June 14, 2024
GoPro Surfing Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive GoPro Surfing Guide, where we’ll help you capture epic surf footage and elevate your water sports adventures. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer looking to document your action-packed rides or a beginner seeking tips on action videography, this guide has you covered.

With the rise of GoPro cameras, capturing the thrill of surfing has become easier than ever. In this guide, we’ll explore the best GoPro cameras for surfing, essential tips for shooting GoPro surfing footage, and the top accessories that will enhance your water sports experiences.

So, get ready to dive into the world of GoPro surfing videography and discover how to create stunning footage that will showcase your skills and adventures to the world. Let’s get started!

Choosing the Best GoPro Camera for Surfing

When it comes to capturing your epic surfing adventures, having the right camera is essential. GoPro offers a range of cameras that are designed to withstand the rigors of the ocean and deliver stunning footage. The newest addition to the GoPro lineup, the Hero11 Black, is the top choice for surfers looking to elevate their filming game.

With buttery smooth stabilization, the Hero11 Black ensures that your footage remains steady and clear, even in the most challenging conditions. Whether you’re riding giant waves or carving through barrels, this camera will capture every thrilling moment with precision.

Featuring 5.3K video resolution, the Hero11 Black delivers ultra-high-definition footage that brings your surfing adventures to life. Every wave, every splash, and every drop of water will be captured in stunning detail, allowing you to relive the excitement over and over again.

But it’s not just about the videos – the Hero11 Black also excels in still photography. With its 27MP sensor, you can snap breathtaking photos that freeze the action and showcase the beauty of the ocean. From dramatic wave shots to breathtaking sunsets, this camera is perfect for capturing all the magic of the surf.

What’s more, all current GoPro models, including the Hero11, Hero10, Hero9, Hero8, Max, Hero7, Hero6, and Hero5, are waterproof. This means that you can take your GoPro camera with you into the water without worrying about damaging it. Whether you’re duck diving through waves or getting pitted in heavy barrels, your GoPro will keep on capturing the adventure.

If you’re not ready to invest in the latest Hero11 Black, there are other great options to consider. The Hero10 Black and the Hero8 Black are also excellent choices for surfers who want a reliable and high-performing camera.

GoPro Camera Comparison

Model Stabilization Resolution Still Photos
Hero11 Black Buttery Smooth 5.3K 27MP
Hero10 Black HyperSmooth 4.0 5.3K 23MP
Hero8 Black HyperSmooth 2.0 4K 12MP

As you can see, each GoPro camera offers its own unique features and capabilities. Whether you choose the Hero11 Black, the Hero10 Black, or the Hero8 Black, you can be confident that you’ll be able to capture incredible footage of your surfing adventures.

Now that you know which GoPro camera to choose, it’s time to learn some essential tips for shooting GoPro surfing footage. Stay tuned for the next section!

13 Tips for Shooting GoPro Surfing Footage

Want to capture epic footage of your surfing adventures? Follow these 13 essential tips to make the most out of your GoPro camera and capture stunning footage that will impress your friends and followers.

