Mounting a GoPro on a Paddleboard: What You Need to Know

GoPro camera mounts give their customers the ability to capture their most epic moments on a paddleboard. These small cameras have become the GoTo (!) waterproof action cameras to film our activities, extreme or otherwise, and all of the available accessories increase their utility and versatility.

There are many different GoPro mounting accessories for your board and your body. Where and how you mount your GoPro will depend on those whether you want to video the scenery, take first-person views, take selfies or any combination of these. Some mounts are fixed while others allow you to direct the camera at will. 

There are camera mounts accessories that will capture any perspective that a person could want. Of course, there are inevitable trade-offs with each type of mount, and some have more versatility than others. We’ll discuss everything you need to know about GoPro camera mounts while using a paddleboard.

For anyone who wants a waterproof camera but can’t justify the GoPro price, check out the resources at the end of the post for a list of my articles on buying other brands or used refurbished GoPro models to save money.

Mounting a GoPro on a Paddleboard. What You Need to Know.

One of the most attractive features of a GoPro camera is the versatility that it allows. 

GoPro’s wealth of accessories permits the user to create a variety of angles and views when capturing those special moments in time. 

Since GoPro cameras are waterproof and versatile, they lend themselves ideally to watersports, especially paddleboarding. 

The most crucial element when taking your GoPro with you on your paddleboard is where you’re going to mount it. Figuring out the action that you want to capture helps you determine which mount will work best. 

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Here are some mount options you can use while on your paddleboard:

A more in-depth look at these mounts will explain the unique aspects of each for paddleboarding, as well as the point of view that you can capture.  

Bite Mount

One of the more unconventional ways that a paddleboarder can mount their camera is with a Bite Mount. This mounting technique is precisely what the name would suggest. 

The camera is attached to a mount that fits into the user’s mouth. There they will hold it in place with their teeth to capture the shot that they want. 

The operator must move their head in the direction they want the camera to record. Moving just your eyes is common when looking around, but operators will have to make a concerted effort to turn their heads accordingly.

If there’s any confusion as to how this device works, this video does an excellent job showing the setup.

The bite mount camera mount has three very significant advantages.

  1. First-person POV
  2. Hands-free operation
  3. Comes with Hi-Vis Floaty case

A first-person POV allows you, as the user, to not only relive it from your perspective but also enables your friends and family to see what you were experiencing from your viewpoint. All of your friends can live vicariously through you. 

Hands-free operation is such a significant advantage during paddleboarding because it you up from having to worry about manipulating the camera while also operating your board. You’ll be able to capture your experiences uninterrupted.

Conveniently, this mount comes with a high viability case that will float if it’s dropped in the water and be easy to spot instantly. This case is an essential piece if you are worried about losing your equipment.

The convenience and ease of use of this mount does come with some potential drawbacks.

Since you insert this product in your mouth, you won’t be able to talk while it’s in use. The inability to speak is a distinct disadvantage if you’re paddling with a group. This mount is also not usable by our scuba and snorkeling readers for obvious reasons.

Some users also note that biting down to hold the camera in place isn’t always the most comfortable process. 

Pro Tip: You will need to go into the camera settings and change the orientation because the bite mount naturally holds the camera upside down. 

Chest Mount

Another hands-free offering for your GoPro is a chest mount. The chest mount is worn similarly to a vest. It can be worn shirtless or over the top of your clothing. 

The camera chest mount also gives the user a first-person perspective of the action they’re recording as well as a hands-free option.

 The Chesty provides the distinct advantage of freeing up the user’s hands and mouth, so they are free to paddle and make conversation. It also will save you some of the discomfort involved with biting down to maintain control of your camera. 

This option does put the point of view lower than the Bite Mount, so when viewing this, it may not give you that hyper-realistic feeling of reliving your action. 

While many people find this to be a very comfortable option, it can bring discomfort for some users, especially if you’re wearing it over your clothing. Clothing can begin to bunch up for users creating an uncomfortable sensation.  

This mount also doesn’t include the Floaty case, so if wanted, that would be an additional expense to the buyer. Typically, since this is securely fastened to your chest, a floatation device isn’t necessary, but with something this expensive, you can never be too safe. 

