Cineskates Review: What Happens When You Mount Your Camera On Skateboard Wheels?

Dolly shots are a quintessential signifier of high production value; they remind us we are watching something cinematic. Cineskates is probably one of the simplest and cheapest off-the-shelf options for recreating this effect. But it has its limits.

What Is It

An articulating tripod — Gorillapod to be exact — with wheels. It's that simple.

Using It

A bit of fiddling and you are ready to roll, so to speak. Smooth motion is relatively easy at moderate speeds, but the slower you go, the harder it becomes to keep clean. And it's kinda hard to slow to a stop without subtle jitters.

Like

Super portable, lightweight and fun to use. And cheap! You can get some really nice shots for not a lot of money (relatively speaking).

Tragic Flaw

The surfaces you can use it on are extremely limited. Hardwood floor, polished concrete or smooth counter/tabletop will work. Not much else.

Test Notes

  • Having a knowledge of skateboarding, I was glad to see that these pack a set of Bones Reds — a high quality bearing.
  • Tested with a Canon 7D with 17-55mm f/2.8 EF lens.
  • Supports up to 2.2kg
  • You can also purchase an iPhone mount or a GoPro mount from the Cinetics Store.
  • You're limited to extremely low-to-the-ground shots

Should You Buy This

What do you want to shoot? If the limitations fit with your personal oeuvre, then go for it. If you are looking for something more versatile, there are more cumbersome DIY solutions. Otherwise, get ready to drop about a grand on a slider system, such as the Kessler Stealth.

Cinetics Cineskate Specs

Tripod: Gorillapod Focus Head: Joby Ballhead X Weight Limit: 5 lbs. Included Accessories: Wheel bag Price: $US285 from Cinetics Store


Comments

    Cheap!! Cheeeeeapppp!! For this?!! Its a gorilla pod $30 on friggen skateboard wheels!

      No, its a gorilla pod focus with a Ball head X, just these two cost almost $200 together, not $30.

      You'd be far better off with a skateboard too. Easy to get to travel in a straight line (imagine aligning the three independent wheels on this thing), has a decent mass to provide smooth movement and you can hop on it, camera in hand, to get tracking and panning shots.

        It appears that the wheels are on castors, so you don't need to align them.

          You do need to align them but it only takes a few seconds to do so. The good thing is you can set the wheels at an angle to get circular panning shots, which you cannot really do with a skateboard (unless you are standing on it of course)

    I was an original Backer of the cineskates System on Kickstarter last year. I have had mine for about 6 months and they are great, really portable and multifunctional. You guys didnt mention anything about the wheel markers, which are good for timelapse shots. I have even built my own DIY motorised wheel for moving time lapse shots which you can see the explination of here:
    https://vimeo.com/33900044 - also some test shots at the end.

    The Cineskaes system is made so that other attachments can be used too! They have recently released the Cinesquid which Is a set of suction cups to mount the Gorilla pod to a car, wall etc.

    I have also used my Cineskates in this vid on one of my recent Projection Mapping projects in Melb: https://vimeo.com/33520166 - about 14 seconds in.

    Just ordered a set with the CineSkates and the CineSquids - let's see how well the work!

    This new product 'Genie', would also work well with your cineskate system, turning your cineskates into a motion control time lapse device, no need for markers!

    http://kck.st/JL46UF

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