Frustrated by his crummy surfing photos, GoPro founder Nick Woodman invented the wearable camera—and turned you into a movie star.
Nick Woodman, 36, sees his wearable cameras as teleportation devices, bringing viewers along for the ride. Check out one of his favorite slope videos at skimag.com/lastchairnick. The next step is live streaming. “A terrific video of yourself is only as good as your ability to share it,” he says.
SKI › You launched a business out of a van a decade ago and changed how the world sees itself. What was the magic?
NW › My goal was to create a camera that was so easy to use that you forgot you had it. An “invisible camera” that didn’t get in the way of you enjoying your sport. It’s there when you want it, out of the way when you don’t.
SKI › Anything different about dealing with the mountain culture?
NW › Skiers are quicker than surfers to adopt something new. And few people in sports share the stoke as readily as skiers. But we didn’t have success on the slopes early on with the wrist camera. As soon as we figured out how people could capture their personal perspective—wearing the camera on their chest or mounted on their helmet—we took off. Then skiers could self-document without needing a buddy. As it turns out, most skiers and boarders want to shoot themselves, not their friends.
SKI › You’ve redefined home movies. Why the universal appeal?
NW › We provide an enabling technology. As much time as we all spend immersed in our sport, few of us have ever seen ourselves doing it. That’s crazy. We came along, and it’s “Dude, you can watch yourself, and you’re going to look awesome.” People like to see themselves enjoying life. We make people feel good.