One of the problems with the curved and flat GoPro mounts is, because they don’t move they create a static scene when kayaking. The video ends up showing only one direction, often pointing at the kayaker, which is boring. In a video, about 15 seconds or so of the same angle, especially in action videos, is about all a viewer can handle. If you doubt this, search Youtube for sea kayaking surf videos and see how extremely boring watching someone surf is when the same angle is shown during every ride. To make an interesting video, it’s nice to have multiple GoPro units mounted all over the kayak. If you’re like me and can only afford one GoPro (I have a GoPro Hero 3 Black), you have to move the camera around the kayak to get different angles, and that means getting out of the kayak and physically moving the mount or having someone else do it for you. The GoScope Extreme is an attempt to create a tool that allows you to easily get multiple camera angles.
The GoScope Extreme is a collapsible plastic pole with a standard GoPro mount at the end. It’s designed to extend and get the camera away from your body. It’s handheld and it floats when fully extended – when collapsed, it sinks. The pole is lightweight at 6.2 ounces. It has a foam handle and wrist strap. To extend the pole, you untwist a locking mechanism, extend and then tighten the locking mechanism back down. I’ve used high-end tripods for photography and compared to my Gitzo, I found the locking mechanism fiddly. It works, but it’s not easy like the Gitzo or easy like a Leki hiking pole. At the end of the extension there’s a built in GoPro mount. Using the mount, I was able to tilt the GoPro backward enough to avoid getting most of my hand in the video while still getting enough downward direction in the video.
For kayaking and canoeing, I’m mixed about its usefulness. While it does make it easy to get different angles (see the video with sample shots), it isn’t hands-free, so in order to use it, you need to set the paddle down and pick the GoScope up. For example, in the lily pad shot, I gathered up speed, set down my paddle and then drifted while I shot video. The lily pads were slowing my kayak down to a crawl while I was filming and I would have loved to be able to keep paddling while filming. I don’t consider having to set my paddle down to film an ideal solution. It was fun for under the boat shots and the spinning around the kayak while stationary shots were really fun. It could also be fun to pick up during a soliloquy or an aside during a documentary.
To make it really useful for kayaking and canoeing, it needs some sort of suction cup that could stick to the deck and then hold the GoScope at the desired angle. It would need to be easy to adjust and stick on well. That combined with the length adjustment would be a welcome addition to my kayak’s deck. As it is now, I may bring it along on a trip if I think I might want to shoot a lot of video and would like a few unique angles. But, most of the time, I’ll stick with my GoPro mounts.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received GoScope Extreme for free from GoScope as coordinated by Deep Creek PR an Outdoor Industry Public Relations Company in consideration for review publication.