Not con­tent to rest on our lau­rels

Boating - - CONTENTS -

We’re boast­ing two in­no­va­tions in pre­sent­ing this month’s con­tent to you, both cen­tered on our cover. We nor­mally pho­to­graph cover boats from a he­li­copter, but the Mal­ibu M235 grac­ing this is­sue’s cover was shot uti­liz­ing a drone. These days, us­ing a drone for pho­tog­ra­phy might ap­pear to be a no-brainer, but the fact is the sit­u­a­tion needs to be just right for a drone to make sense. The boat needs to be go­ing slow enough so the drone can match speed with the boat so a blur-free still im­age can be shot. Still images are much more de­mand­ing in this re­gard than video.

More­over, most new boats don’t look right un­til they are up and run­ning at 30 or more miles per hour. Such speed de­liv­ers a bow-up at­ti­tude, en­sures the stern isn’t drag­ging, and shows some of the boat’s bot­tom. It also adds en­ergy and ex­cite­ment to the im­age that one can feel, es­pe­cially if the viewer is a boater to be­gin with. But higher speeds can out­run many drones and, at the least, cut down on the amount of time they can re­main air­borne.

Then there’s the drone pilot. How do we get the shot without in­clud­ing the pilot in the shot? An­swer: We need an­other boat to chase the cover boat, which is not that big of a deal — the ex­pense is sim­i­lar to that of hir­ing a he­li­copter. But we of­ten shoot on the ocean, and even on a calm day, the mo­tion at the speed re­quired makes it dif­fi­cult to con­trol the drone with pre­ci­sion. If any group can un­der­stand the chal­lenge of ma­nip­u­lat­ing a mini-joy­stick while watch­ing a cell­phone screen at plan­ing speed in ocean swells, it’s you, Boat­ing read­ers.

But for this is­sue we bring you the stun­ning Mal­ibu M235. A wa­ter­sports boat, it shows best do­ing what it was de­signed to do: make great wakes and waves for its crew to ride. Wakesurf­ing hap­pens at a very drone­friendly 11-or-so mph. The photo shoot took place on a lake, the boat’s nat­u­ral ele­ment. And be­cause of the specifics of wakesurf­ing, we were able to in­cor­po­rate in­no­va­tion num­ber two on this cover: show­ing wa­ter­sports in ac­tion. Un­like tub­ing, wa­ter ski­ing or wake­board­ing, wakesurf­ing oc­curs close to the boat’s tran­som. That al­lowed us to frame a shot to in­clude both boat and rider at a size where the boat can still be seen in some de­tail (that’s why we use aerial pho­tog­ra­phy for you in the first place).

I’d like to thank Gar­rett Cortese for spear­head­ing this ex­cit­ing cover as well as other con­tent in this Wa­ter­sports Is­sue. Though Cortese is the ed­i­to­rial di­rec­tor of our parent com­pany’s Wa­ter­sports Group, he is also now a newly minted mem­ber of Boat­ing’s ed­i­to­rial team. He joins Pete McDon­ald, Jim Hen­dricks, Randy Vance and a host of other ex­pe­ri­enced pro­fes­sion­als who are priv­i­leged to bring you the best boat­ing con­tent on the planet.

En­joy the is­sue.

These days, us­ing a drone for pho­tog­ra­phy might ap­pear to be a no-brainer, but the fact is the sit­u­a­tion needs to be just right for a drone to make sense.

Kevin Falvey, Edi­tor-in-Chief edi­tor@boat­ing­mag.com

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