Your success in surfing relies on your form and skills, and one way to improve on these things is by watching yourself from another perspective. But what if you ride alone and there’s no one else with you except your GoPro?
GoPros can be handheld, but this method is inconvenient especially if you’re riding big waves. You can also try putting it in your mouth; however, that makes paddling and breathing quite difficult.
The easiest and most convenient way to surf with a GoPro is by mounting it on your surfboard. This enables you to capture videos of waves as it unfolds so that your viewers can see how riding a wave is like from a different angle. Meanwhile, the selfie action captures your form while you ride the waves.
Want to get your hands on one of these things? Keep reading to learn pro tips on how you can make the best quality videos with a mounted camera, including our top 5 best GoPro surfboard mounts you might want to check out.
What are GoPro surfboard mounts for?
Surfers can be an egoistic bunch. We like to watch and relive our best performances. We also like to boast about the biggest waves we’ve ever ridden to other surfers — and what better evidence is there other than a video you’ve captured yourself?
Because of our personal need to memorialize these kinds of stuff, GoPro became a popular piece of equipment in the surfing industry. This device can often be seen attached to a surfboard or to the different parts of the body where it can capture the best angles.
But the thing is, it’s difficult to focus on two things simultaneously. You may find it hard to hold on to your GoPro if you’re still having trouble balancing yourself in the water. For this reason, beginners choose to go hands-free. They use mounts instead to attach their cameras to the nose of their surfboards.
A GoPro surfboard mount is easy to use. Its usual kit includes an FCS-compatible male plug that can be paired with FCS center fin sockets. Using this will definitely spark your inner creativity. By simply changing the camera’s angle, you’ll be able to take photos and videos of the beach, switch the view to the other surfers at your back or film the action that’s happening right in front of your eyes. Oh, and might we add that this also makes great video footage of outrageous barrels!
However, you should take note that GoPros mounted on a surfboard doesn’t always take the most awesome videos. Sky-high waves tend to look flat when their shots are taken from a surfboard’s point of view; making your shots a bit pointless since no one will believe you’ve surfed those waves you’re bragging about.
Also, GoPro surfboard mounts are great for longboards, but not so much for shortboards. Since shortboards are, well, short, the camera will be placed too near to the rider, therefore the whole frame will only cover the rider’s face.
Surfboard mounts are also not suitable for soft-top boards as the adhesive will not stick properly on foam. The worst-case scenario that could happen is you lose your GoPro in the water during a wipeout.
Surfboard mount vs. Mouth mount
If a surfboard mount lets your viewers see how your board sees the waves, then a mouth mount shows them your point of view.
Mouth mount is the best way to capture the waves from a first-person perspective, and it also creates more stable footage compared to its alternative. This is the reason why you’ll spot a lot of pro surfers like Kelly Slater, Mason Ho, and Nat Young biting onto these things when they’re surfing.
Quality-wise, mouth mounts create way better videos than surfboard mounts; however, they also come with a couple of disadvantages.
For one, biting down on a mouth mount all throughout your surfing session will sore out your jaw, which could last until the next day. You may also find it tricky to exhale in and out with it while you’re paddling through breaks.
If you encounter a nasty wipeout, pray that you don’t lose a tooth while you’re biting down the mouth mount. Although it makes a cool story and it builds some character, nobody really likes losing some of their pearly whites.
Top 5 Best GoPro Surfboard Mounts
If you choose to use a surfboard mount instead of a mouth mount, here are the best ones you can find online today.
- GoPro Surfboard Mounts (Official GoPro Mount) – Our Top Pick
- HSU Surf Mounts and Accessories for Surfing – Best Budget
- Neewer 50-In-1 Action Camera Accessory Kit – Best High-End
- Hooshion Surfboard Mount Kit
- WOLEYI Surf Camera Mount
#1: GoPro Surfboard Mounts (Official GoPro Mount) – Our Top Pick
- Price: $18.95
- Material: Plastic
- Compatible with: GoPro Hero 3 to 10, Max
With GoPro prices ranging from USD 250 to a little over USD 400, there’s no way you would want to lose your camera in the sea. That’s why if you want to keep your GoPro safe and sound on the top of your surfboard, you might as well put your trust in the makers of GoPros itself.
This surfboard mount is the official accessory of the GoPro store. Not just for surfboards, this mount can also be used with skimboards, SUPs, kayaks, and boat decks. Its kit includes 2 surfboard mounts, an FCS male plug mount, a locking plug, as well as 2 adhesive mounts and anchors for security. Now, you might be wondering if adhesives can really hold your GoPro in water, and the answer is yes (given that you have installed it properly).
There are several reviews you can find online about users who didn’t achieve their desired results, with the most common being that the adhesives don’t stick well on the surfboard.
