Which is the best GoPro for surfing ? Today’s surfers don’t just use video to brag about the waves they’ve surfed or to immortalize the perfect tube they’ve just surfed.
For more and more practitioners of this extreme sport, a video is a working tool. Are you about to choose a camera to record your progress in the water? Here we will help you.
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Why you should have the best GoPro for surfing?
Many surfers progress in a shorter time because they have a camera to analyze their movements. All elite national athletes study their own videos for hours to improve their performance.
The best coaches send their students into the water with their board, skills, and a camera.
A GoPro is one of the best tools to get to the top of your own performance. Plus, it is tremendous satisfaction to see in slow motion when you hit your best waves.
Benefits of recording yourself with the best GoPro for Surfing
- You can correct details of placement position before catching the wave.
- You can identify all your postural errors.
- You can identify the movement patterns you use while executing your technical maneuvers.
- You can ask for feedback from your partners and coaches with the video.
- You can know the mistakes made during the execution of your maneuvers in the water.
- You can share your performance in the water in the form of tutorials with other athletes.
What is the best GoPro for surfing?
Here are the five that we consider the most useful if your goal is to get in the water and record yourself performing the most daring surfing maneuvers.
If you have an Apple watch you might be interested in reading: best Apple watch band for surfing
1. GoPro HERO9 Black
One of the main novelties of the GoPro HERO9 Black is the sensor. The company opted for a 23.6-megapixel sensor which is the most important hardware image improvement since the 12-megapixel sensor in the Hero3.
Result: videos in 5K at 30 frames per second, in 4K at 60 FPS, or in FullHD at up to 240 frames.
On the other hand, the firm has not forgotten about stabilization. In its new action camera, they have implemented HyperSmooth 3.0. This stabilization technology works in all resolutions and framerates, including 5K. The new camera promises to eliminate the shakiness of your own maneuvers on the board. In addition, a horizon alignment system has been added. This feature allows the sea horizon to always come out straight and square with your in-water scenes.
- Capture 5k video
- Color front screen with 23.6 MP sensor.
- The largest rear screen and removable lens cover.
- Simple user interface.
- Video quality and image stabilization are excellent for recording surfing.
- A bulkier camera, so it took up more space in your beach bag.
- Poor compatibility with accessories from previous models.
- Shooting can be delayed at times.
2. GoPro HERO7 Silver
The GoPro Hero7 Silver is the average camera in the new series. And she deserves this place. For professional surfers, there is a more sophisticated black model, and for beginners – white. Even given its suspended state, it deserves attention and will definitely find its target consumer in surfers.
The Hero7 Silver has a design compatible with offshore activities and a similar body to previous camera models: a rectangular shape, a protruding lens, a rear screen.
For a surfer, the first thing that strikes the eye is that there is no front display to show the most basic shooting information: the operating mode, how many photos or videos have been taken, the battery status. It is impossible to call such a decisive advantage, especially if you are in the water.
The casing coating has become more reliable in terms of preventing unwanted slippage. The case is also sealed and protects against moisture penetration to a depth of up to 10 meters.
- Supports 4k recording, 10MP photos
- Excellent price-performance ratio.
- Rugged and waterproof body
- Remote control and wireless connectivity
- Easy to use
- The lens cap and battery cannot be removed.
- Occasionally stops responding to the shutter sensor for a few seconds.
- Lacks Hypersmooth image stabilization.
3. GoPro HERO8 Black
This is the HERO8 Black, the most versatile HERO camera with unsurpassed stabilization. The streamlined design makes it more compact than ever, so it takes up little space in your bag. It’s easy to make fastener changes. It takes just a few seconds, thanks to the built-in clamping rings. A media module provides ample opportunities to connect lighting systems, a professional sound system, and even another display. This year, the HyperSmooth function was upgraded and received a 2.0 rating. Now your time-lapses recording on the water will be even smoother and with better quality.
- Built-in fingers for mounting.
- Incredible microphone attachment
- Good battery life.
- There are many shooting modes.
- Easy mobile and desktop app integration with a simple user interface.
- Fixed lens
- No HDMI connector.
- The Hero 8 Black remains a popular flagship. It features a sleeker, slimmer design and a rubberized skin for grip. It is waterproof up to 33 feet.
4. GoPro HERO7 Black
The GoPro HERO 7 Black comes in a classic plastic case with a clear case that shows off your GoPro action camera. The scope of delivery and accessories for the new GoPro HERO 7 Black is relatively small. At the bottom of the package, you’ll only find a battery, a USB-C to USB-A cable, two mounts, each with one curved and one flat surface, a mounting clip, a thumbscrew, a quick start guide, and two classic GoPro logo stickers.
