Well, do they? They seem to be ever-present in any extreme sports group, from freeskiers, to B.A.S.E. jumpers, to kiteboarders and mountain bikers. It has never been so easy to self-promote, to show your buddies exactly how rad you get.
But is this love affair with helmet cams causing more accidents? Sky diving instructors have recently voiced some concerns after several accidents where parachute straps were entangled in helmet mounted cameras. Accessories such as helmet pole mounts (yes, a pole that you drill into you helmet and attach your camera to) are excellent at amplifying the physics of a crash. Instead of just smashing your head, you can apply much more force to it.
While the number of skiers who actually ski B.A.S.E. is small and generally gopro poles are handheld, the mental factor applies to all sports. In the pursuit of self-promotion are skiers more willing to ski aggressively, hoping to get the shot? This kind of thing is nearly impossible to put any type of number on but is definitely a factor.
There’s also the distraction factor. Fiddling with the buttons on your gopro and making sure that your pole mount is pointed directly at you take attention off the slopes and what is going on around you. Sure, that’s one thing if done on the chair and entirely different if done in the middle of hot laps on groomers on a Saturday.
The same skydiving instructors emphasized one strong point that can be applied to skiing. The risk goes up with experience. The warning issued by the skydiving instructors was in response to inexperienced individuals more concerned about GTS (getting the shot) than safety. Many people are able to put together very creative edits. For every high-level rider, how many others are putting themselves and others at risk with their shenanigans?
What do you think?