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7 Tips for unforgettable whitewater kayaking edits

Kayaking edits can be hard. It’s especially difficult to film in the environments we place ourselves in.

But when we do…

Magic can happen…

Tips for Epic Kayaking Edits:

Tip #1: Cut to the Chase

The hardest videos to watch are the ones where nothing really happens.

You sit there for a few minutes as they put their gear on and drive to the put-in.

Then you twiddle your thumbs as they paddle up to where the action really starts.

Then they fire up a rapid!

and it’s SICK

but they leave the camera rolling for 30s whilst they paddle to the side

and it’s just… meh

Using quick cuts in your edits will remove all of the fluff

Now you want to keep some of it.

But only the bits that are telling a story.

(more on that later…)

Keep it to a minimum.

For example, watch Brens Norway 2022 edit

The edits are fast and constantly draw you into the action.

 

He doesn’t show you the lead-up to the drops

Or the paddle into the eddy

It’s constant movement.

You’re engaged the whole way through.

Tip #2: Match Your Music

Music can make or break your edit.

It’s common to watch a video with music that doesn’t really suit the footage.

Like dubstep for a grade 1 dawdle…

Now heavy fast paced music has its place.

And there’s nothing wrong with a bit of dubstep…

But keep it to the fast-paced action clips

Match the soundtrack to the tone of your video.

If you are editing a video of a trip with your mates

You won’t want the same music as your highlight reel…

Another important consideration is to have your cuts match the music.

This really brings your video together and adds more impact to the visuals.

 

Danes 2021 highlight reel does this really well.

Watch this to see how the cuts line up with the beats of the music.

It adds so much more drama

If you mis align the cuts…. it’s noticeable…

It confuses your brain and makes it difficult to watch

Make the viewing experience as seamless as possible for the viewer and you will keep them for longer.

Tip #3: Mix it Up!

A great way to keep a viewer engaged is to vary the shots you use

That means no more videos of just GoPro Helmet Cam.

Now there’s nothing wrong with GoPro.

And a full GoPro video can actually make for an epic video…

Check out this 100% GoPro edit by Aniol

It really shows how you don’t need a cinema-quality camera to make great edits.

Though the newer GoPro’s are pretty powerful

You can pick one up here (If you do purchase through this link we’ll get a small commission, at no cost to you, that will go towards being able to provide you with more content)

Anyway,

Notice how Aniol uses shots from different angles, in his kayaking edits.

GoPros excel here.

Stick it on a Paddle,

a helmet,

a car

the possibilities are endless.

By having lots of different angles you keep the audience engaged and excited to see what’s next.

Although Aniol can get away with a full video of PoV…

Mixing it up makes the video that much more interesting

And can help you with….

Tip #4: Tell a Story

People love stories.

Stories are everywhere.

Our whole culture is built on them.

But that’s getting a bit deep…

Non stop kayaking edits are cool and all

but the best ones tell a story.

Good examples of these are the SEND edits.

For example the SEND Hawaii 2020 edit

This video tells a story with highs and lows

(From a kayaker’s perspective, literally….)

From low-water scouts to high-water sends

Keep the audience engaged by taking them on a journey with you.

You can even do this in shredits!

Show yourself scouting rapids like Bren does in the video above

It doesn’t have to be much

and you don’t have to do a voiceover.

Show the fails…

The wins…

and everything in between…

Tip #5: Consistency in Color

Color grading is a skill

It can take years to master.

The good thing is that there are lots of free filters and LUTS you can use to make a consistent image across all of your clips.

Now we could get into the detail…

About how you should use flat log footage to allow you to get more control over your footage

But you don’t really care…

The key takeaway is that a consistent colour grade brings your whole video together.

Unfortunately, it’s super noticeable when you change from a GoPro with high-contrast footage to a Sony with a flat profile…

It breaks up the video and pulls the viewer out of the experience

Notice how in films every shot looks similar

That’s how your edits should look…

No pressure…

Tip #6: Quality is Key

Another important aspect to consider is the quality of your videos

Please,

PLEASE!

Don’t zoom in on your footage so that all you can see are pixels…

It just looks terrible…

Yes you may be far away

and the drop looks THAT bit smaller…

but trust me…

it’s not worth it.

Make sure you use footage that is clear and your videos will have a professional edge

A frequent sin for kayakers is the dreaded water drops on the GoPro…

Make sure you keep the lens clear of dirt and water

There’s a reason you see Dane splashing the GoPro before he sends a drop

It’s to make sure that the picture quality is top notch

One thing to note for social media…

Social Platforms will compress your videos to make them smaller

this increases the speed they load

But has the nasty effect of making your footage like it was filmed on a potato…

and a mouldy one at that

To maintain crispy quality, make sure to export your footage to the correct size

BEFORE uploading.

Tip #7: Start with a Bang

People’s attention spans are so short now. They spend hours hunting for dopamine in a sea full of reels and youtube videos

The key to getting people to watch your videos is to grab their attention and don’t let go. This is why tip one is so important.

But in order to utilise tip one. You have to get people to watch your videos.

The best way is to start with:

  1. Action
  2. Breathtaking scenery
  3. A teaser of what’s to come

You want your audience to stop scrolling and leave them wanting more.

As you scroll through Instagram later tonight – see what reels grab your attention and keep you watching.

Or if you’re on YouTube – What stops you from finding the next video?

You have about 3 seconds to capture people’s attention.

Make the most of it.

Summary:

In order to improve your whitewater kayaking videos, use these 7 simple steps for instant results!

  1. Use fast-paced edits to cut the fluff and keep the momentum high
  2. Match your music to the tone of the video
  3. Use a variety of angles and shots to keep the audience entertained
  4. Tell a story in your edits to engage the viewer
  5. Use a consistent color grade to level up your edits
  6. Use high-quality clips to add a professional feel
  7. Start with a bang to grab your audience’s attention

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