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How to Film Skateboarding

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Filming Skateboarders to show others who have never seen this activity, can be difficult because of the speed and the turns and twists. With care, and a good camera you just might be able to film this sport to teach others how to skateboard.


  1. Buy a video camera or camcorder a small Panasonic or Sony camcorder between $300 - $500, or a more expensive Sony VX1000. Make sure you buy a Mini DV camera and have a FireWire (IEEE 1394) port on your computer.
  2. Buy a fisheye lens for the camera. This will make the skateboarding look more professional and make the skater look better.
  3. Start filming. If you are using a mini DV make sure your tape is on SP mode for maximum quality. You might want to start by filming the stairs. A common successful angle is at 3ft from the bottom of the stairs, out of the passing way with you crouched down so camera almost touches the ground. Start recording when the skater is about 5 - 10ft away from the top of the staircase.
  4. Focus the camera on the stair set until they are seconds away from executing the trick. Point the camera up so you have both the body of the skater and the entire stairs in focus. It is important that you point your camera up as they pop their board.
  5. Keep the skater and stairs set in view as they are in the air, Upon their landing make sure you mainly catch the skater. It is very important that you leave as little ground as possible between the skater's board technique, to make the trick look much better than when the kids do it. Keep the camera steady, and focus on their tricks. Do not be too close or too far away.
  6. Capture a grind by falling back, but remaining parallel at the same speed. Set the camera to focus on the trick and the skater, as landing of the grid is similar as landing on the stairs.
  7. Understand that these are the common ways to film but the choice of the angle is up to you. Practice until you get it right.keeping track of the distances you are using, and the distance that gives the best picture.


  • Remain still and keep the camera steady.
  • Wide angle or fisheye of .63x - .3x is suggested
  • Never say anything to the skater when you notice that they are getting frustrated with their trick.
  • Be very, very creative with your angles. You can always introduce a new shot into filming when you play around with your surroundings.
  • Start recording early and stop late- you always want to do this to avoid missing those rare moments because you're too concerned about your tapes.
  • Adjust your colors, white balance, exposure etc. If you are going to film a line, run through the spot first and test your settings and set them to the desired adjustment.


  • Try to stay a distance away from the skater as broken cameras are expensive to fix
  • Make sure that you have a full battery, tape, and and easy carrying camera case.
  • Do not talk or cheer during filming. It may be hard to resist congratulating your skater, but it's definitely better than having ruined footage because of your cheers.

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