  1. Avoid water drops: To prevent water drops from obstructing your shots, consider using products like Rain-X on your lens or anti-fog inserts inside the housing.
  2. Experiment with camera angles: Don’t be afraid to get creative with your camera angles and compositions. Try shooting from different perspectives to find the most visually appealing shots.
  3. Ask a friend to film you: For dynamic footage that captures you in action, enlist the help of a friend to film you while you surf. This will add an exciting element to your videos.
  4. Utilize time-lapse and burst mode: Take advantage of the time-lapse and burst mode features on your GoPro to capture still shots and action sequences with ease.
  5. Switch up your angle and field of view: Varying your camera angle and field of view throughout your footage will create a more engaging and diverse final product.
  6. Explore the Protune settings: Protune allows you to capture more detailed files and offers greater flexibility during post-production. Don’t be intimidated to experiment with these settings.
  7. Use a floaty and lanyard: Ensure the safety of your GoPro by attaching a floaty and lanyard. This will prevent your camera from sinking if accidentally dropped in the water.
  8. Keep your lens clean: Regularly wipe your lens with a microfiber cloth to remove any smudges or water droplets that may affect the quality of your footage.
  9. Shoot in different lighting conditions: Experiment with shooting in different lighting conditions, such as sunrise or sunset, to add a beautiful and captivating element to your videos.
  10. Film from different perspectives: Try mounting your GoPro on your surfboard, helmet, or chest strap to capture unique perspectives and give your viewers a true sense of the surfing experience.
  11. Edit your footage: Take the time to edit your footage to create a visually appealing and cohesive video. Use editing software to enhance colors, add music, and trim unnecessary clips.
  12. Create a story: Instead of simply capturing random footage, aim to tell a story with your video. Plan your shots in advance and think about how they will fit together to create a compelling narrative.
  13. Practice makes perfect: Like surfing, mastering GoPro videography takes practice. Keep experimenting, learning, and refining your skills to capture truly outstanding footage.

Remember, capturing incredible GoPro surfing footage requires a combination of technical know-how, creativity, and practice. Use these tips as a starting point and let your imagination guide you as you document your surfing adventures.

Best GoPro Settings for Surfing

When it comes to capturing epic surfing footage with your GoPro, the right camera settings can make all the difference. By optimizing your GoPro surf settings, you can ensure that every wave and maneuver is captured in stunning detail. Here are the key settings to consider:

Frame Rate

For fast-paced action like surfing, it’s crucial to choose a higher frame rate to capture the fluidity of the waves. A frame rate of 60fps or higher is ideal, as it allows for smooth playback and enables you to create impressive slow-motion footage during the editing process.


When it comes to sharing your surf videos on platforms like YouTube, selecting the right resolution is important. Opt for a resolution of 1080p, which strikes a balance between high-quality footage and efficient file sizes. This resolution ensures that your videos can be easily viewed and shared without sacrificing visual clarity.

Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio refers to the proportional relationship between the width and height of your video. For a standard viewing experience, stick to the industry-standard 16:9 aspect ratio. This aspect ratio provides a wide field of view and allows viewers to fully immerse themselves in the thrilling world of surfing.

By fine-tuning these GoPro surf settings, you’ll be able to capture the excitement and beauty of your surfing adventures with exceptional clarity. Remember to experiment with different settings and angles to find the combination that best showcases your skills on the waves.

Next, we’ll explore the essential accessories that will take your GoPro surfing videography to the next level. From surfboard mounts to head mounts, these accessories will help you capture every exhilarating moment of your surf sessions.

Stabilizing Your GoPro for Smoother Footage

Capturing smooth footage is essential for creating professional-quality videos with your GoPro. Whether you’re shooting fast-paced action or exploring underwater environments, stabilizing your GoPro can greatly enhance the visual experience. Here are some tips to help you achieve smoother footage:

1. Hold your GoPro Against Your Face

When using a handheld mount, try holding your GoPro against your face to improve stability. This technique helps minimize camera shake and allows for smoother panning and tracking shots. By maintaining a firm grip and using your body as a stabilizer, you can achieve steady footage even in challenging filming conditions.

2. Consider a Waterproof Housing

For added durability and the ability to explore deeper water environments, consider using a waterproof housing for your GoPro. Waterproof housings provide protection against water damage and can withstand the rigors of underwater filming. This allows you to capture stunning footage while ensuring the safety of your GoPro.

3. Utilize Image Stabilization Features

Many GoPro models come equipped with built-in image stabilization features. These features help reduce vibrations and camera shake, resulting in smoother footage. Explore the stabilization settings available on your GoPro and experiment with different modes to find the one that works best for your shooting needs.

Tip: Activate the electronic image stabilization (EIS) or HyperSmooth mode on your GoPro to significantly improve the stability of your footage.

