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The Skimmer Ground Pod II
Approximately 10" in diameter and 1.5" high, the Skimmer's flat bottom allows it to slide and pan easily along the beach or mud without scooping up earth, protecting equipment from grit and moisture. The sides are turned out slightly to push sand and mud out and away, helping to keep debris from coming over the top. A protected area inside the plate can even be used to store teleconverters, extension tubes, and other incidentals for quick access while shooting.
The Skimmer was designed by photographers for photographers to meet our rigorous demands in the field. After years of using various ground supports, we felt the shortcomings were keeping us from our best productivity in the field. Sharp edges on plates would often get caught in the ground and swivel, halting movement, or scoop up sand and dirt - exposing ballheads and other equipment to grit and water and weighing down the plate with accumulating muck. We were constantly replacing lost bolts from plates that didn't have captive screws. Also, as frequent travelers, we are always looking for weight-conservative options - the Skimmer is less than half the weight of some ground pod options. The Skimmer is our field-tested solution!
Average customer rating:
5 Most recent customer reviews (see all reviews):
September 23, 2012
I just received the item and was not able to test it in the field yet. It is well made (better than I expected - the plastic is good and it looks very solid) and I am confident it will be useful.
The big drawback for me is that it does not work well with my RSS BH-40 ballhead – the main locking lever cannot be completely locked as it is hampered with the base of the skimmer. I can manage it to some extent by tightening the “drag set knob”, but it still is not a perfect solution – the head will not lock completely.
Maybe it could be resolved with “Riser block”, not sure.
September 14, 2011
Great innovative product especially when coupled with a beanbag and a quick release plate only. Also the perfect low to the ground sled type device for big lenses. I use mine with an Arca Swiss ballhead and a Nikon 500mmVR lens
Advantages: Light, stable and strong. Easy to carry with an added clip
Disadvantages: For $99 it should come with a clip!
September 13, 2011
You can save a lot of money by making your own better version out of a larger diameter, heavy plastic snack dish, kiddie snow dish or sled, or aluminum fry pan.
Advantages: Lightweight, low to the ground
Disadvantages: Exorbitant price for what this is. The small footprint is unstable and risks plowing your expensive long lens into the sand. This pod should be redesigned, elongated, and be sold for 1/3 the price.
September 13, 2011
The Skimmer was designed after a number of prototypes and while there are home made options this is perfect for a 600mm lens either on a wimberley head or just on a quick release plate. The size is perfect and the round shape lets you slide it in any direction without getting stuck in sand or mud. When pushing forward it's best to push down on the camera to lift the front edge up. It's expensive as the previous reviewer complains but being in the plastics industry myself I imagine an injection mold of this size costs as much as a small car! The material is indestructible and light at the same time. I doubt this is a high volume item so I'm willing to pay $99 - I saved $20 when I purchased the matching beanbag called the Skimmer sack
Advantages: Super strong, light and just the right size. Works with any ballhead, the full wimberley or with just a quick release. LOVE it on a beanbag! Round so it rotates and slides easily and has a hook to hang from your belt.
Disadvantages: Cost - see note above