How to Film Skateboarding

by Joseph Cohen
Skateboarding has infinite variations in its tricks, which is great fun to film.

Skateboarding has infinite variations in its tricks, which is great fun to film.

flashfilm/Photodisc/Getty Images

Skateboarding films are popular on video sites around the Internet, both for fun and to provide skaters with a showcase for potential sponsors. Professionally produced skate videos have been available for decades, but today's access to cheap cameras and computer video editing equipment can give every skater a series of videos whose production values and audience were unheard of as recently as 20 years ago.

Items you will need

  • Skateboard
  • Safety equipment
  • Video camera
  • Extra tapes (if used) and batteries
Step 1

Keep the camera low. The skateboard is the key item of interest, so videos should make sure to focus on that, rather than images of the skater's upper body.

Step 2

Ride a skateboard. When filming a line (a series of tricks as a skater moves from place to place), the camera operator must move along with skater unless he is simply panning the camera and viewing from a distance. Walking or running will jostle the image, so riding on a skateboard about four feet away parallel to the skater being filmed is the best way to keep the image smooth and close.

Step 3

Keep the obstacle in view. When a trick happens over an obstacle, the shot should keep the obstacle in sight. An ollie down a set of stairs doesn't look impressive if you don't see the stairs. A fisheye lens is a common choice for skate footage because it helps keep large obstacles in view, along with the skater.

Step 4

Start early and stop late. Hit the record button early to make sure you don't miss anything from the beginning of a line, and record for extra time afterward to make sure you don't cut off anything from the end.

Step 5

Keep quiet. Even positive, enthusiastic comments or cheers will seem loud on film and may make a skater self conscious. When the person operating the camera stays in the background, the people on camera act more natural and uninhibited.

Tips & Warnings

  • Skating in groups often allows skaters to feed off each other's energy and try to match or improve on each other's tricks.

About the Author

Joseph Cohen has over six years of experience in writing and editing business-to-business media summaries for numerous Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of The Future Soldier: Fast Movers, a role-playing supplement from Steampower Publishing. Cohen holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Photo Credits

  • flashfilm/Photodisc/Getty Images