4. Use a Gimbal or Stabilizing Mount

If you require even more advanced stabilization, consider using a gimbal or stabilizing mount with your GoPro. These accessories help compensate for movement and provide a steady platform for capturing smooth footage. Whether you’re running, biking, or engaging in other fast-paced activities, a gimbal or stabilizing mount can greatly enhance the stability of your shots.

5. Experiment with Post-Processing Stabilization

If you still encounter some minor camera shake or instability in your footage, don’t worry. There are various video editing software programs available that offer post-processing stabilization. These tools analyze your footage and apply algorithms to smooth out any remaining imperfections, resulting in silky-smooth footage.

By following these tips and utilizing the appropriate stabilization techniques and accessories, you can take your GoPro footage to the next level. Capture stunning, shake-free visuals that truly showcase the excitement and beauty of your adventures.

Essential GoPro Accessories for Surfing

Enhance your GoPro surfing experience with these essential accessories. Whether you’re riding the waves or capturing stunning footage, these accessories are designed to take your surf videography to the next level.

Surfboard Mount

The surfboard mount is a must-have accessory for any surfer. This mount allows you to attach your GoPro to your surfboard, providing a hands-free filming experience. With the surfboard mount, you can capture epic footage from unique angles, showcasing your skills and the thrill of riding the waves. Simply secure the mount to your board, position the GoPro, and let the camera do the work while you focus on your surfing.

GoPro surfboard mount

Head Mount

The head mount is another essential accessory for surf videography. By wearing the GoPro on your head, you can capture a first-person perspective, allowing viewers to experience the excitement and adrenaline rush of surfing. The head mount keeps your hands free, enabling you to focus on your performance while preserving every thrilling moment.

Mouth Mount

For unique and immersive shots, consider using a mouth mount. This accessory allows you to mount the GoPro on your mouth, providing a different point of view while you surf. With the mouth mount, you can capture dynamic footage from a perspective that simulates being right in the action. The mouth mount is ideal for getting up-close shots of the waves and truly showcasing the intensity of your surfing.

These are just a few of the essential GoPro accessories for surfing. There are many more options available to suit your specific needs and preferences. From chest mounts to wrist straps, explore the vast range of accessories to enhance your surfing footage and capture the essence of your water sports adventures.

Filming Waves with Your Handboard and GoPro

Capturing the thrill and beauty of riding waves with your handboard has never been easier, thanks to the powerful combination of GoPro cameras and your adventurous spirit. Whether you’re a seasoned handboarder or a beginner looking to document your progress, these tips and techniques will help you create stunning wave photography and exciting footage.

First-Person Shooting: Taking the Plunge

Immerse yourself in the exhilarating world of wave riding with first-person shooting. By mounting your GoPro camera directly on your handboard, you can capture the action from your perspective as you ride across the water. Use a waterproof mount to ensure your camera stays secure during your epic sessions.

As you carve through the waves, your GoPro will capture every thrilling moment, allowing you to relive your best rides and improve your technique.

Second-Person Shooting: From the Water’s Perspective

If you want to showcase your hand planing skills from a different angle, consider second-person shooting. Ask a friend to capture your handboarding adventures from the water, using a handheld grip with their GoPro camera.

This perspective offers a unique view of your waves, providing an exciting and dynamic touch to your footage. Your friend can follow you as you glide across the water, capturing the energy and beauty of your handboarding sessions.

“Filming waves with a GoPro and handboard allows you to share the thrill and excitement of this incredible sport. Whether you choose first-person or second-person shooting, each perspective brings a fresh and captivating element to your footage.”

With these tips, you’ll be able to capture stunning wave photography and create captivating videos of your handboarding adventures. So, grab your GoPro, hop on your handboard, and prepare to ride the waves like never before!

