GoPro began as a way for founder Nick Woodman to document his surfing jaunts with friends. While surfing is not the only use for GoPro, it is a perfect companion for surfers to record when catching a wave (or wipeout as the case may be). The GoPro is not a cheap camera so it is important to protect your investment and, more importantly, your priceless memories.
The waterproof housing protects your GoPro if it gets wet but will not keep it from falling into the water and being lost forever. In fact, it happens so often that there is a Facebook page dedicated to lost and found posts for GoPro cameras around the world. Fortunately there are various mounts and accessories available to minimize the possibility of losing your camera.
The Surfboard Mount which attaches to the nose of the surfboard is the most ideal mount to get the full body coverage of you while you surf. If you are looking for a more personal point of view to share what you are seeing, then the Bite Mount + Floaty is a perfect choice as it is closest to your actual viewpoint, your eyes! The Hand + Wrist Strap and The Handler (Floating Hand Grip) are handheld options that allow personal points of view as well as selfies. The Chesty (Performance Chest Mount) is not the most ideal surfer option but is a hands-free option nonetheless.
The most common mount for surfers is the GoPro Surfboard Mount. It is equipped with a maximum strength adhesive that attaches the mount to the surfboard, ideally near the nose of the board to get the full coverage that you see in all of those spectacular social media posts. There is also a tether that attaches the camera to the mount as an added precaution. The strong adhesive is no guarantee, though, to keep the camera mounted. If you are separated from your board and it goes crashing into the rocks, this could be enough pressure to cause the mount to detach.
GoPro Floaty to the Rescue
This is where the GoPro Floaty comes into play. The low price tag makes the Floaty an invaluable accessory for all surfers (and anyone else recording activities in or near the water). It is a thick, rectangular foam rubber coated in orange that comes with its own backdoor to attach to the GoPro in order to, you guessed it, float the camera back to the surface of the water in case it becomes untethered or is accidentally dropped in the water. It is easily visible in the water due to its bright orange coating. The GoPro Floaty is so invaluable that it is, in some cases, incorporated into the accessory itself.
Also Read: [Best GoPro Accessories for Snorkeling]
The following is a description of some of the more popular GoPro accessories that provide alternate mounting which incorporate the Floaty, whether as an attachment or as part of the device itself.
With the exception of the Bite Mount (which is compatible only with the HERO5 Black, the HERO6 Black and the HERO 2018 version), the accessories discussed here are compatible with all GoPro HERO cameras, including:
- HERO4 Silver
- HERO5 Black
- HERO6 Black
- HERO (2018)
GoPro Hand + Wrist Strap
While the Hand + Wrist Strap is a great way to avoid the scenario of your camera or Surfboard Mount becoming detached, the point of view is more from a selfie aspect. The video may be jerky if you do not keep your wrist still, and it will obviously not capture a full frontal view of you like a surfboard mounted camera would. However, if you are separated from your board then your camera is still attached to your wrist. The wrist strap is adjustable to several adult sizes. It even allows you to rotate the camera 360 degrees. With the Hand + Wrist Strap you have the ability to change the view at any time. This is not something you can easily do with a Surfboard Mount without requiring you to stop riding and reach out to the front of the board to change the view point.
GoPro Bite Mount + Floaty
Imagine a mouth guard attached to a mount that is attached to a Floaty and you get the Bite Mount + Floaty accessory. As long as your teeth do not lose the grip on the mouth piece, the Bite Mount is an almost perfect way to capture steady, hands-free footage. While this mount provides a unique point of view, you will only get outward footage as you see it. Unless you have a strong jaw, you will not be able to hold the grip with your mouth for an extended period of time or if bailing. It may not be an ideal mount to be used with comfort in mind unless you are taking short rides in the surf. The built-in mounting buckle gives this bite mount versatility with the option to attach it to another more secure mount, such as the Surfboard Mount. The Bite Mount resembles the shape of a mouth guard, however, please be aware that this is NOT a mouth guard. It is not safe for all activities.
GoPro the Handler (Floating Hand Grip)
Another accessory that provides different points of view while recording is GoPro The Handler (Floating Hand Grip). As the name implies, it is a hand held grip with the bright orange Floaty material in the handle making it float to the surface if it escapes your grip. Keep in mind, however, that if surfing and you lose your grip, you are likely to lose the Handler and the GoPro camera. Hold on tight unless you want to go on a search mission on the vast surface of the ocean for your missing camera.
GoPro Chesty (Performance Chest Mount)
The GoPro Chesty (Performance Chest Mount) is a sturdy adjustable chest mount, however, it is not compatible with the Floaty. This should not be an issue since the mount is strapped to your chest like a vest. Paddling out might be uncomfortable though.
There are other companies that provide alternative mounting. Keep in mind that if it is not made by GoPro then it may not be compatible or reliable with GoPro cameras mentioned above.
The GoPro team is always innovating and the accessories are expanding. Capturing yourself during that perfect surf session heightens the stoke and inspires your audience. Not only would losing that footage to the ocean be devastating, but losing your expensive GoPro camera would be unbearable. With these options discussed here, it would be worth the time and money to utilize at least one of them.
Hang lose my surfing dudes and dudettes!