✏️ Updated on 25th January 2021
Hola my surfing amigos… I’m back with another blog post, and this time we’re discussing ‘How To Install GoPro Surfboard Mount’.
I’ve seen so many incorrect videos about this topic online, so thought I’d show you the correct way to install a GoPro surfboard mount. We’ll discuss two installation methods; the recommended method and the universal method. If you’re not able to do the first, you’ll definitely be able to do the second.
1. How To Install GoPro Surfboard Mount Video
2. You Will Need…
- 1 x GoPro surfboard mount kit, which should include…
- GoPro Surfboard mount
- Adhesive anchor
- Camera tether
- Locking plug
- 1 x Your GoPro / GoPro case
- 1 x Standard GoPro mount
- 2 x Cotton pads / tissue
- 1 x Standard GoPro thumbscrew
- 1 x Warm soapy water / white spirit / methylated spirit
3. Steps To Follow
Step #1 – Remove any residue
The first step is to remove any oily residue where you’re going to be placing your surfboard mount. Old wax normally leaves a bit of oiliness so removing it helps the surfboard mount bond properly.
You can do this by using white spirit, methylated spirit or warm soapy water and some cotton pads or tissues. It shouldn’t take too long with a few circular and up and down motions (Image 1).
Once any oily stuff is removed, dry the remaining moisture off with some more cotton pads or tissues (Image 2). This will also help the surfboard mount bond properly to your surfboard.
Step #2 – Attach your GoPro surfboard mount
Now the area is ready, the next step is to attach your GoPro surfboard mount. Before doing anything though, have a quick read of the ‘Tips for surfboard mount placement’ bullet points just below.
So, the placement is up to you but if you’re unsure I’d recommend placing it in the centre (Image 3). By placing it in the centre, your GoPro will be able to get the widest angle of you surfing.
If you’ve got a visible stringer (like I have) you can use that for guidance, but if not just give it your best guess. Once attached, give it a good press down.
Tips for surfboard mount placement…
- Don’t place it too far back – If you do your GoPro will be annoyingly close to your face whilst you’re paddling.
- Don’t place it too close to the nose – If you do water will hit your GoPro whilst you’re on a wave and force it down to point at your surfboard rather than you.
Step #3 – Attach your adhesive anchor
With the surfboard mount in place, all that’s left to stick on is your adhesive anchor. This thing only really has one place to go so it’s really easy (Image 4).
For neatness, I like to place the anchor at a right angle to the surfboard mount. But this is just my inner OCD expressing itself and not really that important – so let’s move on.
Step #4 – Wait 24 hours
The next bit is both the easiest and the hardest – waiting the recommended 24 hours.
The reason GoPro recommend this is because it gives your new surfboard mount time to bond properly with your surfboard.
Yes… real life bonding time.
If you’re going through this process with the idea of hitting the waves straight after, that’s up to you. BUT, if you don’t wait the 24 hours there is a higher chance of your surfboard mount and shiny GoPro falling off. You have been warned.
Step #5 – Attach your camera tether
After patiently waiting 24 hours, this is where things get a bit fiddly. It also gets a bit difficult to explain using the power of words… so if none of this make sense, the video is at the top of this post.
First thing is to feed your camera tether through the hole in your adhesive anchor (Image 5).
Once through, put the camera tether through it’s own loop and pull tight (Image 6). If you’ve done it correctly, you should have something that looks like this…
Step #6 – Slot in your standard GoPro mount
This step is easy.
Grab your standard GoPro mount and slot that bad boy straight into your surfboard mount until you hear a ‘click’ (Image 7). Your setup should now look something like this…
Step #7 – Push in your locking plug
With your standard GoPro mount in place, all we need to do is secure it using the locking plug.
Push your locking plug into the back part of the standard GoPro mount until it can’t go any further (Image 8). This is an essential part of the setup and will stop the standard GoPro mount from unclipping.
Step #8 – Thumbscrew through the loop
Next, feed your standard GoPro thumbscrew through the locking plug loop (Image 9).
Once done, we’re ready to actually tether your GoPro to your surfboard mount (finally)!
Step #9 – Tethering your GoPro
Now you’re ready to tether your GoPro, I’m going to take you through two methods (again, it might be easier to watch the video above for this next bit).
- The ‘Recommended by GoPro’ method – Best possible way to attach your GoPro to your surfboard mount but is dependent on the GoPro model and/or GoPro case you have.
- The ‘Universal’ method – Not as good as the first method but can be achieved with any GoPro model or GoPro case.
Let’s start with the ‘recommended by GoPro’ method…
Step #10 – Tethering your GoPro (Recommended by GoPro method)
To do this method you need a GoPro case that allows you to remove the backdoor. If you’ve got one of those continue reading – if not, head on down to Step #11 for the universal method.
So, those still reading should have a GoPro case with a removable backdoor. First step is to remove the backdoor from your GoPro case, it should look a bit like the image below (Image 10).
Next step is to feed your camera tether through the gap between the backdoors metal bar and the backdoor itself (Image 11).
Once the tether is through the gap, take the looped end of the tether and pass it around the entire backdoor. If you’ve done it correctly it should look a bit like the below and you’ll be able to pull it tight to secure it (Image 12).
Now the backdoor is secured, you just need to re-attach the rest of your GoPro case (Image 13).
When that’s sorted just slot your GoPro case into the standard GoPro mount and tighten it up with your standard GoPro thumbscrew (Image 14).
And you’ve done it! This is by far the best way to attach your GoPro to your surfboard mount – did I mention GoPro recommend it?
Step #11 – Tethering your GoPro (Universal method)
This second method is great as it works perfectly with every GoPro and/or GoPro case. It’s also less fiddly than the first method making it easier to describe (full video guidance is still available above though… just saying).
First step, take your camera tether and guide one of the strings through the gap between the two prongs at the bottom of your GoPro / GoPro case (Image 15).
Then, just slot your GoPro / GoPro case into the standard GoPro mount whilst keeping the camera tether in-between the two prongs.
4. Tips to keep your GoPro safe
Before ending the post I wanted to give you two quick tips to consider before going surfing…
1. Get a GoPro floaty / floaty backdoor
If you’re unfamiliar with the humble floaty, it’s basically a floatation device for your GoPro. If your GoPro were to come off your surfboard whilst amongst the waves, this thing would save it.
It’s ability to hold your GoPro above the water and the fact it’s so bright gives you the best shot of keeping your GoPro safe if it were to fall off.
This tip is especially important for those with foam surfboards. GoPro has mentioned their surfboard mounts don’t bond as well with foam surfboards (so basically definitely get one of these things).
I’m confident the above guide will help keep your GoPro stuck to your surfboard, but it’s good to have an additional safety net.
2. Wait the 24 hours GoPro recommend
This shouldn’t be too difficult, but I sympathise with those wanting to use it for the first time straight after setting it up.
However, GoPro do recommend the 24 hour period for a reason and it’s all about that precious bonding time. The only reason I waited the 24 hours is because if I didn’t and my GoPro fell off, I’d feel like an idiot.
Be patient team, I know you can do it!
So all, if you’ve made it this far – top marks. I’m hoping my ‘How To Install GoPro Surfboard Mount’ guide has helped a little on your journey to surfing nirvana. If you did find it useful, it would be great to hear from you in the comments below.
As always, be sure to follow on the usual socials below to keep up to date with the latest surfing content!
Next read: ‘How To Safely Wipeout When Surfing’