Head Strap Mount

The final mount that gives the user a hands-free first-person point of view is the Head Strap mount, which comes with a handy QuickClip that provides several additional uses.  

The Head Strap is fully adjustable, so it will fit a broad range of head sizes while staying securely on your head. Putting the camera on your head has the clear advantage of freeing up your hands to operate your paddleboard.

GoPro’s Head Strap mount provides a perspective as close to viewing from your eyes that you’ll find. You’ll have the confidence knowing that anywhere you turn your head to look on your paddleboard, your camera will capture the action. 

You will be filming without ever having to think about the camera so that you can enjoy your time with friends and family. All while knowing that you’ll have a lifetime reminder of your day.

Suppose you’re wearing a baseball cap while paddleboarding. The head strap also includes a QuickClip. 

This clip is a mount itself that can attach to your backward hat, so you don’t need the head strap to capture the same amazing views. 

The QuickClip will also give you the versatility to attach it to your belt for another unique perspective. 

If you’re bald and using the head strap mount without anything else on your head, apply plenty of sunscreen to avoid interesting tan lines. 

Suction Cup or Surfboard Mount. Which Fits Your Lifestyle?

GoPro also offers mounts that don’t record in the first-person.

Two options that are very similar, and that both attach to the paddleboard itself, are the Suction Cup and Surfboard Mounts. 

Usually attached at the front of the paddleboard, these mounting solutions provide two different POVs for the user. 

The first POV is from the paddleboard away from the paddler. This POV looks out to the water and the rest of the views in front of you. 

The second is a second person perspective looking back at the you. This second perspective makes you the star of the show while also showing the beautiful views that are behind you. 

So, what differentiates these products? 

A prospective buyer can look at these products from two viewpoints, versatility vs. ultimate security. 

The Suction Cup Mount

A suction cup mount is just what it sounds like, a suction cup. 

The suction cup at the bottom of the mount attaches to the paddleboard wherever you choose to place it. It can change positions frequently for the ideal view.

The suction cup is industrial grade strength, so realistically you’ll never have to worry about your mount going anywhere while paddling. 

The Surfboard Mount

However, for those who don’t quite believe in the strength of the industrial suction, they can turn to the Surfboard Mount. The Amazon link above lets you choose from numerous options.

Don’t let the name fool you, you can use the Surfboard Mount for your paddleboard, though it may depend on the type of paddleboard you use. 

Types of Paddleboards that Work with These Mounts

Four different types of paddleboards are on the market:

  • Surf
  • All-Around
  • Flatwater
  • Race

Of these four types, they have solid and inflatable versions.

The inflatable versions come with many advantages. They are generally lighter, usually less expensive, and pack down very small when deflated.

Though inflatable stand up paddleboards do have these advantages, they aren’t the best option for the Surfboard Mount attachment. 

Since users can deflate these paddleboards, the permanence of the Surfboard Mount isn’t ideal. A solid paddleboard will be a much more practical choice when using this type of mount. 

Instead of using suction cups to attach the mount to the paddleboard, the Surfboard Mount uses adhesive pads. These adhesive pads are the strongest, noninvasive option for mounting a camera to a paddleboard. 

The Surfboard Mount also comes with an anchor for added security if the camera somehow comes off the mount. 

Though having this strength is an obvious benefit, it does mean that the user has less versatility for changing the position of the mount.

Once the user determines the placement, the adhesive pads must be stuck firmly down and left to sit for 24 hours to form the most durable possible bond. Because of this, once the user decides the mount position, there’s no going back. 

More Unique Perspectives

For those paddleboarders who are looking for more unique ways to mount their cameras, or to add another level of versatility to their arsenal, GoPro lets users install in a few more places. 

Large Tube Mount

If you’ve been paddleboarding and have ever wanted to shoot from the perspective of your paddle, you’re in luck. The Large Tube Mount will give you just this opportunity. 

This mount features a wide clamp that you can tighten down anywhere along the pole of the paddle. This mount features a quick adjustability feature that lets the user rotate the camera 360° via the push of a button.

Two great shots that you can achieve from a paddleboard using this mount are towards yourself while paddling or angled towards the water. 

Rotate the camera towards yourself to capture your stroke through the water and the background views. 