The thing with this surfboard mount is, just like the other mounts, it doesn’t stick well in foam or soft-top boards. In regular boards, however, the best way to secure this is by cleaning the surfboard’s deck thoroughly (no oil or wax residue should remain) and letting its adhesive cure for at least 24 hours. This secures the mount better so it wouldn’t budge even in the most choppy waters.
It’s also useful to remember that since this mount is quite heavy, therefore, it will sink to the bottom with your camera in case it falls off. For extra measures, we also recommend using a ‘floaty backdoor’ to keep your GoPro afloat if the mount detaches from your board.
|Can be attached to other water sports equipment||More expensive compared to other competitors|
|Compatible with any water temperature||Easily falls off on cork/soft-top boards|
|Can handle sizeable waves|
#2: HSU Surf Mounts and Accessories for Surfing – Best Budget
- Price: $9.99
- Material: Plastic
- Compatible with: GoPro Hero 2 to 10, Other action cameras
Other stores also offer reliable surfboard mounts for a fraction of the GoPro’s official store’s price. As an example, this surf mount set from HSU only costs less than $10, hence why it’s our top pick for the best-budget category.
This surfboard mount may be cheap, but that doesn’t mean it falls short when it comes to functionality. The HSU surf mount is as versatile as other mounts, and it can be also be used in other water sports like kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and paddleboarding. It’s also compatible with other action cameras like AKASO Brave and Campark, Dragon Touch, and Remali CaptureCam 4K.
Each package contains 2 mounts with 3M adhesive, 2 anchors, 2 tethers, 1 quick-release buckle with a thumbscrew, 1 locking plug, and 1 FCS mount. The double-sided 3M sticker pad sticks well to any kind of board. It’s also weather-resistant; therefore it’s able to withstand shock and humidity.
This mount’s clip also slides and locks in smoothly. It’s tight and secure, so you won’t have any worries about your GoPro suddenly sliding off the board during intense surfing sessions. Meanwhile, the rubber plug acts as extra protection that prevents accidental release of the quick-release buckle.
Since it’s half the price of other mounts (but offers the same quality), you can use the money you saved to purchase other accessories like a floaty to keep your camera afloat, or a mouth mount if you want to experiment with first-person perspective video shooting.
|Can also be used with paddleboards and SUPs||Missing main surfboard mount in some orders|
|Works like the official surfboard mount|
#3: Neewer 50-In-1 Action Camera Accessory Kit – Best High-End
- Price: $38.99
- Compatible with: GoPro Hero 2 to 10, Max, Fusion, Other action cameras
If you enjoy sports other than surfing, then you’ll surely have a great time trying out all the mounts included in the Neewer 50-in-1 kit. From straps to grips, handle sticks to suction cups, this is the ultimate package when it comes to action camera accessories.
People in the lineup may call you ‘accessory man’, but that’s the least of your concern when you can film different angles and views of yourself surfing. You can mount your GoPro on the nose of your surfboard, put it in a selfie stick, strap it on your wrist, head, or chest — the video possibilities are endless.
Plenty of gizmos to play around with, this package doesn’t come short in quality considering its cheap price. The helmet mount fits securely and is durable even after a few uses, the selfie stick is just like any other handheld mount, and the surf mount looks and works the same as its leading competitors.
A guide is also included in the kit that instructs on what kinds of accessories and tools go together depending on where you’re planning to mount your GoPro. Since the set comes with a lot of parts, we suggest you check every bolt and nut to make sure they all work and fit where they’re supposed to be.
|Comes with a carry case that’s easy to travel with||Floaty handle leaks, made of subpar quality materials|
|Suitable for beginner videographers on a budget||Brackets are tight-fitting|
|Good value for money|
#4: Hooshion Surfboard Mount Kit
- Price: $11.09
- Material: Plastic
- Compatible with: GoPro Hero 1 to 8, Other action cameras
Installing mounts doesn’t need to be complicated, that’s why the Hooshion Surfboard Mount Kit comes with straightforward tools and instructions so you can easily attach your mount on any kind of surfboard.
This product doesn’t use adhesives. Instead, it uses a tool that needs to be screwed right through your board, making it a sturdier and more secure GoPro mount. (So unless you want to drill a hole in your surfboard using a screwdriver, you might want to skip this product.)
According to its manufacturer, the installation process is similar to how you would install rope in a prone surfboard. If you have a wood surfboard and you’re worried that it will absorb water because of the hole, you can reinforce it by sealing its top and bottom with a sealant.
