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Polecam FAQ

last updated: 5 Jan 2013

 


Heartcarve Polecam 1.0

- 155cm
- 200 grams (for 1 camera not weighed)
- 237 grams (for 2 cameras not weighed)
- 1 kg counterweight

1) Why is there a counterweight?

It makes it easier to hold.

While the counterweight adds 1kg to the polecam's total weight, it means the total burden is taken more by the bicep and shoulder rather than wrist and forearm. For me, this means that with one Contour camera atop, I can comfortably hold the polecam with one hand rather than using two (as without the counterweight) because the placement of the counterweight reduces torque on the hand. Approrpiate muscles will also develop in time. With or without counterweight, another easy way to carry the polecam is by resting it on the shoulder, pressing against the torso or always keeping the arm moving in order to use and rest different muscles. A second counterweight added to the handle would work well when using a second camera. One immediate benefit of the counterweight is being able to place the camera close to the ground with ease, as seen in the launch video at 1:40:


Heartcarve Polecam (2:29)
- jan '13 -

 

2) Is this polecam safe?

It is not unusual for skiers to carry poles or polecams and at ~155cm in length it is not unusually long. There are safety provisions including the quad base, safety ball and an upcoming best practices guide.

 

3) What is the quad base?

This is a 4 pronged rubber-covered alumium rest pad that screws into the handle's end. It allows for the resting of the handle end against the body with a contact area larger than a standard pole handle end. It is also non-slip and its curves make it easy and comfortable to place and rest up against the body without catching onto anything. It will also absorb shock better than a hard plastic end. Also, it will prevent the counterweight from sliding down off the handle.

 

4) Will the counterweight slide up or down the handle?

No it won't. Neoprene on Kork-o-lon is grippy, and the tension can be increased with the velcro fastener on the counterweight. However, the counterweight can also be attached to the quad base with a small aluminium carabeena through a hole in the neoprene should that be desired.

 

5) What is the safety ball?

This is a response to concerns about collisions and it can lower the force of the pole on something it impacts head-on. My suggestion is if you are concerned about collisions, don't use the polecam at all, or only use on easy runs with no people, or, practice with a shorter polecam. That said, it's still available on special request and I'm testing this January. Further relevant information will be in the upcoming best practices guide.

 

6) How does one use the polecam?

Preferably in places with little or no people unless you are already experienced and practiced with it. If you take a fall you should let go of it and there is no wrist strap in this regard. There is no reason the polecam should hit someone if you are aware of your surroundings and ski in control. When you use a polecam, you have to become aware of the polecam's place in space, how it will affect your skiing (or some other comparable activity such as skateboarding or rollerblading,) and the sort of footage you want and are getting.

 

7) What happens when I don't want to use it?

Ski with it using one or two hands, or rest it on the shoulders. You should then shelve it or lock it up. Once any cameras are removed, a cable lock can be placed through the camera mount plate.

 

Theoretically, you could lock it up on-slope in a sheltered place and then collect it the following day if required.

 

8) Can I use this polecam if I ski with poles?

Ideally not. It cannot be used like a standard ski pole so will be an additional burden to carry if already using poles. It should work well for snowboarders though and hands-free heartcarvers.

 

9) Why would I use this polecam when I already have one?

It has an extra long grip for double handed usage, may be safer in the event of a fall, it can easily carry two cameras, has an effective counterweight for easier usage and can comfortably rest up against the body. It also is likely to be much lighter than a conventional pole (barring the counterweight.) Also, it will look better in film with the smooth, black finish that is free of clamps or multi colours. Additionally, it is best to have the camera placed at right-angles to the shaft rather than on top (as seen in almost all polecam videos) in order to get a full view of the body. A standard polecam may not allow this if in doing so it twists the mount downward. Lastly, the Kork-o-lon grip should be warmer than hard plastic, and, the grip is not contoured for less hassle when moving it around.

 

10) How much lighter is the polecam than a standard one?

Being the highest quality carbon fiber it weighs in at 160 grams (without counterweight, camera or camera ball head.) My previous Leki pole (see below) weighed in at 275 grams (although I'd expect a standard ski pole with gopro bar mounts to way a lot more than even that.)

 

11) Any other points?

- You don't need to use 2 cameras: just screw on a single ballhead mount and use that:

- I have tested this on rollerblades but not skiing as yet. Even still, I don't expect there to be any problems. Only the highest quality, most suitable materials (including resins) were selected and I am happy to sell this polecam now:

- The white resin between pole segments will be replaced with black resin going forward.

- I have been developing this polecam since early 2012 and has involved much thinking, experimentation and testing.

- A 2 piece adjustable polecam is expected mid-2013 based on a Gossamer Gear LT4S that can extend up to 15cm longer than the present one to ~170cm one and down to ~90cm. It weighs about the same, that is ~240 grams with 2 camera ball heads (but no counterweight or actual cameras.)

- Earliest delivery date if ordered before mid-Jan is mid-February if shipped DHL express.

- Pricing before mid-January.

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