This project's funding goal was not reached on October 5, 2013.
About this project
The Govest™ is a one of a kind product that comes with many features that will maximize the quality of your filming without interrupting your water sport experience. After testing the product around the world and with virtually every water sport, Z-Gear delivers in creating the best record of your experience. Whether its snorkeling in Mexico, surfing in Fiji, Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Costa Rica, or whitewater river rafting in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Govest™ has proven itself as a durable product who's creative applications are limited to only the user's imagination.
No more having to fumble around with carrying your camera (and risk losing it), as the GoVest™ mounts a GoPro® camera directly on your shoulder. This provides a stable third person point of view, and allows you to see your own face/actions in shots while filming. It really makes you feel like you are in the picture while watching the footage. Other GoPro® body attachments such as the wrist, helmet, and chest mounts, create more of a jerky video as well as do not provide that great third person view that really capture your whole experience and makes you feel like you are back in the action again.
Click on the photo above to see some actual footage shot while using this Prototype GoVest
The idea of the Govest™ was first conceived in 2011 when I was looking over footage that I took while surfing and shredding some killer waves in San Clemente with GoPro's® surfing mount. While looking over the footage, I noticed that I could really not grasp the size of the waves nor feel like I was reliving my experience of the day's surf. The next day I went out to my local surf shop and the only other option the clerk had for me was a buoy type pole that I was suppose to use in one hand while also trying to stand up and surf at the same time. This option was not a feasible option for me. Later that day, I decided to tinker with one of my old wetsuits and see if there was anyway to integrate the camera into my wetsuit for a hands free experience. My husband and I originally conceived the design.
The first issue we faced was how we were going to make the camera mount rigid with the vest...so after multiple trials and error we finally came up with the idea of integrating it with a hydration bladder and using a post like system from the fill cap to anchor our camera support system..and we came up with this.
We ran with this system for about 6 months or so before we realized that it was to fragile for the action sports enthusiast so we stop producing these units until Frank and I discovered a better way.
The next step was finding a way to hold the camera at the right angle without losing it. After a few rides with angles poorly altered by the waves, we came up with a multiple piece velcro system that not only secures the camera in place, but also changes the vantage point of the mount depending on how tightly adjusted each of the velcro straps are. Multiple straps and leashes were placed to ensure security. Due to these changes the GoVest makes the riders' shoulder a human tripod.
Once we secured the camera to the hydration bladder, we needed to find out how to secure the hydration bladder as the hydration cap is the basis for the stability of the camera. Instead of sewing the bladder in place throughout the vest, we only needed to sew lining on the bottom to maximize the support for the camera and also add a Velcro lock on top to make sure the bladder would stay secure with the vest.
After about fifteen different prototypes (and about 8 lost GoPros), I finally came up with a final design that is functional, stylish, and most importantly safe. I also made sure to include three safe guards so I will never lose another GoPro™ camera again, no matter how large or powerful the waves, whitewater, or current might be.
I now need the help from the Kickstarter community in order to have enough funding to supply the world with hands free water sports recording. This can be accomplished by purchasing a large order of perforated neoprene, hydration bladders, and camera mounts in order to have these made in a textile factory rather than me having to sew each individual one at home. Increasing production will allow me to bring the Govest™ to water enthusiasts across the world.
Features of the Govest™:
- The GoVest™ will be made from 1.5ml perforated neoprene and the first production run will be be a flat black for mens and womens vests in the front and rear. The side webbing will be black for the Mens GoVest™ and turquoise for the women's Govest™.
- There will be a two liter hydration pack that allows wearers to bring fresh water or their favorite soft drink into the water with them
- Back pocket perfect for storing snacks, keys, or surf wax
- A shoulder camera mount that uses the wearer's upper body as a natural tripod. This positioning allows the most stable shots not possible with the current mounting systems available today for action cameras.
- Adjustable velcro shoulder straps that offer flexibility to the angle of the shoulder amount without sacrificing sturdiness. Also these straps allow your camera to not move while duck-diving under waves.
- The Govest™ also has a safety leash that attach directly to your camera to prevent you from losing your camera during the wipeout.
