Product Test: “Surf Hero” GoPro Camera

TransWorld SURF Online Editor Justin Cote putting the “Surf Hero” GoPro camera through the paces at an undisclosed beach break in San Diego County 12/1/08.

Admit it, you love to watch yourself surf.

Remember back in the day when you’d get your buddy with the broken wrist to video the surf session but all he’d get was 15 minutes of sand shots and a couple birds passing by? Thanks to the new “Surf Hero” camera form GoPro, those days are long gone my friends…

GoPro (www.goprocamera.com) came out with these neat little cameras that can take quality stills or record video a couple years ago, but they really stepped it up as far as I’m concerned with the latest “Surf Hero” which has a fisheye lens and comes in a tiny waterproof housing that fastens easily to your board.

After enough pestering, I was able to get my hands on one and took it for a little test drive Monday morning at a rippable 3-4 foot beachbreak. I kinda felt like an egomaniac with the camera mounted to the front of my 6’2” but those feelings quickly vanished after my first little head dip. “I’m gonna be a star!” I thought. A star in my own little cubicle, but a star nonetheless.

Anyway, after one session here are some notes I scribbled into my wax…

—The camera makes you do sweet roundhouse cutbacks. I think it’s the bit of added weight on your nose that makes the board kinda swing around like a pendulum when you do a cutback.

—Go for the barrel. As you can see, it looks a bit wonky on video when you’re pumping down the line, but barrels and cutbacks looks sweet. If you’re not at a barreling wave, the best bet is to go with the still camera mode that takes a photo every two seconds. You’ll get some hilarious outtakes and enough keepers to keep you “busy” at work or school after the session.

—Stay on point. While looking through the footy, I saw way too much ball scratching, double chins, paddling, and duckdiving. Save yourself some editing time and turn the camera on only when there’s a set coming.

—Wait ‘til we get it out at Pipeline in the next couple weeks! I have some test pilots in mind…

Just think, how many times have you had a wave you want to share with your bros, even if your only motive is to rub their noses in it? With the Holiday season upon us, any surfer on your list would be stoked on a “Surf Hero” GoPro camera.—Justin Cote/TransWorld SURF Online Editor

TransWorld SURF Tested And Approved!

“Surf Hero” GoPro Camera Bullet Points:

—Waterproof to 100 feet

—With a 2GB SD card, it shoots 56 minutes of video or one 5 megapixel photo every two seconds.

—Comes with three different mounting systems. The FCS screw in is recommended but requires someone to install the plug. I used the smallest attachment mount and it was fine, too.

—Super lightweight and can literally fit into the palm of your hand (but mounts to your board).

—Features a 170-degree wide-angle lens.

—Suggested retail: $149.99

Go to www.goprocamera.com for more info, video clips, photos, or to purchase.

Have you tried a Surf Hero Go Pro Camera? Give us your feedback in the comment box below!