Featured in our “best-use of 360 video” series today, Skateboarding in 360 ! Enjoy the ride 😉

Skateboarding in 360 Video in Venice Beach

Chris Chann leads the show with his awesome 360 video, produced by Aether Films for XTremeVideo. A skate crew takes the viewer for a ride in LA’s Venice Beach, using a 360 GoPro Rig (6 Gopros). The video ingeniously mixes static, drone and moving shots – the camera directly held by the skater boyz. In 4 minutes and 20 shots, a day in the life of California Skaters is brought to us, showing as much action as cool behind-the-scenes discussions (and lunch).

The use of 360 video is particularly relevant for skateboarding: on top of interesting surroundings, being close to the action, riding on the boardwalk, witnessing jumps over the camera or tricks inside the bowl makes every angle interesting to interact with. With 55k views on Youtube and 80k on Facebook this video is one of the most engaging we’ve seen.

360 Skateboarding Video Documentary in Palestine

BR24 made this amazing short documentary about Skateboarding in Palestine – also available with english subtitles on Youtube. Mobile and static shots alike provide the viewer with many interesting things to watch, using wisely the whole 360 environment. Smart use of graphics into the video sphere also provide additional information about the context and people, while the voiceover leads the story.

GoPro VR: 360 Skate Video at the Berrics

So, what’s behind this engaging “little planet” thumbnail? Well, one of GoPro’s most viewed skateboard videos (175k on Youtube), shot with a Hero4 rig and lasting just over a minute. It’s dynamic and snappy, with only 4 indoors shots, each 15 seconds long :

  1. Static shot: very cool blocking –  the riders come in the scene following a specific order, inciting the viewer to follow each of them, until the next rider takes over. A 360 video heat map tool would certainly show a very uniform viewer behavior, following those points of interest. This shot is a great example of how the viewer can be directed through precise action blocking.
  2. Static shot: classic but efficient “jumping/ollie above the camera”. It’s indeed quite important to bring the viewer to fully explore the 360 environment: putting a few vertical shots does exactly that.
  3. Moving shot: following a rider, the camera is held by the chasing skater, until the final jump.
  4. Moving shot for closing scene (same as previous shot)

Mashable News: Skateboarding in 360 with Brett Conti in NYC!

The Mashable News team takes us to NYC with Brett Conti in this 360 video shot on the Samsung Gear360. Distance shots make it difficult to spot the rider, hence the use of a big red arrow to signal the point of interest, as opposed to close shots that are quite impressive. The use of a stabilizer for the 360 camera enables to stay close to the rider while following the tricks, as well as offering a cool behind the scenes second angle to the shot. Being close to the action and having several points of interest in the shot to occupy different angles are again a best practice.

GoPro Bowl Skate Session in 360 Video

Another interesting example from GoPro, featuring David Gonzales, Micky Papa and Cody McEntire as they prepare for the 2016 Dew Tour.

The video (1’40”) opens with a wide shot 5 meters above the skatepark, then slowly takes us into the bowl, in static shots first, then moving (attached directly on the skateboarded).

Mounting the camera on the skater’s cap makes it a bit disturbing to watch with a HMD/cardboard, but offers a cool POV on mobile and desktop. However, only 2 riders in the scene makes it difficult to know where the action is taking place, as they do not fill the entire space. This reminds us how important it is to hint and direct the viewer, making sure the 360 video clearly indicates where to watch; or to fill up the space with action, so the viewer has more points of interest to chose from, naturally shifting from one to the other.

USA Today journalistic approach with 360 Skateboarding

This video is quite different from the previous examples. It is a 1min-long, 360 video documentary about Curren Caples, lead by a voice-over and a short interview.

The video is composed of 5 shots, mostly static but offering amazing close-ups of tricks inside the bowl. This is what lead us to chose this video for this article. It also reminds us that using text and voice-over brings a precious informative layer to the video, on top of the obviously interesting actions. Being able to experience the bowl in 360 is a very authentic and immersive way to witness the speed and agility of Curren Caples.

360 Skateboarding: Behind the scenes at the X-Games

Skateboard influencer Shonduras has us on a backstage tour of the impressive X-Games skating installations. He brings us up close to the extreme tricks performed by the best skateboarders and BMXers of the world, and thanks to 360 video, we really get to experience the height from which they manage to jump from. Looks cool, but doesn’t feel that cool up there! What’s really cool here is the link Shonduras creates with his audience: we really feel like we’re getting a private and privileged tour: not everyone is allowed in the places he brings us to. Interesting insights and cool surroundings definitively make up for sometimes not-so-stable shots (he carries the camera on a selfie stick throughout the video). And the video got quite some views (172k) for 6:30 min and 16 shots of awesomeness!

Skateboard collection interview

This video is a cool bonus: there’s more to skateboarding than cool tricks in a bowl: it’s a trade, a skill or a passion. Here, thanks to MANDTVR, we enjoy a 360 video visit of Skatelab – the world’s largest collection of skateboarding memorabilia. Have a 360 look at this incredible skateboards collection at the Skateboarding Hall of Fame, while listening to the interview.