Are you looking to find the best way of mounting your GoPro to your kayak? Well you’re in the right place. We know that finding the best way to mount your GoPro on a kayak can be tricky. There are so many options available and it’s hard to know which one will work best and produce the best quality footage and won’t result in your GoPro falling in.
To help, we have put together this guide with some of the most popular mounts and their benefits so that you can choose the right one for your needs. We also have reviewed some of the models that we think are the best GoPro mounts for kayaks on the market today. With these recommendations in mind, choosing an appropriate mount should be much easier! Let’s get started…
Quick Answer: The Top GoPro Mounts for Kayaks
How to Choose a GoPro Mount for Your Kayak: A Buyer’s Guide
Capturing your paddling adventure and sharing your story has never been easier or more fun. Like the ubiquitous GoPro, adventure cams are robust enough to take any level of watery punishment you throw at them. They can be attached to any of your gear or your kayak to film the ultimate paddling film.
Shooting Video from a Kayak
Before you dive into mounting your camera to your boat, spend a little bit of time contemplating the sorts of footage and the framing you want to get. While a lot of adventure cam footage is more opportunistic than planned, it won’t hurt to consider your end product and approach the problem as a photographer or videographer would.
There are two main types of shots you’ll be getting from your boat. POV, or point of view, shots share your view with the rest of the world. The basic idea is to take it from eye-level, but with the super-wide-angles that most GoPros and adventure cameras shoot, you can mount the camera almost anywhere as long as it’s pointed in the direction you are pointed. If you want the bow of your boat, your paddle, or your feet in the shot, you’ll have to mount it on your body somehow. But you can also mount it to the boat facing forward.
Selfie shots present a lot more possibilities. These are shots taken by you of you doing your thing. You could use your paddle to replicate a selfie-stick. Or you could mount the camera on the deck facing back at you.
The best videos will have a variety of shots edited together. If you’re taking a whitewater trip down a river, you might use some footage of the landscape and river that you’ve taken shoreside along with the helmet-cam POV video you shoot during the trip. If you’ve got two cameras, you can do even more angles for an even more engaging video.
Types of GoPro Mounts
Once you’ve looked at the types of shots you want to grab, you can figure out where the camera needs to be set up to get that shot. You can get pretty creative because they make mounts that will attach to pretty much anything, both permanently and temporarily.
While GoPro is the most popular brand of adventure cameras, there are many other makers. Most of them offer a mounting system as GoPro does. Plus, many aftermarket mounting parts are available online to do pretty much anything you can dream up.
Suction cup mounts are extremely powerful and will stick really well, so long as the surface is smooth and flat like glass. They work best on actual glass, like car windows or similar surfaces. If you have a composite boat, you might be able to use one of the suction cup mounts. Plastic boats will have mixed luck.
The great thing about suction cup mounts is that they are temporary and won’t damage the surface at all. You can reposition it to your heart’s content until you get just the camera angle you’re after. But they are also a little risky, so make sure you tether your camera as a backup if you’re doing something crazy.
Clamp mounts are designed to go on round or square tubing. A classic example would be the handlebars of a bike. But on a kayak, you might use them to attach to the paddle. An even better place to attach them would be an accessory rail if your kayak is so equipped. They are temporary and very secure.
You can use adhesive pads to attach a mounting plate to nearly any surface. This is the best option if the surface is smooth and you can ensure good adhesion. A roto-molded kayak’s rough surface might not work, but a smooth area on the deck hatch might. Composite boats could put them pretty much anywhere. You can also use adhesive mounts to attach a mounting plate to your helmet or a paddle.
Adhesive mounts can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes. If your deck is curved, look for a curved mount for better adhesion.
The bummer about adhesive mounts is that they are pretty permanent. You can usually pry them off without damaging the surface underneath, but you’ll have to replace the adhesive if you want to use it again. The adhesive is powerful, so expect to clean up where it leaves a sticky mess where you removed it.
There are a few companies that make accessory systems for kayaks. Many are familiar to anglers. Scotty is one example; Ram and YakAttack are others. Each company uses some proprietary track system and then makes accessories that snap on. Of course, they also make GoPro and action camera attachments. You probably won’t want to invest in an entire system, but if your yak already has one, then they’re your best option.
