Pro freeskier uses a hacked GoPro device to shoot some cool aerial footage

Pro freeskier Nicolas Vuignier wanted a cheap way of nailing some cool aerial footage of his snow-based stunts but didn’t want to fork out on a drone.

He settled on the AER, a GoPro accessory we first heard about in September 2016 when nearly 2,000 Kickstarter backers helped to make it a reality.

The AER is basically a large Nerf football that can hold a GoPro action camera. To get your aerial footage, you simply throw the wing-equipped AER into the air. And there’s no worries about your GoPro smashing to bits when it hits the ground because it’s protected by the projectile’s foam base.

It seems that Vuignier managed to get his snow mitts on an early version of the $54 AER as it isn’t expected to begin shipping for another few weeks. To get the precise footage he wanted, the skier first had to modify the device so he could get rear-facing shots, as the regular AER design only allows for forward-facing footage.

In a video (above) posted online this week, the freeskier shows off a slew of clips captured with his flying GoPro, edited into a slick and snappy package that’s getting plenty of attention on YouTube. It’s an entertaining couple of minutes, but demonstrates that although the method is a lot cheaper than shooting selfies with a drone, for a video like this you’ll still need someone with you to throw the AER into the sky at the optimum moment.

This isn’t the first time that the Swiss freeskier has impressed us with his innovative filmmaking ideas. Last year he attached his iPhone to a piece of string and swung it around his head as he performed ski stunts on the slopes. Vuignier said the Matrix-style effect took “two years of tinkering and tweaking” to finally achieve, but we’re sure you’ll agree, his so-called “selfie string” definitely delivered.