Checking in

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Back when we kicked off this project my blood was still flush with adrenaline from last winter, probably one of the best seasons I’ve had in the last 15 years. I was SO ready to do it again, but I’m sad to say that this year has not delivered the same epic waves and weather yet. Maria and I cleared our slate for most of December only to get skunked. The dates between Christmas and New Year’s Day, typically a time of stellar surf around here, were eerily flat — like, uncannily flat. So I haven’t shot anything like I want to. The good news is that the swells turned on a couple of weeks ago, and the weather is fantastic, so a good season might be upon us now. I’m poised.

New Year's Day was bitterly cold here in Santa Barbara, and as flat as the Pacific can be.

Last summer, I got ahold of Oregon Scientific’s little ATC9K sports cam. During a run up and down the coast, we managed to rendezvous with PG in Central California and frolic a while in some fun little surf, and shoot preliminary water footage with the ATC9K. To be honest, it was disappointing — soft image quality, generally desaturated color, bleached out whites. Maybe I’ll post some up here as an example, but I really wasn’t stoked about it. Of course, the best artistic response to a technical weakness like this is to exploit it — the funky image has its own kind of allure, especially if the waves and scenery are worthy. So I haven’t given up on the cam altogether, though it makes me crave a high-end solution with a housing all the more.

Since then, OS has released some firmware upgrades, I’ve fiddled around more with the customization, and learned a bit more about which situations might yield better results. I’ve stripped all the plastic holders off of it and secured a length of bootlace to it with some fibrous shipping tape. Now it’s a very light 3-inch waterproof cylinder with a screen on the back and a simple button on top to trigger a shot. Can’t complain about the form factor at all, it’s outstanding.