to the tight twisty roads that line the 3000 ft. Col de la Fayolle, before the road broadens, inviting a lightning descent. The highlight is the sideways high-speed negotiation of some icy bends. Powder spews from under churning wheels as the motorcars skid to a classical soundtrack. The quadcopter video drives home the amount of skill this year’s winner, Frenchman Sebastien Loeb, must have. Tackling those treacherous bends at a crawl would tax most drivers.
For sheer, jaw-dropping impressiveness, nothing beats the smooth execution of a ski jump. The maneuver is so tough that it positively invites you to wipe out, as your skis tilt further and further forward and you wind up with a mouthful of snow. In this quadcopter camera clip filmed on the DJI Phantom, some Ottawa daredevils show you how a ski jump is done. Well, most of the time. Sometimes, proving they are human, the skiers bite the ice. But when they do it right, you get a sense of the phenomenal balance and agility you need to land serious somersaults and twists. Have your own quadcopter videos to share? Send your video links to us in the comments below or @DegreeMen on Twitter.