Mounting a GoPro to the bottom of my Kayak - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-26-2019   #1
Blade&Shaft's Avatar
Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 305
Mounting a GoPro to the bottom of my Kayak

Hi Buzzards,

Lamenting over my subpar skiing abilities despite the outstanding snow conditions so far this season, my mind strays to the aspirations of a wonderful spring runoff and great kayaking for 2019.

This then leads me to foresee and predict a large amount of time spent upside down, desperately hoping for a successful and miraculous roll that I likely will not ever accomplish. I will inevitably pull the cord and have a pleasant class IV, or if I'm lucky, class V swim. No doubt I will be red-faced and panicked-to-near-death by the end, begging for my friends drag me over boulders and recirculating holes to shore. Man. I can't wait.

In the meantime, I've been thinking that a GoPro attached to the BOTTOM of my kayak would really wield some quality footage. So I'm searching for some input as to how to best accomplish this. So far I've drilled numerous holes through the base of my Stomper but a few of my initial holes went completely through the base and into my "Bad Ass Outfitting." Now when I sit in my kayak I can feel the screws poking into my ass. I wouldn't mind it so much but when I crank the "Bad Ass" snowboard ratchets it leaves painful indentations on my under-thighs.

I also drove some screws up towards the front of the boat. Upside down, I believe the kayak would shoot some really great footage, especially if I was getting destroyed in a deepish hole or maybe even getting swept downstream at a pace faster than the kayak. However, the tips of the screws are digging into my ankles when I'm sitting in the boat in my living room while watching The Voice. Maybe the pain will lessen when I'm focused on challenging whitewater?

Anyways, I would love to hear what other folks have done with this type of cam setup. I am always looking to push the envelope with badass GoPro camera angles and I can't wait for this coming season to really show YouTube how much of a beater I can be.

Thanks in advance for your help Buzzards, SYOTR!!!

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Old 01-27-2019   #2
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Dejan Smaic's Avatar
Longmont, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 60
A good helmet cam...
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Old 01-27-2019   #3
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,724
I think you're on to something. Since hull speed isn't an issue for a boat that spends most of its time upside-down, I recommend welding a 5/8" thick slab of HDPE with helicoil screw inserts over the places where you've already drilled into your hull. This way you can patch the holes and install an awesome camera mount at the same time. The camera should certainly go on the front to get some great footy of your chunderings down long stretches of Class IV and V as your boat follows you down the river. This will also give your lame-ass buddies more incentive to paddle hard enough to catch up and rescue you just in the nick of time before going into a nasty sieve / strainer / waterfall. Who would miss a chance to get some prime video to put up on the internet that shows everyone how badass and heroic they are?

And as you've already got a set of holes under your seat you need to patch over, you could put another HDPE slab with helicoil inserts under your ass and mount your waterproof river stereo speakers to the bottom of the boat. This way you can have the obligatory heavy-metal soundtrack for your near-death beatdowns. Choosing the right music for your misadventures will be critical - If you're planning on a marathon recirc, you'll want something like Spinal Tap's "Hell Hole" whereas for a mile-long swim down a boulder choked creek AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" would be more appropriate. Since Top-40 format limits a lot of tunes to only 2 or 3 minutes, you'll want to use the "repeat" function so that perfect song keeps playing for your entire swim.

The speaker may also be key to your survival as it'll provide energetic background music to keep your buddies fired up while they're doing CPR (Pro tip - you should also put "Taps" in your waterproof i-Pod's playlist just in case they're not successful - having the right music will be crucial for your friends to post up a really touching video on FaceBook for your elderly relatives to remember you by).

I just want to say its really inspirational to see someone making the most of the off-season the way you are. Your prior planning will provide excellent entertainment and cautionary tales for the rest of us. If only more folks were as thoughtful and considerate as you we'd have plenty of good boating video to enjoy until the flows come back up. Just remember - before getting on the water make sure your friends commit to posting up the rescue stories and swim / rescue video in case you don't regain use of your hands until fall!

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 01-27-2019   #4
bystander's Avatar
Sacramento, California
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 312
Is this a troll? I guess I'll be taking the bait. Anyway, your camera is going to get smashed into rocks. Make sure it is well tethered. I'd think having it mounted on the stern or bow would be your best bet, as they don't scrape over rocks as much. I'll be looking forward to the video.
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Old 01-27-2019   #5
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,724
Originally Posted by bystander View Post
Is this a troll?
No way, Bra. What we have here is an honest attempt to redefine the art of beatdown and chunder videos.

How often do you see lame chunder vids where the guy's paddling down the river, makes a move or two, and then all of a sudden everything is brown water and bubbles? Then there's no decent footy of the beatdown except for little glimpses of blue sky, pine trees whizzing past, or an approaching horizon line. And all you hear is the sound of bubbles and then someone gasping for air and a panicked voice calling for help before more of that boring brown water and bubbles? With what BS is proposing, he'll actually be able to get high-quality video of his own chunder sessions to put up on YouTube for everyone to enjoy. And if he follows my suggestion, he'll have a killer soundtrack during the whole thing. If BS is really able to pull this off, it'll revolutionize the art of chunder vids and finally make sitting through that first 10 minutes of "picking-up-my-rad-bros-in-our-really-rad-van-and-driving-to-the-put-in" really worth it.

Don't be such a Debbie Downer, bra. BS is a dedicated long-time keyboard kayaker with 10 years on MountainBuzz *and* he's a rad enough bro that he'll be doing these swims at high water. There'll be plenty 'O flow in the Rio to keep the GoPro from getting scraped off between the put-in and where he goes over in the first real rapid. This shit's gonna be a game changer.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 01-27-2019   #6
Riverratton's Avatar
Grand Lake, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 20
Go to Austin Kayak and Canoe. They have all sorts of Yackattack mounting hardware. Find the mighty mount and backing plate, a mighty bolt and a Go Pro adhesive mount like the one you might mount on your helmet. I drilled a hole in the Go Pro adhesive mount and there you go. No screws pocking into your butt. This is how I mounted my Go Pro on the decking of my raft frame. Go Pro also makes a a flex pole mount that may be better for ya since you could have it under water or above, and switch back and forth, also looking forward or back, since its mounted on a ball. You can probably get everything you need for less than a hundred bucks.
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