I picked up an action camera in hopes of expanding Wave Arcade’s content offerings to include more video and surf shots.
I also needed something in a pinch to film the upcycled dead palm handplane I made for the Vissla Surfrider Creator’s Contest.
Admittedly, I cheaped-out and opted for an off-brand action cam. For about $50 though, I’m pretty happy with it.
However, I was not happy with the mounts. The mounts and sticky pads that came with my camera were pretty weak. A couple broke in the water on me – not cool. The ones that remained could never get tightened enough to capture the elusive on wave fin shot I was going for.
So, I faced a few challenges after my first attempt with the action cam.
The mounts that I had were bogus. I didn’t want to make any alterations to my boards. I needed something that wouldn’t immediately sink. And I didn’t want to buy something new and plastic.
I decided to design my own floating stick camera mount with some upcycling. Here’s how I did it.
How to Make a Floating Camera Stick
Making your own floating camera stick is real easy. If you want to make one like mine, you’ll need:
- Bamboo – an old cutting board works well.
- An old wetsuit.
- A carabiner.
- Some hemp twine.
- A camera mount.
- A 1/4″-20 stainless steel screw.
- Adhesive for the screw.
- Something to seal the bamboo – epoxy, tung oil, varnish, etc.
For tools, you’ll need:
- A drill with a 1/4″ drill bit.
To make your own upcycled action camera selfie stick:
- Cut some bamboo to your desired length – mine is about 18″.
- Round the edges of your bamboo and sand smooth.
- Drill a hole in the top where your screw will go.
- I used a 1-1/2″ screw, so my hole was about 1-1/4″.
- Add some adhesive to the screw and set it in the hole.
- I glued up my camera mount as well.
- Drill a larger hole near the bottom for your carabiner and wetsuit wrist strap.
- Drill another hole an inch or so from the top to tie off your hemp rope shoulder strap.
- Cut the old wetsuit near the wrist cuff for your wrist strap.
- Seal the bamboo.
- Cut and tie off some hemp rope around the bottom and through the hole at the top.
- Screw on your camera and you’re ready to go!
This bad boy is real light, and it floats flat. I used an orange carabiner to make it a little easier to spot.
I like how it turns out – though, I do not prefer surfing with things in my hands. I found it easiest to sling it over my shoulder while paddling for a wave and grabbing it once I was up.
If you want to make it easy on yourself, check out some of the best surfing mounts for your GoPro.