Drones are flying above the surf. You can see them, and you can hear them. Surfing drones are now part of the surfers' world and will be delivering spectacular footage for our personal archives.
Drones are the new helicopters. In the last two decades, surfers and wave riders in general had to pay for a helicopter for stunning aerial video and photo. Huge investments were made to capture the adrenaline levels of big wave surfers in spots like Jaws and Pipeline.
In fact, the aerial perspective changes the way we see surfing, but also the way we read waves. It was only a matter of time, until the fast-growing surf gadget industry invented a cheap alternative. Hollywood will like it, too.
The new surfing drones can be divided into two main categories. Those with a built-in camera and WiFi live transmission devices, and those with a special clip for GoPro cameras.
Surfing drones can be easily operated with remote controls and will deliver high quality videos and pictures from up above. They're also called quadcopters and unmanned aircraft systems.
The "DJI Phantom 2" is probably the best surfing drone in the world. It features a compact design, GoPro compatibility, built-in intelligent battery, a GPS auto-pilot and auto return-to-home and landing system. It can be yours for $829.
The "DJI Phantom 2 Vision+" offers an integrated 3-axis gimbal supporting an all new custom 1080p video camera with Wi-Fi first-person-view (FPV) on your iOS or Android device, you'll be creating super smooth cinema-quality videos in minutes. A great pick for $1108.
The "3d Robotics Iris+" will automatically fly itself where you tell it to go, while keeping a camera dead steady with two-axis gimbal stabilization. It features integrated LEDs on all arms for trouble-free directional awareness. Yours for $603.
The "Parrot AR.Drone 2.0" can be controlled by Wi-Fi using a smartphone or tablet. It features a high definition camera with video recording facility, plus flight data sharing, a patented piloting mode, and an innovative pressure sensor for increased stability at any altitude. Yours for just $570.
The "UDI U818A" features a remote distance of up to 30 meters. The quadcopter provides a four-channel function for stable flying and easy operation, video camera and transmitter with LCD display. Yours for $65.
The "Hubsan X4" is a compact quadcopter that will give you the versatility to perform expert takeoffs and vertical climbs. The aircraft offers two flight modes for beginners and advanced pilots. It is equipped with four LEDs for night flying, and instant video review on transmitter. Only $52.
Click on each surfing drone link to buy directly from Amazon, or visit the online surf shop for more detailed quadcopter information.
This surfing drone review has been updated on the 13th January 2015.