The Best GoPro Mount for Paddleboarding

Handle bar attachment for the GoPro Hero 8 can be converted for use on SUP paddle

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GoPro Hero 8

So you’ve gotten your new Stand Up Paddleboard and are planning on making the most of the summer and taking awesome photos and videos of your paddling adventures with your GoPro. But wait, with the vast array of options for how best to mount your camera to your board and or person you are somewhat stumped with which one is the best. On the one hand you like the idea of attaching it to the nose of your board and just hitting the record button, set and forget style, but on the other you wonder if there is a better way of filming, ensuring you get a selection of differing views to spice up your video and make it more interesting to watch. Buckle in my friend as we explore what may well be the best way to mount your GoPro when you are out on your SUP.

All images tend to look like this with a board mount

Some board companies have recently changed the design of their boards to incorporate an inbuilt mount on the nose of their paddle boards. This is a great idea as integration at the stage of manufacture ensures less risk of the mount becoming unstuck and you losing your much prized GoPro to the bottom of the Deep Blue. If you have purchased one of these boards then you’ve chosen well, however I would encourage you to explore other options too. Read on to find out –

Haven’t purchased a GoPro yet? Find out how much one will set you back here

Why I don’t use a board mount

There are five main reasons that I don’t use a board mount;

  1. My board wasn’t manufactured with the requisite mount mentioned above which means I need to attach a mount myself. The reasons I don’t like the idea of this are;
  2. I don’t feel that the adhesive pads available to attach a board mount are strong enough that my camera will not become detached when it inevitably becomes wet during paddling. There is a work around here – you can always use the lanyard attachment and tie the camera onto the front handle of your iSUP utilising the lanyard as a safety chain.
  3. I don’t like the idea of applying adhesive to my board incase it changes the integrity of the material the board is made of and therefore creating a weak spot. With 15+psi of pressure on inflation a weak spot risks (albeit a small one) the strength of your board.
  4. While it is a great view point for photography, what felt like an awesome days paddle will quickly turn into a rather uneventful video back home in the editing suite. Yes you can change mounts throughout the trip to get different views however it is a good idea to avoid doing this over water to lessen the chance of losing either the camera or the screw into the water during the changeover. Ideally if you are really wanting this view for your filming you’re better to have a second GoPro for convenience sake. After all you’re out there to enjoy your paddle right, not spend all day faffing around with camera mounts!
  5. If you decide to take a selfie view ie. use the nose mount with the camera pointing backwards you may not be 100% satisfied with the resulting images. As with most close up photography the convexity of the camera lens tends to increase in size the objects closest to the camera which can result in a somewhat unflattering image. If you do have a camera mount on the front of your board I would encourage you to experiment filming with it aimed backwards and check if the images are something you are happy with prior to depending on it during an epic SUP. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve gotten some great shots only to be disappointed with them once you’re reviewing your footage at a later date.

So what do I suggest instead?

If I had to chose one style of mount that has the most versatility I would have to say the handlebar mount which was designed to fit onto the handlebar of a bicycle. With a bit of adjusting you can reorient the camera 90 degrees into a landscape view for filming. With the camera fixed in this way you can use your paddle as a selfie stick, a monopod (not as stable as a tripod but better than trying to steady with your hands as you bob up and down on the water, and it also allows you to increase your reach as GoPro cameras don’t zoom.

GoPro Handlebar Mount

Pros

  • Easy to get different views
  • Easy to manoeuvre
  • Makes for more options with editing footage
  • Creates a more interesting film
  • Can take a selfie
  • Can use for support
  • Easier to take close ups

Cons

  • The paddle covers the viewer screen so it can be difficult to see which mode you are in and what is within your frame.
  • Doesn’t take good footage when you are actually paddling as it obviously moves with the paddle

To find out more about the GoPro handle bar mound and to find up to date pricing click here

First attempt at a GoPro Selfie with the handle bar mount – accidentally blocked out SUP Bloke – Oops!!

SUP Chick’s HOT TIP!

Avoid capturing the paddle and camera shadow

when filming close to the water

So even though you have the small issue of not being able to see the screen properly I think the Pro’s outweigh the Con’s for the handlebar attachment and that you will get more use out of it when using it to film your SUP adventures.

So what do you think? Have you tried filming your paddles yet? Do you have a GoPro? Which attachments do you use the most? Comment below!

Stay tuned, next week when we take you Christmas Gifts your SUP Chick or SUP Bloke really want.  Do you have a favourite SUP location that you think should be added here?  Contact us on the ‘Contact’ tab and we’ll include it in a later post.

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