With the approach of 2019, let’s face it — everybody has a birthday coming up. Don’t wait until the last minute — now is the time to start angling for that super special birthday gift! I’m talking about the Soloshot robotic camera.

Remember the advent of the video camera? The one that used giant tapes and looked like something employed by the local TV news crew? Okay, so maybe you don’t, but let me tell you, those things were revolutionary for riders! To be able to pop the tape into the VCR and actually see yourself riding- it was unbelievable! Enterprising owners of camera equipment would set up at shows and offer to video riders for $40 or so, and it was worth every penny.

Fast forward to the present and you’ll see a dedicated person posted ringside, smart phone in hand, doing the same thing for free with instantly viewable results.

That’s all fine and good for show day, but what about the in between times? In an ideal world, we would not be diagnosing problems at the show. We’d have a faithful camera person available for every ride at home to video our entire training session. That’s gonna’ happen, right?

That’s where Soloshot comes in. The Soloshot is considered a robotic camera—your silent camera man who never gets thirsty, cranky, impatient, or sunburned. Just attach the camera to a sturdy tripod (not included), slap on the armband that holds the sensor, referred to as a tag, activate the tag, turn on the camera and run through the set-up menu. It takes about a minute to start the camera and another minute or less for the camera to calibrate your location. Remember to insert the memory card.

When you’re done riding, you simply turn off the arm band sensor and camera. When you’re ready to view your ride, remove a tiny micro memory card from your camera and insert it into an adaptor that slips into your computer. There are also adaptors available that allow you to insert the memory card directly into a cell phone. I use a Leef cell phone adaptor (not included). You’re able to store the footage on your computer or cell phone and analyze it again and again. Soloshot also allows you to stream your ride live, if you desire.

The camera battery is rechargeable and the arm tag connects to the camera to charge. It’s a good idea to order an extra SD memory card. They’re tiny and easy to lose. Prices vary depending upon storage capacity. Cards can be cleared for reuse after being downloaded to your computer.

There are a few robotic cameras on the market and the debates about the best one are infinite. I have the Soloshot3 Optic 25 and really like it. Let me add that as a general rule, I hate all things technological. This is the cheaper of two models and will record action up to 600 feet away, automatically zooming in and out. The Soloshot3 Optic 65 will take in action up to 2,000 feet away. Plan on spending time thoroughly familiarizing yourself with the online manual, and you should be fine.

Full disclosure. My Soloshot was purchased for me by long term house guests. I continuously asked them to video me while I was riding, and I guess the heat got to them.

I have been grateful ever since. Being able to see my ride has allowed me to improve exponentially.

So start planting the seed now; you’ve got a birthday coming up!

Article by Dale Sue Wade