Welcome to SkydioPilots.com
Sign up and join the discussion!
Sign up

Skydio 2+ Over Water Flying - Raw Run - Tips and Tricks

paularity

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2021
Messages
122
Reaction score
115

If you’re watching this tips and tricks video you’ve maybe come across some of my Skydio drone content online

For some context If you haven’t already I suggest you check out the feature article links and videos on my my landing page - paularity.com

Here are the cliff notes:

Day 1 pre-order on the S2 back in October 2019 and I’ve had a drone in my hands in Western Australia since March 2020

Lost count of how many hours worth of over-water flight time, but I estimate it to be in the vicinity of 140 hours

2 x RedBull Illume 2021 - Best of Instagram Moving Image - Semi-Finalist, putting me twice in the top 256 of 47447 entries

I initially bough the S2 to film kiteboarding, but Covid was the catalyst of change and I pivoted to riding my eFoil from Fliteboard and haven’t looked back

Nuking winds, big waves, glassy water - you name it and I have probably had a crack at attempting to film it

I’ve pushed limits, had malfunctions and probably encountered most scenarios, so I fell pretty qualified to comment on this topic

My main reason for filming this (aside from regularly getting peppered with the same 5 questions) is that there seems to be a LOT of keyboard warriors online who complain about the Skydio crashing and that it cannot be flown over-water

Even if people are whinging that it was the drone’s fault - more often it is operator error and a a lack of understanding the limitations of the tech and how the drone ‘thinks’ and not planning accordingly

That’s not to say I haven’t had my fair share of issues over the past few years - I most definitely have, but hopefully you get some insight into how I use the S2+ to create content solo!

Any queries shoot me a DM on IG @paularity_
 
Well said Paul, many of the problems I see are from unfamiliarity with the drone's capabilities and unrealistic expectations. Don't trust the videos posted online as the same experience you'll have as a new user. It took most of us quite a few flights to get good at using this drone. Best advise I can give is work up to the difficult filming tasks, don't expect that performance right off the bat.
 
Thanks, just saw this on Discord😎
I couldn't swallow that forum's format. It looks exactly like it was designed, built for kids to discuss video games. IMO it's unfortunate that SD decided on that as their platform.
 

If you’re watching this tips and tricks video you’ve maybe come across some of my Skydio drone content online

For some context If you haven’t already I suggest you check out the feature article links and videos on my my landing page - paularity.com

Here are the cliff notes:

Day 1 pre-order on the S2 back in October 2019 and I’ve had a drone in my hands in Western Australia since March 2020

Lost count of how many hours worth of over-water flight time, but I estimate it to be in the vicinity of 140 hours

2 x RedBull Illume 2021 - Best of Instagram Moving Image - Semi-Finalist, putting me twice in the top 256 of 47447 entries

I initially bough the S2 to film kiteboarding, but Covid was the catalyst of change and I pivoted to riding my eFoil from Fliteboard and haven’t looked back

Nuking winds, big waves, glassy water - you name it and I have probably had a crack at attempting to film it

I’ve pushed limits, had malfunctions and probably encountered most scenarios, so I fell pretty qualified to comment on this topic

My main reason for filming this (aside from regularly getting peppered with the same 5 questions) is that there seems to be a LOT of keyboard warriors online who complain about the Skydio crashing and that it cannot be flown over-water

Even if people are whinging that it was the drone’s fault - more often it is operator error and a a lack of understanding the limitations of the tech and how the drone ‘thinks’ and not planning accordingly

That’s not to say I haven’t had my fair share of issues over the past few years - I most definitely have, but hopefully you get some insight into how I use the S2+ to create content solo!

Any queries shoot me a DM on IG @paularity_
Nice adhoc instructional video!

Describing best practice while actually performing the function really helps the viewer get the what and why at the same time.

I noticed something else in many of your vids and in particular this one is that your board speed is very consistent and the turns are broad smooth arcs. Do you think that “predictability” aids the aircrafts ability to perform well? Can you let us know what your board speed was?
 
Well said Paul, many of the problems I see are from unfamiliarity with the drone's capabilities and unrealistic expectations. Don't trust the videos posted online as the same experience you'll have as a new user. It took most of us quite a few flights to get good at using this drone. Best advise I can give is work up to the difficult filming tasks, don't expect that performance right off the bat.
exactly!
 
Nice adhoc instructional video!

Describing best practice while actually performing the function really helps the viewer get the what and why at the same time.

I noticed something else in many of your vids and in particular this one is that your board speed is very consistent and the turns are broad smooth arcs. Do you think that “predictability” aids the aircrafts ability to perform well? Can you let us know what your board speed was?
cheers

I'll do some more videos with some 'dont's' probably demonstrating in action why I don't use motion tracking / orbit and magic wand over water and maybe another just using dronie skill and showing how I 'call' the drone back when it reverts to GPS

on the foil it shows more than anything why fixed angle tracking is smoother than motion tracking really and certain angles are even better - i.e. side on / rear

Like I said when it follows from the front and is essentially flying backwards the drone gains a bit of altitude as a safety precaution to aid tracking and becomes a bit more delayed in it's movements and predictions

Obviously cruising at lower speeds helps too, and I ride with enough thrust to not backstall and come off the foil which is around 18-22kph - rarely would I go faster than 30kph with the drone chasing me
 
  • Like
Reactions: ETdronehome
Hi Paul,

great stuff - just lost my skydio 2 over flying over water some weeks ago. I did buy the Skydio to do kiteboarding, foil, surf, waterki&wake videos too, so I like to learn how to avoid the same again with my new new Skydio2+.

