I love filming my windsurf-sessions. It’s good fun to review your sessions and to share the best moments with your friends or the internet if you like. I personally have used a GoPro Hero 3+ Silver and a GoPro Hero 6 Black and I’m really happy with the cameras for my purposes. In this article I’d like to give some tips and tricks on how to set your GoPro for windsurfing so you’ll get the best footage out of it.
- Camera settings
The GoPro gives you many options when it comes to the format to set your footage in. First of all let’s talk about resolution. The newer GoPro’s let you record in 4k resolution in 30fps or even 60fps. With this resolution you will capture the maximum details possible, but of course it comes with some disadvantages. Your framerate will be lower compared to lower resolutions, which means you will not be able to create great slow-motions in this setting. Also the footage will take up a lot more space on your SD-card/hard-drive. Another disadvantage is that your battery will drown more quickly in this setting, so if you just want to record your entire windsurfsession it will shut down after a little bit more than one hour! 2,7k is a great setting, which I use for most of my footage, as it offers great quality and I can still crop the image later on to the cutout I want, and still keep high resolution. If you want to get great slowmotions I recommend the 1080p setting. On the newest GoPro (Hero 6 Black edition) you will be able to capture 1080p in up to 240fps… meaning you will be able to slow down your footage to ~10%. Try to create some slowmotions of your best moments of your windsurf session, the results can be pretty amazing.
The GoPro can be set in different FOV’s (field of view). I would always choose the biggest field of view for your sessions, as the camera is usually pretty close near your gear, you’ll cut out a lot of the picture in smaller FOV’s.
- How to get a better shot
I’ve made a lot of mistakes when it comes to filming my windsurfing sessions that messed up the footage and I almost lost the camera a couple of times, so here are some tips to prevent that from happening. First of all I recommend to always use a water proof housing with the GoPro. I know the new GoPro’s are water proof without the housing, but they are NOT shockproof, so if you do crash while windsurfing the water-proof housing absorps some of the energy from the crash. When using a housing you should always put an anti-fog insert into the housing. They are really cheap and prevent you from messing up hours of footage simply because of fog on your lense. If possible I would also swipe the lense fro time to time to remove any water-drops that could mess with your shot.
When mounting the GoPro onto your gear it is good to secure the GoPro with a little safety string onto your gear, so In case the mount breaks, you will not have to search for your GoPro later on because you lost it! Talking about loosing the GoPro; of course you can only find it again if it didn’t fall into the water and simply sink! In order to avoid that from happening you should secure your camera by attaching a floaty onto your waterproof housing. These will keep the camera afloat when loosing it in the water and the bright orange colour will give you a good chance of retrieving it.
There is a ton of mounts out there to buy and it does make sense to be able to mount your GoPro in different ways and onto different parts of your equipment, simply to get different perspectives. If you capture everything from simply one perspective the shot will become rather boring after a while, so make it interesting and think of different ways to get various shots! Here are some mounts I’ve found to be great:
There are some good but expensive mounts out there, to attach your GoPro to your mast; I’ve just simply build my own tool and it works good!
You can either attach a simple tube holder on the back of your boom and film everything to the front or attach in on the front and film backwards. Both perspectives work really well!
Helmet mounts are cheap and give you a great view on what’s going on. Just make sure to think of the camera on top of your head while flipping the sail, as the camera tends to get in the way in such situation 😉
Of course there is a lot of other ways to mount your GoPro to capture your windsurfing session, just get creative with it and have fun 😉