Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How to do the Clew Mount Boom Mount GoPro Thing


Enough people have been emailing me asking how I mount the GoPro camera on the clew of my windsurfing boom that think I should post a formal explanation / tutorial. I copied the technique from Andy McKinney of Lost In Hatteras fame, and the picture I am posting here is his, too.

The Andy McKinney boom mount

Basically, you take the helmet vent strap that comes with the GoPro helmet hero camera, and lash it tightly to the underside of the clew of your boom. That means the camera will be upside down when you clip it on, but you can flip the video when you process it in iMovie or whatever other program you use to edit the video. (No one wants to see a long, boring, unedited video, anyway.)

Tying a safety leash onto the camera and / or having a big, colorful float on the camera is also a good idea in case the clip breaks or the strap comes loose. Also, depending on the geometry of the clew, sometimes the camera will be most stable with the base of the vent strap not directly under the clew, but about 45 degrees across the back of the clew, stabilized agains the ridges where the pulleys are in the clew. It takes some trial and error to find the perfect angle for the camera to get the board in the shot and not cut off your head, but you'll figure it out. Happy filming!

PS- Here's links to some of the posts where I use this boom mount:

Note: in this last one I actually did the camera on top of the clew, with a few extra hinge joints to get it up at the correct angle, but that was less stable and only worked because the water was super flat.


Boris T said...

I gotta get one of those ProGo cams.

Brian S said...

BTW, you don't have to flip the video during editing. The GoPro has a setting for upside down filming. It's called "upside down image capture" in the settings, and looks like "UPd" in the LCD window

James Douglass said...

Boris- Yeah, man!

Brian- My original GoPro camera had UPd mode, but the GoPro HD doesn't have it. At least mine doesn't.

Henry Thomas said...

Hi James,

I added some GoPro tips on my website a few weeks ago. I have made up a really solid Velcro strap for my safety line, which makes mounting the camera quicker. I have two cameras and use a top clue mount, but have had problems as you mention with camera shake on rough chop.

I also have one of those bike handle bar mounts which also works well. I am thinking of making a dedicated clue mount, the vented helmet strap doesn't fit my Chinook formula boom that well. I also took some photos of the silica crystal pouches I use to prevent the lens fogging up.

As always I enjoy reading your posts. As you head into winter you must be missing Florida. All sunny down here and looking forward to ballistic winds predicted this weekend.


Brian S said...

My new GoPro (old one drowned in Hatteras) didn't have the UPd mode either, but you can download a firmware upgrade that adds that function.

James Douglass said...

Henry- That's a very cool tips page you have there! I think I'll borrow a few silica gel beads from work and sew some teeny bags like you did for inside the housing.

Brian- Ah, good to know. :)

Unknown said...

Coming in a bit late on this...
I had tried to fashion a boom end with an attachment piece out of that flexible grey electrical conduit. It worked pretty well, except then there is the issue of attaching the attachment to the boom. I ended up using lines, which were totally a mistake. Very unstable and nearly lost the camera.
Great vids - much better than mine, at least so far ;-) The helmet and mast mounts make even a big Gorge day look pretty mellow.

Paul said...

Hi James. Great info and super vids. Which mode do u use on gopro.. 720p 60fps or the 960p taller.. Any recommendations? I used 720p, but hard to judge best angle to get feet, board and ideally head ;0) in frame..

James Douglass said...

Hey Paul- I mostly use r4. I think that's the 960p at 30 fps. It has the biggest vertical field of view with a 4:3 aspect ratio so you're less likely to cut off your head and feet.

Leonardo said...

I'd like to try and mount the gopro like you did, but I'm not 100% sure I understood which mount you used:
is it the "vented helmet strap"
or the "Head-Strap Mount" ? Thank you

James Douglass said...

Leo- It's the Vented helmet strap. Good luck!