Some mounts are designed to be drilled into the deck of the boat. Drilling holes in your boat should never be taken lightly, so if you choose this route, make sure you are putting it where you want it. Also, seal the bolts or screws with a marine-grade sealant to keep all water out of your boat.
Drill-down mounts are good options if you don’t have any kind of track system or any place to put an adhesive mount. You can also find them for much larger gear, like bigger cameras or fishfinders, since they can hold a lot more weight.
Helmet mounts are usually simple adhesive pads that are small enough to fit on a helmet, but they are curved to match the helmet’s shape. Some mounts attach to the top or front of the helmet, while others attach to the sides.
Chest mounts are made on a strap system that attaches to your lifejacket or backpack. There are also complete harnesses available that strap the camera to your chest if you aren’t wearing anything that a smaller strap would attach to.
Another option for both POV, selfie, or even regular scenics is a strap mount. These are wrist straps that have a GoPro mount on them, and then you can use your arm like a selfie stick. You could also strap the camera to some other surface, like your paddle.
Mounting on an Inflatable Kayak
If you want to mount something to an inflatable kayak, your choices are even more limited. The only thing that will work is a special glue-on patch made of the same material (PVC) that your kayak is. The process is not unlike repairing an inflatable boat. You’ll need to clean and sand the area and then apply glue to both surfaces. Once the patch is installed, it’s not coming off. But it can be rolled up when you store your boat, and you won’t have to worry about it coming undone.
Wearing vs Mounting
Adventure camera video work takes some practice. You may find that the best results are taken from the most stationary object available. In the case of paddling, that’s usually the boat’s deck. Wearable mounts tend to show too much movement since the frame moves with every motion your body makes. Warn your viewers–the results can make an unprepared viewer a little green.
Best Rated GoPro Kayak Mount Reviews
If there’s one thing that all kayakers want in common from a GoPro mount, from weekend warriors to casual enthusiasts to adventurous families, it’s a secure fit and a stable video image.
In the last five years, the variety of GoPro kayak mounts available to consumers has skyrocketed. Chest mounts, camera booms, and hyper-portable models are all out there to try, with style, weight, and security varying accordingly.
So, to make the decision on which GoPro kayak mount to pick for your unique needs, we’ve selected the six highest-ranked options online and given each a short review. The aim is to get you in and out of your favorite outdoor outfitters with the perfect mount and back on the water ASAP!
#1. RAILBLAZA Camera Boom 600 R-Lock with Action Camera Adapter
The RAILBAZA is the kayaker’s answer to the selfie stick. Since you mount it to the side of your kayak (you can mount it just about anywhere) with a variety of compatible action cams, users gain access to a wider angle of view as you swing the boom arm out over the water. It has a stylish and rigid arm and breaks into three pieces for increased portability.
It may not be the most affordable pick, but this piece of equipment is a long-term investment since it will last forever. It uses ¼ 20’’ screws, rotates 360 degrees, weighs 15.52 oz, and features R-Lock friction joints, which allows for one-handed adjustments.
Unfortunately, you do have to purchase the mount separately. Nevertheless, we think that this model offers some of the most versatile shooting capabilities out there, even if you have to make an extra trip to find the perfect mount for you.
#2. Scotty Kayak Camera Mount
Scotty is well-known in kayaking circles for its dependable and highly-customizable camera mounts. The #135 is a perfect encapsulation of Scotty quality mounts. It’s one of the most reasonable models to buy–a good starter camera mount, indeed.
The Scotty weighs only 3.2 oz with the dimensions of 9.5 x 5 x 1.5 inches. In total, those specs make it one of the lightest and most compact GoPro-compatible models. Add to that the fact that Scotty commands overall excellent feedback from outdoors enthusiasts, and this one’s a steal.
If you already own a Scotty base such as the #241 or #244, this mount will fit right in. Just make sure to get a locking base. It works well with all GoPro models, can be adapted to fit other bases with other Scotty equipment, and is a great all-around mount.