GoPro handboarding

GoPro Preparation and Tips for Filming in the Water

Ensure a successful filming session with proper GoPro preparation. The right preparations can make a significant difference in capturing high-quality footage while keeping your camera safe from water damage. Here are some essential tips to consider before heading into the water.

1. Use Moisture Pads

Moisture buildup can be a common issue when filming in water environments. To prevent fogging and condensation on the camera lens and housing, make sure to use moisture pads. These small pads absorb moisture and keep your footage clear and free from any distractions caused by water droplets. Simply place the moisture pads inside the housing before sealing it up.

2. Fully Charge Your Battery

There’s nothing worse than running out of battery power in the middle of capturing an epic wave. To avoid this, always make sure to fully charge your GoPro’s battery before heading out. Carry spare batteries with you if you plan on filming for an extended period. This way, you’ll never miss out on any exciting moments due to a drained battery.

3. Have an Ample SD Card

Running out of storage space on your SD card is another potential headache. Invest in a high-capacity SD card to ensure you have enough space to capture all the thrilling moments during your surf session. A larger SD card will give you the freedom to shoot hours of footage without worrying about running out of space.

4. Protect Your Lenses

Scratched lenses can greatly impact the quality of your footage. To protect your lenses from scratches caused by sand or other debris, consider using a lens protector or a lens filter. These small accessories can make a big difference in preserving the clarity and sharpness of your shots, ensuring your footage looks professional and clean.

5. Keep Your Camera Dry

Water and electronics don’t mix well. While GoPro cameras are designed to be waterproof, it’s still essential to keep them as dry as possible. Wipe off any water droplets from the camera’s exterior and lens before and after each use. This simple step can help prevent water from interfering with the camera’s functionality and ensure longevity.

6. Secure Your GoPro with a Wrist Lanyard

In the unpredictable water environment, it’s vital to secure your GoPro to avoid accidental loss. Attach a wrist lanyard to your camera and secure it to your wrist or equipment. This extra layer of security can give you peace of mind, knowing that even if you accidentally drop your camera, it will stay connected and within reach.

With these preparation tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to capture stunning footage during your next surf session.

Preparation Tips Benefits
Use moisture pads Prevents fogging and condensation for clear footage
Fully charge your battery Avoid running out of power during filming
Have an ample SD card Ensure sufficient storage space for extended recording
Protect your lenses Preserve the quality of your footage by preventing scratches
Keep your camera dry Maintain the functionality and longevity of your GoPro
Secure your GoPro with a wrist lanyard Prevent accidental loss of the camera in the water

These preparation tips, combined with the right camera settings and accessories, will ensure you’re ready to capture incredible footage while enjoying your water adventures.

Choosing the Right GoPro Mount and Camera Settings

When it comes to capturing epic footage while surfing, choosing the right GoPro mount and camera settings is crucial. This section will guide you through the selection process, offering tips and insights to enhance your shooting experience.

GoPro Mount Selection

When choosing a mount for your handboard or surfboard, consider factors such as splash-back prevention and ease of use. Opt for a mount that securely attaches to your board, ensuring stability and minimizing vibrations. Look for options specifically designed for water sports to withstand the challenging surf conditions.

Raising the Camera

To minimize spray-back interference and capture clear shots, it’s important to raise the camera above your handplane. Positioning the GoPro higher allows for a better field of view and reduces the chances of water droplets obstructing the lens. Experiment with different mounting angles to find the most suitable position for your shooting needs.

Spray-back Prevention

Spray-back can be a common issue when filming in water sports environments. To prevent water droplets from obstructing your footage, consider using an anti-spray accessory or applying a hydrophobic coating to the camera lens. These measures can significantly reduce the chances of spray interfering with your shots and ensure a clearer, more captivating final result.

Remember to always check the compatibility of your chosen mount with your specific GoPro model and ensure it provides the necessary protection against water and impact.