The Hooshion mount kit includes camera tethers and a locking plug that keeps your action camera in place even when surfing big waves. A fixed arrow is also included in the kit that allows you to adjust the shooting angle when installing the mount. For extra peace of mind, we suggest you put a floaty device to keep your device afloat if the mount accidentally detaches from the surfboard.
|Sturdier type of surf mount, doesn’t use adhesives||Need to drill a hole in the surfboard|
#5: WOLEYI Surf Camera Mount
- Price: $17.99
- Material: Silicone
- Compatible with: GoPro Hero 1 to 8, Max, Fusion, Other action cameras
If you’re the type who doesn’t mind taking an extra step to protect your expensive action camera, this product is for you. The Woleyi Surf camera mount comes with 3M adhesive pads that stick securely to any kind of board. What’s better is it also comes with suction cups that act as camera insurance tethers. In an unfortunate event that the mount detaches from the adhesive pad, there’s the suction cup with a tether that will hold on to your GoPro to keep it from falling in the water.
This surf mounts’ quick release buckle also enables it to be attached to helmet, chest, and helmet mounts. To secure the buckle and avoid it from popping off, there’s a thumbscrew that’s also included in the package.
|Suction cups can be easily removed with the heat from a hairdryer||Slightly expensive|
|Comes with two security features|
|Good value for money|
Tips on Using Surfboard Mounts
How to keep your GoPro safe
Nothing’s perfect when it comes to surfing accessories. Yes, even the official surfboard mount of GoPro! That’s why to prevent unfortunate events from happening, you need to take some precautionary measures beforehand.
One way to prevent losing your GoPro mount forever in case it floats away is to put your contact information inside its waterproof case. This way, when someone’s got ahold of your camera, they can return it to you.
Surfers go through several GoPros in their careers because they lose them in the ocean. So here’s another tip: Attach an arm leash or camera tether to your GoPro to prevent it from floating away or getting lost. To keep it afloat, you can use an accessory called the floaty or floaty backdoor — an orange, buoyant casing that will prevent your camera from sinking underwater if it detaches from the surfboard during a wipeout.
GoPros are waterproof, but they still need a casing for extra protection. The problem with this is that when in water, these casings tend to fog because of condensation, making the videos blurry in the process. To keep your footage’s color crisp and clear, we recommend using anti-fog inserts.
We’re no videography experts, but we do know some tricks on how you can shoot the best quality videos using your GoPro. First, let’s talk about its Protune settings. Change the resolution of your camera to 1080p – 120/240 fps so you can achieve a slow-motion effect in your video’s post-production.
The ISO or your camera’s light sensitivity should be set at 100 at the minimum and 400 at the maximum. Then, choose the Auto White Balance to let your GoPro adjust itself according to outdoor lightings.
Now, choosing the right angle for your surfboard mount can be tough. It’s a given that you choose the wide-angle setting with the aspect ratio of 16:9; however, the positioning of your camera is more crucial than the setting that you’ll be working on.
If the angle of your GoPro faces a bit upward, the only thing it’ll capture are videos of the sky. A little downward and you’ll be looking at your feet throughout the footage. Meanwhile, wrong angles can make the biggest waves flat, which is sort of anti-climactic if you’re planning to produce stoke-inducing videos.
It’s tough, that’s why you must double-check where you’ll be putting the camera so as not to waste precious wave opportunities.
How to Install
A typical surfboard mount kit includes adhesives, tether, lock plug, thumbscrew, the case, and the mount itself.
The key to properly installing your GoPro surfboard mount is a clean deck. This bonds the adhesives completely so that your camera won’t fall or loosen up when surfing. To clean your board’s deck, you’ll need to remove all the wax and oil using white spirit and cotton pads. Rub and wipe until there are no residues left.
After that, peel off the sticky pad of the mount, and then attach it to the center of the surfboard 4 to 8 inches away from the tip of the nose. Remember, placing the mount too close to the nose will cause the water to tilt it, therefore its frame and angle may change while you’re surfing.
You should wait at least 24 hours before proceeding to the next steps to make sure that the adhesive has completely bonded in the surfboard.
The next thing is to attach the tether to the GoPro mount and push the lock plug to secure. Loop the tether to the backdoor, and clip together the rest of the case. Finally, put the GoPro in the mount and secure it with the screw.
How to Remove
Removing the surfboard mount is an easier process as you will only need a hairdryer to apply heat. This will loosen the adhesive, making it easier to peel off the surfboard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best GoPro surfboard mount?
GoPros are expensive cameras, that’s why you wouldn’t want to trust your gear with other dubious products in the market. For worry-free and reliable quality, we recommend choosing the official surfboard mount accessory of GoPro that only costs around USD 20.
Q: How much do GoPro surfboard mounts cost?
The average cost of a surfboard mount is USD 15 to 20. Other expensive mounts usually have a package that includes different GoPro mounts and accessories used for other sports like biking, hiking, rafting, and skiing.