#3. Brocraft Kayak Portable Camera Mount/for GoPro Mount
- Includes Brocraft Camera Mount , Track Adapter ., aluminum Track Not Include
- Designed to fit most brand kayak track systems
- Track adapter quickly change rod holder positions with Push botton
The Brocraft Kayak Portable Camera Mount is a sturdy piece of equipment made with high-quality aluminum. The mounting package includes the mount and a track adapter. You’ll have to install tracks on your kayak before taking advantage of this model’s track mounting capabilities. However, this isn’t a track-exclusive mount.
Unlike many competitor models, the Brocraft makes the quick release of your camera easy and intuitive. It features a one-touch button on the base that unlocks the mount instantaneously, allowing for rapid changes in camera angle or documentary-style shooting.
You will have to invest a bit more for the extended arm (allowing for panoramic video), but the standard model is a solid option as well. If you’re looking for a less-expensive but still high-quality mount, check out the Brocraft.
#4. Yak Attack Articulating Camera Mount
- Utilizes the YakAttack ScrewBall.
- Height: 5.5 in
- Features the new YakAttack Camera Ball.
The Yak Attack utilizes their proprietary “ScrewBall” technology to offer some of the smoothest swivel and camera movement capabilities on the market. This articulating model is an excellent fit for people who trust and enjoy the Yak Attack mounting system.
That’s not to say the Yak Attack only works with Yak Attack bases. No, it’s a versatile tool–it fits all standard ¼-20in mounts, GoPros, and the manufacturers even claim it can hold cameras with weights as heavy as 3 lbs (the industry standard for GoPro mounts is closer to 1 lb.). At only 5.19 oz, the Yak Attack is a handy mount with probably the smoothest camera articulation out there.
#5. GoPro Chesty Performance Chest Mount
The Chesty is ideal for GoPro users who prefer to keep their cameras close instead of extending them from the kayak body itself. While image stability decreases as the user’s breathing and arm movements register on the camera, the Chesty has a long history as a favorite for GoPro users who want a “raw” feel to their video.
It’s super comfortable to wear, padded across the torso and has breathable materials which dry in no time. Thanks to GoPro’s new Karma Grip gimbal, previous chest-mounted models’ image quality is improved (we noticed a much smoother image result, especially when wearing padded coats).
The Chesty is compatible with all GoPro HEROs, and it includes a vertical mounting buckle and thumbscrew. Buying from the GoPro brand is a sure way to be confident that your camera will fit the mount, and for that reason, we think the Chesty is a great pick.
#6. GoPro Backpack Shoulder Strap Mount | TELESIN
- 【Great Compatibility】Compatible with GoPro, OSMO ACTION, Sony Action Cam, 360fly, Contour, Drift Innovation, Garmin, ISAW,...
- 【Perfect Outdoor Shooting Accessories】Perfect for hiking, skiing, mountain clamping, biking or other outdoor sport activities...
- 【Comfortable and Stable】TELESIN Shoulder Strap Backpack Mount is made of elastic nylon and polycarbonate buckle, very soft and...
TELESIN has engineered an ingeniously simple solution to mounting GoPros around the shoulder/chest with their inexpensive velcro sleeve strap mount.
It’s hard to beat this model’s compatibility–if you’re wearing a backpack or strapped bag, all you do is snap your camera to the sleeve, fold it over the bag strap, and you’re ready to shoot! GoPro HEROs from 3-8 work with the mount as well as other handheld cameras.
While many reviewers note that image stability can sometimes drop if the sleeve it’s properly connected. Still, if you’re interested in shoulder-mounted camera equipment, you’re bound to sacrifice smoothness compared to kayak-mounted models. For its price, carrying tolerance (4.4lbs), and portability, we recommend the TELESIN for on-the-go kayakers.
Conclusion: Which One Should You Get?
Ultimately, you’ll be happiest with the camera mount that fits your unique kayaking needs, preferred video style, and price range, among other considerations.
Kayakers who prefer mounting on a rail will surely find success with the BroCraft and Scotty. Those who are aiming for a raw, 1st person POV video style might gravitate to the chest-based mounts.
Put together, we believe that the majority of kayakers will love the RAILBAZA above all the others. Yes, it’s a more significant up-front investment, but it offers unparalleled customizability, top aluminum materials, and the most secure camera lock out there, the R-lock.
We hope you find our reviews useful. And we hope you will return in the future for more reviews of GoPro camera mounts and everything having to do with kayak exploration!