Pro Tip: The further down the pole you have the camera and mount the wider view you’ll capture

Change the view away from yourself to see how the paddle cuts through the water with ease. 

Both views create fascinating perspectives when your camera is attached to the paddle. You’ll be excited to check out the unique aspects that your camera captured while you enjoyed your day out on the board. 

You also have the flexibility of turning your paddle into a giant selfie stick with this mount. If you’re out on the water, angle the camera towards yourself on the pole and take wide-angled shots of you and your surroundings. 

Hand + Wrist Strap

Perhaps the most versatile mount that you can take on your paddleboarding adventure is a Hand + Wrist Strap. This mount is attached to a strap that you Velcro around either your hand or wrist. The camera rotates 360° on this mount, which gives the user unparalleled actions. 

While this camera mount can give you some unusual perspectives, it’s the versatility that it provides that sets it apart. 

Using this mount allows you to point and aim the camera wherever you move your hand. Some of the perspectives are:

  • First-person
  • Selfie
  • Aimed down towards water while paddling
  • Aimed back at the user while paddling

Creativity is the only limiting factor for the possible uses for this mount. 

The trade-off for the versatility that this camera allows is that it forces you to keep your hand/wrist up if you want to capture first-person moments or selfies. For instance, if you need to paddle, your video will be interrupted. In this case, the only picture will be a view of your hand on the paddle. 

If you are only interested in a first-person POV, then you will have to stop and start the video often, depending on how long you can keep your arm raised.

If you’re looking for a continuous POV and don’t mind that the camera will be pointed up and down, depending on what you do with your hand, then this shouldn’t be a problem.  

Want to get really creative? Build a floating mount to tow behind your board

Additional Accessories to Level Up Your Paddling Experience

The items mentioned above were some of the various mounting options that paddleboarders can consider. Below, we’ll take a look at some more accessories that will make your next paddleboard adventure a trip you’ll never forget. 

Flotation Devices

As we’ve touched on a few times throughout this article, your GoPro camera was an investment. An investment that doesn’t naturally float. 

If you plan on doing any activities in open water, you should always be using a flotation device for your camera. 

GoPro offers two different options to solve this problem. The best option will depend on the version of GoPro you own. 

For their current model, the  Hero 8 Black, they offer a flotation device called a Floaty. The Hero 8 Floaty fully encases the camera itself. For other GoPro models, check out the Floaty Backdoor protective mount.

Besides adding the obvious flotation benefits, the Floaty includes additional padding as protection. It also comes in a high visibility orange color, making it easy for you to spot your camera in the water. 

The distinction is that this version attaches to the camera housing instead of encasing the camera itself. This Floaty still comes in a high visibility orange color and adds a layer of protection against fall damage if the camera lands on its back. 

Anti-Fog Inserts

There’s nothing worse than getting the perfect shot, and then reviewing the footage, only to find out that the lens fogged. Anti-fog inserts combat this common problem for when GoPros are used in wet environments. 

These anti-fog inserts will slip into the waterproof housing that your camera should already be in when taking it out on the water. They will give you the peace of mind that will eliminate your worry about ruining a great shot with fog. 

Another great thing about these is that they’re reusable. 

The recommendation is that they can be used up to four times. After use, just put them in a pan in the oven for 5 minutes at 300°. Heating the fog inserts in the oven will dry them out and make them ready for another round in the water. 

Options to Capture Your Most Important Moments

The number of mounts that GoPro has available to its camera users lets you use your creativity to the fullest. No matter the type of shooting you’re interested in, GoPro has a way to capture it. 

Whether you want to be fully in control of the camera by operating it with your hands, allow it to film hand-free from a first-person POV, or want to be passively observed from your paddleboard. GoPro has a viable option to handle your needs.

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AquaSportsPlanet is an Amazon Associate. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tim Conner, M.D.

Tim Conner, M.D. started boating in 1974. He has been involved in recreational boating continuously since then. Dr. Conner has been active in boating and watersports safety education for decades. He rode his first jet ski in 1997, and rejoined the personal watercraft arena in 2012 with a Sea-Doo GTX 155, followed by 2 supercharged SeaDoos. Scuba certification came in 1988, and he and the family have traveled the world snorkeling and scuba diving for decades. The family has recently taken up paddle boarding. Click the photo for a lot more.

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