Choosing the right GoPro mount and camera settings can make all the difference in capturing stunning footage while riding the waves. By selecting a mount that prevents spray-back, raising the camera above your handplane, and experimenting with different settings, you’ll be able to document your surf adventures with exceptional clarity and detail.


Master the art of GoPro surfing videography with the tips and techniques discussed in this guide. By choosing the right GoPro camera and accessories, you can elevate your surf adventures and capture epic footage that will leave you with lifelong memories.

With the latest GoPro models like the Hero11 Black, you’ll have access to high-quality footage with buttery smooth stabilization and impressive resolution. Combined with essential tips for shooting, such as using anti-fog inserts and experimenting with different camera angles, you’ll be able to capture the exhilarating moments of riding the waves in stunning detail.

Don’t forget to optimize your GoPro settings to enhance your surf footage. Selecting the right frame rate and resolution, like 60fps and 1080p, respectively, will ensure that you can create dynamic and shareable content. And by using stabilizing techniques, such as using a handheld mount or waterproof housing, you can further enhance the smoothness of your footage.

So, grab your GoPro, hit the waves, and let your creativity flow. With the knowledge and tools from this guide, you’re well-equipped to document your surfing adventures like a pro. Elevate your surf experiences and create memories that will last a lifetime with GoPro.


What is the best GoPro camera for surfing?

The top choice for surfers is the newest GoPro model, the Hero11 Black. However, all current GoPro models, including Hero11, Hero10, Hero9, Hero8, Max, Hero7, Hero6, and Hero5, are waterproof and suitable for surfing. Consider the Hero10 Black or Hero8 Black as alternatives if you don’t want the latest model.

What are some essential tips for shooting GoPro surfing footage?

Here are 13 essential tips for capturing the best GoPro surfing footage: avoid water drops and condensation on the lens and housing using products like Rain-X and anti-fog inserts, experiment with camera angles and compositions, ask a friend to film you for dynamic footage, use time-lapse and burst mode for still shots and action sequences, switch up your angle and field of view for diverse footage, and explore the Protune settings for more detailed files.

What are the best GoPro settings for surfing?

To optimize your GoPro settings for surfing, choose a frame rate like 60fps for fast action and create slow-motion footage during editing. Select 1080p resolution for easy sharing on platforms like YouTube, and stick to the standard 16:9 aspect ratio for a standard viewing experience.

How can I stabilize my GoPro for smoother footage?

For smoother footage, hold your GoPro against your face when using a handheld mount for better stability. You can also consider using a waterproof housing for added durability and exploring deeper waters.

What are some essential accessories for GoPro surfing?

Enhance your GoPro surfing experience with accessories like the surfboard mount, which allows for hands-free filming and capturing action from different angles. The head mount provides a first-person perspective and keeps your hands free, while the mouth mount enables unique shots. Check out the recommended GoPro accessories for optimal surfing footage.

How can I film waves with my handboard and GoPro?

You can explore first-person shooting by placing a GoPro mount on your board or using a handheld grip. Opt for second-person shooting by having a friend capture your hand planing efforts from the water.

What should I do to prepare my GoPro for filming in the water?

To ensure a successful filming session, use moisture pads inside the housing to prevent moisture buildup. Fully charge the camera’s battery and have a sufficient SD card for ample storage. Keep in mind other tips like avoiding scratched lenses, keeping the camera dry, and securing it with a wrist lanyard.

How do I choose the right GoPro mount and camera settings for surfing?

When choosing a GoPro mount for your handboard or surfboard, consider factors like splash-back prevention and ease of use. Raise the camera above your handplane to minimize spray-back interference. Experiment with different settings and angles to capture the best footage.

How can I master GoPro surfing videography?

By following the tips and techniques discussed in this guide, you can master the art of GoPro surfing videography. From choosing the right camera and accessories to capturing stunning footage in the water, you’ll be able to document your surfing adventures like a pro. Elevate your water sports experiences and create epic memories with GoPro.

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