Z-Gear's Govest™ applies to just about every aquatic activity. We have provided footage on this Kickstarter to show you how much wearing our product will enhance your experience and the ability to share it with others.
Surfing: As seen in our Fiji footage, surfing is the original inspiration for the Govest™ and one its best uses. With the Govest™, surfers can record themselves inside the barrel of waves and have greater command of the ocean that comes from hands free recording. Just make sure to mount the Camera on your right shoulder if you are surfing left hand breaks and the left should if you are surfing right hand breaks. The opposite applies for those who are goofy footed.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Kayaking: SUP is another great application for Z-Gear. The video below shows Govest™ wearers using the product to record their navigation of a Fijian mangrove forest shows how paddle boarders can capture their journey without having to stop to record their surroundings. Wearing the Govest™ has the same effect for kayaking allowing people to use their GoPro while rowing nonstop.
Free Diving/Snorkeling/ Speer Fishing: A diver's needs his or her full focus to find the best views of fish, coral reefs, or shipwrecks. Our photos and video from spearfishing and free diving in Fiji emphasize the Govest™ difference during your next diving trip.
Click on the photo above to see some actual footage shot while using this Prototype GoVest
White Water River Rafting: For those who do not live near the ocean, Z-Gear can also be used to record your white water river rafting. In tough rapids, it's extremely challenging to carry a camera while navigating tough rapids. As seen in this video of a user navigating the Truckee river near Lake Tahoe, using the Govest™ allows rafters to focus on steering the raft and letting the camera position itself.
Actual Footage Taken with the GoVest™ Prototype
In order to scale the GoVest for the mass market we needed to be able to lower the cost of manufacturing one of these. Currently I do it by hand at home and it takes me about 4 hours per vest. I was also getting all my materials locally from the San Diego area. This limited me not only on how many I could make but also what price I could charge. The current prototypes cost me 70 dollars a unit to build NOT INCLUDING MY LABOR TIME. This was a big issue; however when we partnered with Paul Cwalina he helped us to build a global supply chain, seamless manufacturing process and international distribution network. However distribution was not possible with the current way we were running shop so we took the following actions.
- We have received multiple samples and bids from vendors around the world in regards to sourcing of materials and have know found the right vendors to work with.
-We have gotten multiple bids down in Tijuana, Mexico close to were we live. We found a great sewing factory down their that treats their employees right and also does a great job sewing these vest together. Since we are only 30 minutes away, quality control can help be maximize by multiple visits a week to make sure things are going smoothly and to plan. Also since Mexico is a NAFTA country, it also helps reduce the cost of import duties and fees which also helps for us to be able to lower the price to you.
-Because of all the efficiencies we made in regards to manufacturing we are know able to offer our Kickstarter's a great deal for helping to fund this project. We can offer you the GoVest at only $99.99 shipped! Also the first 15 buyers will be able to get it at only $89.99. With the price of shipping, $89.99 was more then this vest use to cost me to make at home and ship from home.
Those who have experimented with our prototypes have been more than impressed.
Endorsements have come from:
- Lifeguards across the Gold Coast and sunshine of Australia who use these vests for training videos
- Free divers in the US, Fiji, and Australia who are grateful for keeping their hands free for swimming and spearfishing instead of filming
- Professional surfers in Southern California and Australia
- Action Sports retailers accross California and Australia
- and many other
To make Z-Gear a global phenomenon we will need the support of the Kickstarter community to obtain the necessary capital (like fabrics and bladders) to manufacture the Govest™ for a production run in order to lower costs and bring this product around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy.
Also your enjoyment of wearing the GoVest will be helpful to our cause. With the Govest™, you can now focus on enjoying the action of water sports without worrying about setting up the camera.
-All of the videos are done with prototypes of the GoVest and were not digital simulations.
*$45 shipping cost for international customers via Fedex
Risks and challenges
The risk for production setbacks are minimal due to multiple testing and personal visits to production sites to ensure quality control and sourcing of materials.
The main possible setback is an error in the creation of the mold for the Z-Gear mount. An error in the formation of the end piece mold would cause delays in production and a possible delay in shipment to the customer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (30 days)