Post in thread 'Skydio 2+ went for a swim'
Skydio 2+ went for a swim

Using the beacon - will this help the drone from dropping lower then my “attitude” or any other observations you can share? Or do you just avloid glassy conditions??
/Jens, Denmark
 
Hi Paul,

great stuff - just lost my skydio 2 over flying over water some weeks ago. I did buy the Skydio to do kiteboarding, foil, surf, waterki&wake videos too, so I like to learn how to avoid the same again with my new new Skydio2+.

Post in thread 'Skydio 2+ went for a swim'
Skydio 2+ went for a swim

Using the beacon - will this help the drone from dropping lower then my “attitude” or any other observations you can share? Or do you just avloid glassy conditions??
/Jens, Denmark
Ouch, that's unfortunate!

I haven't really dabbled with keyframes that much TBH so can't comment

When the height floor is on using the Beacon it shouldn't automatically fly lower than 9ft - sometimes when returning from a dronie it comes in a bit hot, so that is something to be mindful of!

Glassy reflections or really clear water confuse the sensors and is something their warranty doesn't cover so fly at your own risk

I'd recommend getting insurance if you are outside of the US since it's a hassle to purchase and import Skydio drones internationally
 

Just shot a part 2 tips and tricks video with some good in flight examples of the idiosyncrasies of the Skydio and how to deal with them and also focusing on the dronie skill
 

If you’re watching this tips and tricks video you’ve maybe come across some of my Skydio drone content online

For some context If you haven’t already I suggest you check out the feature article links and videos on my my landing page - paularity.com

Here are the cliff notes:

Day 1 pre-order on the S2 back in October 2019 and I’ve had a drone in my hands in Western Australia since March 2020

Lost count of how many hours worth of over-water flight time, but I estimate it to be in the vicinity of 140 hours

2 x RedBull Illume 2021 - Best of Instagram Moving Image - Semi-Finalist, putting me twice in the top 256 of 47447 entries

I initially bough the S2 to film kiteboarding, but Covid was the catalyst of change and I pivoted to riding my eFoil from Fliteboard and haven’t looked back

Nuking winds, big waves, glassy water - you name it and I have probably had a crack at attempting to film it

I’ve pushed limits, had malfunctions and probably encountered most scenarios, so I fell pretty qualified to comment on this topic

My main reason for filming this (aside from regularly getting peppered with the same 5 questions) is that there seems to be a LOT of keyboard warriors online who complain about the Skydio crashing and that it cannot be flown over-water

Even if people are whinging that it was the drone’s fault - more often it is operator error and a a lack of understanding the limitations of the tech and how the drone ‘thinks’ and not planning accordingly

That’s not to say I haven’t had my fair share of issues over the past few years - I most definitely have, but hopefully you get some insight into how I use the S2+ to create content solo!

Any queries shoot me a DM on IG @paularity_
You answered the question I had regarding ND filters - thanks.
 
My skydio decided to suicide few days ago by hitting the water while recording me on the efoil. I was using motion tracking mode with closest distance tracking to me, apparently that was the cause. After failing and climbed back up on the foil, I no longer saw my drone. Guess It hit the water.
What should I do differently? should I use the 2 and third distance setting? the 4th seems to be too far away?
 
if it was me, I'd make sure the height floor is turned on. Having it set to the closest standoff distance shouldn't cause it to hit the water.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hoangcao243
My skydio decided to suicide few days ago by hitting the water while recording me on the efoil. I was using motion tracking mode with closest distance tracking to me, apparently that was the cause. After failing and climbed back up on the foil, I no longer saw my drone. Guess It hit the water.
What should I do differently? should I use the 2 and third distance setting? the 4th seems to be too far away?
Fixed angle tracking is definitely safer than motion, the drone flies less dynamically with direction changes and you can position it to have the sun backlit so the glare doesn't confuse the sensors

You definitely need to have access to the Beacon at all times so you can pause the drone when you crash as if you dunk it under water it's going to lose connection briefly

Positon 2 - 10m is what I generally use, occasionally position 3

Position 1 is too close and tends to be a below average shot as the drone will tend to fly higher

I personally fly with the height floor off, but would not recommend this unless you're willing to take the risk your drone is going to drown

Check out my tutorial videos on Youtube now - paularity_
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Downunderwonder
if it was me, I'd make sure the height floor is turned on. Having it set to the closest standoff distance shouldn't cause it to hit the water.
Unfortunately height floor and auto return and all were enable. After watching multiple video from Paul. I believe the motion tracking was the reason. I should use fixed tracking from now on. Still not sure why with height floor enable it still decided to hit the water????
 
Unfortunately height floor and auto return and all were enable. After watching multiple video from Paul. I believe the motion tracking was the reason. I should use fixed tracking from now on. Still not sure why with height floor enable it still decided to hit the water????
My understanding is if the water is crystal clear or glassy, the drone has difficulty determining its height. I’d say that’s why Paul uses 2nd or 3rd distance setting to give some tolerance for safety. Just my opinion though.
 
My understanding is if the water is crystal clear or glassy, the drone has difficulty determining its height. I’d say that’s why Paul uses 2nd or 3rd distance setting to give some tolerance for safety. Just my opinion though.
My water is brownie. Still I had the floor height setting on. The time before that when beacon was submerged and it lost the signal it shot up up high. This time it decided to suicide.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: Downunderwonder
I don't think water color has much if anything to do with it. The reflectivity, surface smoothness and lighting that confuses the sensing. Same thing has happened with large glass windows, there's a warning about reflective surfaces in the manual. Search YT, you'll see other crashes where the sensing was confused over water, most are in brackish water. I doubt you'll get a clear cause w/o getting the logs analyzed from Skydio.
 

New Posts

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
1,570
Messages
12,239
Members
2,265
Latest member
Greg @crasher.23