Watersports such as surfing are a popular past-time for millions of people across the world. The majority of watersports are a solo affair, but HD action cameras have allowed those taking part to capture and share their aquatic adventures with friends, family and the world wide web.
There are many different types of watersports, each requiring varying levels of contact with the water. For example, scuba diving requires complete submersion, whereas wakeboarders will seldom get their hair wet, at least the good ones! For this reason it’s important to ensure that the action camera you choose is up to the job at hand. Below is an overview of the best action cameras for watersports and some top tips for securing the best footage.
On The Water
There are many water-based boardsports, including wind surfing, kite surfing and wake boarding to name but a few. However, arguably the most popular, or at least widely renowned of all watersports is surfing.
For surfers looking for an HD action camera, there’s little that comes close to the GoPro HD Surf Hero. This surf-specific package is hard wearing, waterproof to 60m and contains mounts specifically designed to attach the camera securely to your surf board, letting you film high quality POV footage while keeping your hands free.
The GoPro HD2 also packs 1080p HD recording, a 170-degree wide-angle lens, an internal mic and even the option to capture 5 megapixel still images. The GoPro HD Surf Hero is a surfer’s dream.
It’s no secret that cameras don’t float too well, but fear not because the GoPro Floaty backdoor and the GoPole Bobber will ensure your GoPro has complete buoyancy if dropped in the water. Although not contained in the box, these extras are an essential addition to any surfer’s GoPro camera kit.
A popular, and smaller alternative to the GoPro HD is the Contour Surf Pack, which can be bought as a package or case-only. At 135 degrees, the Contour HD’s lens hits the perfect balance between capturing the entire scene without over-distorting the video.
The Contour waterproof case is waterproof to a depth of 10 metres, making it ideal for surfing, kayaking, sailing or wakeboarding.
There’s no shortage of mounting options for the Contour either, with the Contour Surf-Wake Mount proving popular due to it’s 360-degree rotating base and multi position rubber ball that lets you adjust to any angle.
Owners of the Drift action cameras needn’t be left on the beach, as the Drift Waterproof Case will allow owners of the Drift X170, HD170 or HD170 Stealth models to take to the water with confidence. This case is waterproof to 3m, meaning it’s a little less resilient than the GoPro and Contour alternatives. However, the Drift’s built-in LCD screen offers a degree of compensation.
For Drift owners who want to dive a little deeper, The Drift HD Waterproof Case is a better option as it will allow you to take your Drift HD down to a depth of 30m.
Under The Water
If there was ever an activity that lends itself to capturing HD footage, it’s scuba diving. And for those who prefer to spend their time under, rather than on the waves, there are several camera options available.
Firstly, and as mentioned above, the Surf Hero is a solid option as it’s waterproof up to 60m and can be attached to a diver’s head or wrist for convenient filming. If taking the GoPro under water, The GoPro GoForFocus glass lens replacement is advised. It should be noted that The GoPro GoForFocus lens is not compatible with the new GoPro HD Hero 2, but The Blur Fix for GoPro is a good alternative.
While the GoPro works well under water, nothing quite compares to the Liquid Image Wide Angle Scuba Series HD. This integrated dive mask/camera records HD 720P video at 30fps and also offers 5MP still images. With a depth rating of 40m, this is an ideal under water accessory and the ultimate hands-free HD camera for scuba diving, free diving or snorkeling.
Whatever your watersport of choice, make sure you explore the options available to you and choose a camera fit for purpose. It often pays to splash out a little more for an action camera that you know will deliver the results you require.