Guide To Camera And GoPro Mounts For Kayaks
Capturing our adventures on camera has become part of our everyday lives now, especially with the rise of social media. And kayaking is one of those activities where recording your adventures can be even more exciting.
But when you’re looking for camera mounts for kayaks you need to know what to look for. So we’ve put together this guide to help give you little more information about them, as well as give you a look at some of our favorites.
Camera Mounts: At A Glance
(these links take you to Amazon & REI)
Epic Video: GoPro Kayak Footage
Ways To Use A Camera (inc. GoPro) While Paddling Your Kayak
Taking a camera with you on a kayaking trip may sound daunting to many of you, particularly if you’ve spent a lot of money on your camera. The last thing you want is for your new gadget to take a dive.
But with a camera mount, you can continue to paddle while you capture images or movies. The mount takes away the need for your hands to be in control of the camera and gives it a secure place to sit while you’re on the water.
With a camera mounted directly on your kayak, it can capture both still and moving images, depending on your camera settings, either of yourself while you’re paddling or of the view around you.
Many of the kayak mounts can be easily installed on your yak and can be also be easily removed, allowing you to remove both the camera and the mount, if necessary.
You’ll find that some will be designed to work with mounting systems on your yak and others may use other attachment methods, such as clamps or suction cups.
Video: Scotty Camera Mount Installation
Having a camera attached to your helmet can let you take images of the view you can see in front of you. The downside to this is that if you move your head a lot, the videos you capture may not be easy or smooth to watch.
There are straps with mounts that can attach to your helmet to hold your camera or GoPro in place.
Another way of using your camera while paddling is to mount it on the strap of your backpack or life jacket. A backpack mount can let you capture images while keeping the camera close to your shoulder.
What Else Do I Need To Think About?
Before you hop in your yak with your camera, you may want to think about some of the features that might be useful for both your camera and the mount.
If you’re taking your camera on the water, it can be a good idea to make sure it’s in a water resistant case if it’s not waterproof on its own. You might also want to make sure that the case can float or that you attach some kind of tether to your camera that will prevent it from sinking to the depths or floating away.
Gear Tracks/Mounting Points
When you’re choosing a mount for your kayak, you may want to consider the features you have already installed on your yak. You may have gear tracks and accessory mounts where you can easily install compatible camera mounts.
You might find you need to purchase adaptors in order for your camera mount to work with your gear tracks. So check on your vessel beforehand, so you can be sure you buy the correct mount.
If you don’t have gear tracks, a suction cup mount or clip mount may be more suitable, as it shouldn’t require any additional hardware in order to set it up on your yak.
You will likely find that some camera mounts will be specifically designed for certain cameras, such as GoPros. This can mean that some mounts may not work for a particular camera, so it’s always a good idea to check that the mount can work with a range of different models or with your specific camera.
Many of the mounts will be compatible with a range of cameras that have a standard tripod mounting point, which you’ll usually find underneath your camera.
Consider how long you’ll be on the water and how long you’ll be shooting for. Having your camera on for the duration of your trip will likely mean your battery will drain faster.
Another thing you might want to think about is the storage of your camera. Choose an SD card with higher storage if you don’t want to run out of space, as it may be tricky to switch SD cards while you’re on the water.
Best Kayak Camera Mounts
1: Scotty #135 Portable Camera
The Scotty 135 camera mount can be mounted on any pole with a diameter between ⅝ inches and 1 ⅜ inches, so it can give you the flexibility to mount it to whatever you want. It can also be mounted to all Scotty brand post mount systems.
This camera mount is designed to work with standard cameras as well as sports cameras and GoPros. It can turned and rotated in all kinds of positions for your best filming angle, and this also means it can be swiveled out of the way when you’re not using it.
You can also use it to mount a compass or other device.
2: Captain Adjustable Jaws Flex Clamp Mount
This Adjustable Jaws Flex Clamp mount is designed to hold GoPro cameras. It features a clamp that can attach to anything that’s between ¼ inch to 2 inches in diameter. Because it clips on, it doesn’t require a pole or specific mounting accessories.
This means you can attach it to various objects, such as a seat back or the rim of the cockpit on your yak. It features a 7 inch adjustable gooseneck, which means you can twist it around to get the most suitable angle for your action shots.
This mount is not really designed for other types of cameras, as it’s built to hold GoPros, so it may not be compatible with a standard digital camera.
3: Kayalu Gear Locking Suction Camera Mount
This suction camera mount from Kayalu Gear is designed to work with a range of cameras and sports cameras, as long as they have a tripod mounting point.
The way this one works is that instead of using permanent fixtures or attachments, it simply uses a suction cup. This means it can potentially be attached to any flat surface that’s not porous, such as plastic, fiberglass or enamel.
It’s made from marine grade materials, so is designed to stand up to some of the harsher environments, such as saltwater. It can also be adjusted using just one hand, which could be useful while you’re paddling.
Another feature of this camera mount is that it comes with a nylon coated tether with a steel clip at the end, so you can secure it to your vessel in the event that the suction cup comes loose or you accidentally knock it off.
4: GoPro Suction Cup (by GoPro)
The GoPro Suction Cup is the official camera mount from GoPro and is designed to work with all GoPro cameras.
This mount doesn’t require any mounting hardware as it features a durable suction cup that you can attach directly to any flat surface on your kayak. The suction cup is designed to stay in place on various objects, from cars to boats, and is built to stay on at speeds of over 150 mph, so it should stay on your kayak without any trouble.
This waterproof mount features adjustable arms, so you can capture the perfect angle. It also comes with a Quick Release base, so you can quickly remove the camera for different types of shots, and a standard base.
Taking your camera with you when you’re paddling can give you the opportunity to take great photos and capture your adventures on film. Whether it’s wildlife photography or action shots, having a camera mount on your kayak can be pretty useful.
Make sure you think about how and where you will mount your camera to your yak and make sure you keep your camera safely protected while you’re on the water.
If you enjoyed this and think your fellow paddlers might find this guide useful, share it with them. And if you want to share your experiences of kayak photography with us, simply leave us a comment.