You’re going to need to do some thinking and experimentation with your action camera – whether it’s a GoPro or something else – if you want to get the best shots without interrupting your surfing too much.
The first few time surfing with a camera can feel really weird, especially if you have to hold onto it. What works best for you comes down to trial and error and personal preference, but some of the tips below will help you figure out how to get the best shots.
First things first, you’re going to want to either get some sort of wrist leash or floaty attachment for your action camera – they sink like a stone, which is not ideal when you’re using it to surf.
There are plenty of attachments you can buy that will strap the camera to you or keep it above water. Or, you can make your own pretty easily.
How to Mount a GoPro on a Surfboard
With some backup plan equipment sorted out, you’re ready to experiment with some different mount methods to get the best shots.
- Sticky board mounts – These mounts use adhesive tape to stick to the top of your surfboard. These can be a good handsfree option for both POV & shots of you, but just make sure the tape is strong enough to stand up to the salt water. Wait at least 24 hours after sticking it to your board before surfing.
- Screw-in board mounts – Similar set up to the sticky mounts, but these are fixed more permanently to your board. I’m not a fan of the idea of screwing into glass and foam or installing a plug.
- Wrist strap mounts – These strap to your wrist like a watch, which allows you to still use both hands. The draw back is that you’ll loose the full use of the camera arm when you’re up and surfing if you’re trying to get a steady shot.
- Head strap mounts – These strap to your head like a miner’s light. Hands free, gets your point of view, and will hopefully stay strapped to your noggin when you fall.
- Mouth-guard bite mounts – You bite down on these with a mouthguard attachment. You get the same point-of-view shot as the head mount without something strapped to your head. You’ll want to make sure it’s floaty of has some sort of leash attachment though.
- Handheld camera sticks – These take various forms, but are essentially a selfie-stick that you hang onto while you surf. This allows you to get a variety of different camera angles, like the behind you point of view, but requires you to figure out how to paddle with it and how to manage it while you’re surfing.
It’s really going to come down to personal preference, but the mounts that keep both of your hands and arms free are going to allow you to surf the most naturally without worrying about the camera. The downside being that you don’t have 100% control of where the camera is pointed.