Within the last few years, GoPro has taken the moving image world by storm. From the realms of action sports to featuring in pretty much any scenario that requires a hands free, waterproof, shock resistant and high definition camera – these babies are everywhere. There are similar products on the market – in some cases a few of the alternatives are arguably better, offering more ‘bang’ for your buck – but GoPro remain ahead of the pack overall, offering quality at an affordable price. Simply put GoPro is better at selling the ‘dream’ – teh idea of what you can capture on film and can on do so with a GoPro Surf Hero.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
In a nutshell the GoPro Surf Hero HD allows you to attach an unobtrusive HD camera to either yourself, your siton top kayak or anywhere else you might feel the need. You are then ready to shoot either HD video or still images of yourself larking about paddling. The last point is the key. The GoPro is all about shooting yourself. (Action cams have a habit of being completely unflattering when trying to photograph/video others, scenes or anything other than you doing something up close and personal – if that makes sense?) Featuring a waterproof and shock resistant housing these puppies can be integrated into most situations requiring a hands free camera – which is good news for sit on top kayak paddlers. The GoPro Surf Hero HD gives full high definition 1080p quality video and magazine ready still 5 megapixel images. You can alter the settings to decrease the resolution to 720p, but to be honest, why would you bother? Capturing your sit-on paddling antics in full hi def is where it’s at!
OUT OF THE BOX
Once you have your GoPro cam all you need to do is read the instructions (let’s face it, most blokes don’t!), charge up the battery, insert it into its waterproof, mount it to your kayak, paddle, body or wherever, click the button and away you go – it really is that simple. At a later date you can mess about with the settings, but this is not a necessity. If you never alter your settings ever again you probably wouldn’t notice.
MOUNTING YOUR TOY
The Surf Hero HD comes included with a shock resistant and water proof housing as well as a few basic mounting options. There’s a stick on pad that can be placed on the front, back or side of your kayak as well as some other fiddly nobbly bits that are more suited to surfboards – after all, this was the original scenario that the designers had in mind. A massive array of different mounts are also available from GoPro themselves, as well as external companies. Whether you want to fix the camera to your paddle, your buoyancy aid or your helmet, there is a GoPro mount out there for you. It’s worth pointing out that some of GoPro’s competitors include many types of mounting and fixing options in a bid to attract your attention towards an alternative product.
Once your GoPro is in place, all you need to do is turn the thing on and hit record. GoPro have integrated a relatively sizeable pair of buttons that forgive clumsy and cold thumbs. This is in a bid to make the product a one click device that is truly user friendly. Holding the face mounted button down will turn the GoPro on. Then one click changes the mode. You can set the camera for one shot images, sequential shots or video mode. These options are all you’ll really need to focus on, with the video setting perhaps being the most desired. Once you’re ready for the off, depress the top button and the red light illuminates to indicate that the Surf Hero is recording. All you need to do then is focus on the task in hand and do what you would do normally – trying to forget that you’re on camera.
The GoPro Surf Hero really has revolutionised shooting yourself in action. The wide angle lens will capture all of your personal adrenaline fuelled situations without fuss. The rechargeable Li-On battery gives about half an hour’s worth of continual usage but spares are available to purchase as extras. All mountings and fixing options are super secure with the Surf Hero featuring a rubber leash that aims to keep the camera in contact with the mounting bracket even if it should become dislodged from its slider. The durable plastic water housing is confidence inspiring. You do have to make sure the housing is free of debris that can obstruct the lens though and ensure that, once closed, the seals are water tight. An SD card is a must so as you don’t miss any of the action you’re trying to capture. The GoPro has limited on-board memory. Once back at base you plug the camera straight into your laptop – or if you fancy streaming your raw, unedited footage then there are two TV ports either side of the mini USB socket for both HD and standard TV sets.
YOU’RE THE STAR!
The GoPro Surf Hero HD really is a ‘plug n play’ product that will no doubt become an essential piece of kit during your paddling missions. Capturing your on water kayaking action has never been easier – just don’t blame us if it also commits all your gaffs to film as well! Check out the Sitons YouTube channel where you can see more evidence of action cam being used – /www.youtube.com/channel/UCbtQdTMSvjaAiaLy88pRQuw