Like the sixth-generation GoPro HERO, the GoPro HERO 7 Black is waterproof up to 10 meters without a case.
If you want to increase the water resistance and use your action camera while surfing, you can use the included protective case called “Super Suit” and use your GoPro HERO 7 Black at depths of up to 60 meters without any problems.
A memory card (microSD, microSDHC, or microSDCX) is not included and must be purchased separately. GoPro HERO 7 Black supports Class 10 or UHS-I microSD cards up to 256 GB. The manufacturer does not provide a USB charger; instead, you can use a regular USB adapter to charge your smartphone or tablet. By the way, the GoPro HERO 7 Black charges faster thanks to the optional GoPro Supercharger.
- Many accessories are supported, including those from predecessors.
- Waterproof body
- Live streaming and HDMI port.
- Seamless integration with smartphones
- Can record 4k or 2.7k videos at 240 fps.
- Sometimes become unresponsive or slow.
- Requires special mounting
5. GoPro MAX
GoPro’s new 360-degree Max action camera is hell-bent on bringing spherical videos to the masses of your best stunts. A new in-camera processing suite eliminates the major pain points of 360 video production. It integrates editing and reframing tools into GoPro’s smartphone apps. It also increases spherical resolution to 5.6K. It offers 16:9 flat 16:9 digital shooting lenses even streams live in Full HD. Unfortunately, the limited 2D shooting modes are still a long way from competing with single-lens action cameras.
- Great audio capture.
- Waterproof construction
- Easy-to-use, responsive screen
- Useful mobile application.
- Top-notch image stabilization.
- No 4k video.
- A combination of images is fair.
- Lacks subject tracking.
6. GoPro Fusion
While it was one of the pioneers of 360° video through its multi-camera solutions, it took a long time for US manufacturer GoPro to offer a unique all-in-one device for recording spherical videos. To catch up with its relative lag, Fusion skips the Full HD and 4K steps and directly offers recording in 5.2K 30p or 3K 60p at 360°.
What is striking when you first hold the Fusion in your hand (and not necessarily seen in the pictures) is that, unlike most 360° cameras, the two lenses are not on the same optical axis. They are slightly offset from each other. This original architecture is justified, according to GoPro, by its ability to offer cleaner seams (or assemblies) (the famous 7° overlap mentioned above).
Another striking point of this GoPro Fusion: being two Hero5 Blacks joined together, everything is double on the inside. Two lenses, two sensors, two electronic circuits, and two microSD slots. The battery is a single copy. We would like it to be doubled. The autonomy barely reaches 80 minutes, or even a little less if you activate GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or, abuse the voice commands.
- Digital stabilization and image stitching are excellent.
- Two SD cards are available.
- Incredible OverCapture.
- Desktop and mobile applications.
- Excellent image, audio, and video quality.
- No live streaming.
- Connectivity issues
- Large files and slow file transfers
Steps for attaching the GoPro to the surfboard
- Carefully clean the area to attach the GoPro with alcohol to remove any wax residue, sand, saltpeter, and other materials that may cause the adhesive to not stick well.
- Place the tether strap between the GoPro attachment system and the screw. The retaining strap should hang downward.
- The GoPro has a protective paper, remove it and place the GoPro base attached to the board.
- Glue the two brackets to the board in the place you want. Remember not to spread them too far apart and place them in the correct direction. The camera is always facing forward or backward.
- Place the rubber sealing plug at the camera base to prevent wear and scratching of the anchoring system.
- Insert the strap through the buckle to pass the GoPro through the rope and keep it attached to the board at all times.
- Snap the GoPro into the base of the mount.
- Tighten the rubber sealing cap securely.
Tips for shooting a surf video
There’s only one thing more rewarding than getting into the perfect wave. Recording it. Luckily, choosing the best GoPro for surfing allows you to capture the proof of your feat.
Here are some tips from professional surfers who are good on the board and with the camera.
- Use the mouth mount
To capture a subjective shot inside a tube, the mounting you use is a thing to consider. Or you’ll always get the boring shots always pointed at you.
To get an angle that shows what happens when you’re in a tube, use the mouth mount.
- Find new angles
Don’t just shoot like existing surf videos. Take the camera out of your mouth. Put it on your arm or on the board. To innovate, play with your action camera and dare to do shots you haven’t seen in other videos.
- Cleaning the lens
A good subjective shot inside a wave is, paradoxically, a dry shot. Clean it in in-between shots. Soak the lens before entering the wave. This way, you make sure there aren’t always those water droplets in all your shots.