OK, you’ve promised yourself you’re hitting the surf this summer. You’re going to learn to surf, or at least start recording your trips out on the board. But how to do it? From the shore with the SoloShot? It’s a great option for long shots, but that’s only part of a knock-your-socks-off, YouTube-dominating video.
You need the closeups, the action shots that are right there in the nitty gritty, and that means getting something to adhere to your board or your body, like a GoPro camera. Now you need to take those two reels and edit them together into something that makes sense. Oh yeah, while you’re at it, you may want to figure out how much you actually improved. Sound like too much work? It is, now that Trace exists and can do a good deal of that heavy lifting for you.
From it’s roots as AlpineReplay, the free stat tracker for skiers and snowboarders, Trace evolved into a full-fledged tracker and video editing service for snowboarding, skiing, and surfing, a one-stop shop for proof of your awesome escapades. Because, hey, if there’s no picture, it didn’t happen.
It’s almost summer, so there’s not a lot of snowboarding or skiing going on in this hemisphere at the moment, but Trace is set up to work for surfers too, which is perfect for the upcoming season. The device is a little waterproof module that fits in the palm of your hand and adheres to your board (of either the snow or surf variety), where it records your stats, taking over from phone apps that otherwise drain your battery.
Related: GoPro Hero4 Silver review
Trace’s battery life is 10 hours, so you can get a full day in before you have to charge it up. What’s more, Trace contains nine-axis inertial sensors, making it 10 times more accurate for movement tracking than your phone, so you can save your iPhone 6’s battery for things it was actually meant to do. Trace can do as much, and better: GPS mapping, paddle distance, wave count, number of turns, cutback angle, roll and pitch, air height, distance and time, and, of course, calories burned. It’s all visible through the Trace apps when you’re done.
The basic apps for snow and surf are free in the Apple and Google app stores. That in and of itself is a nice set of features, but what makes Trace a killer is when you use it with your GoPro camera (but fear not, it works with other cameras too). If you have a GoPro, you can add your footage to your Dropbox, and Trace will take it from there.
Since Trace already detects runs and waves, it will automatically trim the footage, cutting out the boring bits. It fixes speed and tint of the raw action footage, and gets rid of the wobble (stability). That’s already saved you a ton of editing time, but if you add in the stat overlay — distance, speed, and cutbacks for surf; distance, altitude, airs, and speed for snow — you have not only an awesome video, but something like a training video, giving you the chance to see what’s changed and make improvements.
Trace added the first ever Trace Spot Check at the Oakley Lowers Pro, held in the Lower Trestles in San Onofre State Beach in California. By collecting surfing data over the six months leading up to the competition, Trace was able to overlay wave patterns and trends of performance, including a heat map showing speed spots on the breaks. Trace Spot Check is a new and incredibly helpful in forming strategies.
To top it off, Trace stores and organizes all these videos for you by creating a Trace Video Page, so you can easily pluck runs out to show off or review.
Six Olympic gold medalists use Trace to keep track of their stunts and continue to make the world ooh and ahh. Maybe you should join them.