Companies like GoPro and Contour have revolutionized the consumer and professional video market offering affordable cameras for use in action sports and related uses. For those of us in water sports, the cameras have been useful and fun to use while surfing, paddling, etc. Each product performs similarly and have varying pros and cons, features, etc.
Friends have found the cameras so useful they're mounting several units on themselves for their activity. One has one mounted two homemade 1' poles on the bow and stern of his kayak as well as one super glued to his helmet offering 3 diferent pov's to later edit into a more professional looking video. Another mounts one on his SUP paddle and on the nose of his board. Owning only one GoPro I mount it on my helmet or on the nose of my SUP board.
A mounting pole raises the camera giving you a more interesting pov. Justine Curgeven, a UK based expedition kayaker has been using professional video in paddling for years using her custom pole mounts sometimes 2-3' above the kayak.
I happened to start with GoPro which has its' pros and cons. Main issues have been not paying attention to clearing the card and charging the battery prior to use. I've missed capturing a few great sessions due to a dead camera or maxed out card, always a bummer. Overall construction and use has been good. I lost my first two cameras due to mounting uses. One was on the tail of my board. When I fell off the leash wrapped around it and yanked it off. The second was mounted on a plastic wave ski - turned around and it was gone, oops. I usually attach a secondary anchor point with a mini leash if I can as a safety.
What's your favorite camera or mounting technique? Any lessons learned or tips?
Reg Lake surfing Skook using a pole mount on his sea kayak.
Tom Hanny using a nose mounted GoPro surfing in the Pacific NW.