The internet has given us many things over the years, including plenty of cat videos. Now thanks to our new selfie stick, the XShot Sport camera extender pole, we too have a cat video to share with the world.
But before we look at a video of a cat, earlier this year whilst camping, we took a swim in the beautiful waters of the Georgian Bay. I took my GoPro with me, confident it wouldn’t sink with its floaty backdoor fitted. Less confident about it not floating away from me, we tied it to my wrist with some string and used a mini-tripod as a hand grip.
This didn’t really work and presented some issues!
Fast forward to late October, and we have what we needed all along, the XShot Sport. It’s a bit cold in Canada at this time for year for going for a swim in one of the Great Lakes, so instead, we took the XShot Sport to Treetop Trekking in Brampton, with the aerial high ropes course and ziplines providing opportunities to put the pole through its paces. You can take a look at our footage here.
The XShot Sport is a lightweight 30cm (12in) camera extender pole which extends out to a full length of 100cm (39in), and includes mounts for three different types of camera:
- GoPros and other action cameras with the included thumbscrew
- Virtually any compact camera with the standard camera adapter
- Smartphones with the secure and adjustable phone holder
An adjustable lanyard lets you secure the pole to your wrist.
Putting it to the test
I’ve never really been a big fan of the idea of camera extender poles, or selfie sticks. But you don’t know until you try, and so I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun it was to play around with the XShot Sport pole. Coming in at 200g (7oz), it’s light and easy to carry around in a backpack.
The rubber grip is comfortable to hold, and the lanyard easily adjusts around your wrist. I always felt confident that even if I had let go of the pole as we made our way around the Treetop Trekking course, that the lanyard would stop everything from crashing into the ground.
From its collapsed length, the shaft of the XShot Sport expands through another three sections until it’s at its full length. Turn the shaft anticlockwise to unlock and extend the pole, and then turn clockwise to lock in position. You can use as many as these extensions as you want, while the XShot Sport also includes a feature for quickly expanding the pole’s shaft to its full length from the locked position.
We did find that these features did take a little getting used to, especially with cold hands and trying to adjust the pole’s chilly aluminium sections when standing at the top of the tree. However, after a while, we got the hang of how to expand and collapse the sections.
I had no hesitation in attaching my GoPro to the XShot Sport, as it felt just as secure as any other GoPro mount. However, I initially felt apprehensive about placing my iPhone 6 (basically my life) in the phone holder and then dangling it out across the forest. I had nothing to worry about though, as the phone holder does a great job of securely clamping onto your phone, without damaging it. The spring-loaded phone holder is adjustable, and so accommodates even the larger smartphones.
Our time at Treetop Trekking culminated with a 1000ft zipline across Heart Lake. Whilst neither myself or the XShot Sport ended up in the lake, the handle of the pole has a water drainage port for times when you do take it into the water, plus the anodized aluminium of the pole has been certified to show that it will fare well in saltwater conditions.
I’ve seen plenty of people using selfie sticks that have a remote shutter function, and there were times, when I would like to have had this on the XShot Sport when using it. However, we found that using just using a self-timer was the easiest way around this.
Our final thoughts
The XShot Sport was great fun to use, and I’m looking forward to the next time that we can take it out for some shots, especially with the GoPro on some outdoor adventures.
The XShot Sport costs US $40.14 and is available from Amazon.
Oh, and here is the cat video we promised. Our current foster cat, Cammie, has ridiculously long fur. She is also very protective over her belly, so we used the XShot Sport to finally get a closer look! You can also watch the video on YouTube here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the Sport camera extender pole for free from XShot in consideration for a gear review. As always, our opinions are entirely our own and we would highly recommend XShot.