How To Pick the Perfect GoPro Mount

How To Pick the Perfect GoPro Mount
Image: iStock

We’re coming into that time of year when people suddenly remember they have hobbies and might even have some time off to enjoy them. But, like with all things in life, is there even any point in doing something unless it can be turned into content?

When you think of a GoPro, your mind might immediately go to those ads where very fit people record themselves surfing, mountain biking, rock climbing or doing some other dangerous activity. What you might not know is that GoPros (paired with the right GoPro mount) are actually perfect for recording almost any kind of activity you can think of.

While you can just get a mount for your phone and set it at the right angle, if your hobby takes a long time or you might occasionally want to use your phone to search for advice or take a five-minute doom scroll break, I recommend using a separate action camera to record your activity. It means you don’t have to interrupt the recording if you need to check a text and you can keep your set-up in place for your next filming session.

With that in mind, here is my guide to the best GoPro mounts for almost any hobby, whether you want to be the star of the show or just show your perspective.

The perfect GoPro mounts for gardening

Go Pro Shorty Mount with a media grip
Shorty mount with media grip

Mount for when you want to be in frame: If you bring out something like a paver or another flat, solid object, you could just place a tripod mount on it and get the whole scene in shot.

Mount for when you want to show your perspective: The Jaws (on a wheelbarrow or tool) could be really cool, because they’re easy to move from shovel to rake and you can get some great action shots. Alternatively, the Head Strap can see what you see, so you can stop thinking about the camera and just do your thing. Your audience will get to experience your garden the way you do.

Other suggested accessory: The Zeus Mini Light Clip would be great if you plan on gardening at night. You get to see a different variety of bugs and there’s just something so hauntingly beautiful about a partially lit garden at night.

Lego or model building/puzzle construction/woodworking GoPro mounts

GoPro mount 3 way 2.0 is a tripod with creative angles
The 3 Way 2.0

Mount for when you want to be in frame: The best thing about a hobby with a defined workspace and known actions is that you can just leave a small tripod set up on your table or workbench so you can shoot cool time-lapses of the whole project. Any of the tripod mounts would work, but I like the 3-Way 2.0 because it gives you more options for later and can give you different heights or angles than the Shorty. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a dedicated workbench, try to take a photo of your tripod placement so you can match it up with the position of the woodgrain or marks on the table and put it back in the same place next time for a consistent time-lapse.

Mount for when you want to show your perspective: There are two ways you can go about this, depending on how long you plan on building for and which bit you think is the most interesting. A Chesty is a great choice if you’re doing something like woodworking where your hands are fairly far apart and working on things in front of your chest. For other projects, I’d be more inclined to go for a Head Mount, so the viewer can see what you see.

Suggested modes: Time-lapse building videos are the coolest thing – there’s something poetic about seeing days of work from someone condensed into two minutes. But, if you’re doing a how-to, then go normal speed, preferably in 4K, so the viewer can really appreciate the detail of your work.

Board games

A GoPro in a white voice mounted to a suction cup for a surfboard
Not just for surfing

Mount for when you want to be in frame: This is another situation in which the 3-Way 2.0 shines, because it can get that overhead view. Or, if you have a high table, a low ceiling or another flat surface above your game, a Surfboard Mount is a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the action without getting in the way.

Mount for when you want to show your perspective: You will look like a bit of a weirdo among your friends, but the Head Strap is perfect to show your perspective of your cards, the board and the reaction of your companions when you crush them.

Cooking/baking

GoPro mounted to a big clamp thingy
Jaws

Mount for when you want to be in frame: Oh boy, there are so many cool ways you can show off your skills in the kitchen. If you want to make a straight cooking show, then a tripod does all traditional stuff with good framing. If you want more of a bird’s eye view, then a Surfboard Mount on a kitchen cabinet can show how much you need to travel around the kitchen to prepare your dish. If you don’t have particularly smooth cabinets and a lot of spare bench space, then a Gooseneck with Jaws could clamp onto the edge of a cupboard, drawer or bench overhang.

Mount for when you want to show your perspective: I’m a big fan of the Chesty for anything at bench height, assuming you’re the correct height to get everything in shot. The Head Strap is another good option, but you’ll probably move your head a fair bit more than your chest during this process, so that might be uncomfortable for many viewers. The coolest view on any cooking show, though, is the time-lapse of the cake rising in the oven or meal coming together on the stove. So, something like Jaws or the Magnetic Swivel Clip, either with or without the Gooseneck, attached to a nearby cupboard or handle pointing at the pot, or looking into the oven (through a clean door) could be really cool. Just make sure it’s securely fastened and a safe distance from the heat.

Playing the drums

wrist
The wrist mount. It’s ergonomically terrible, and if you don’t attach it correctly you could do some damage. But it does look very cool when you get it right.

Mount for when you want to be in frame: There are *so many* cool ways to do this. There’s the obvious way: The Jam is a music mount designed for instruments and can clip onto the rim of a drum, which will get you cool vibration effects. But, I’ve found that it took me a really long time to stop hitting the GoPro with my sticks when it was on the rim. It was easier on a tom, but having it on the snare got in the way of cross sticking techniques, even if the view of the snare was more interesting.

I actually prefer using the Handlebar Mount on either a cymbal stand or the rack of an electric kit. You could also use Jaws with a Gooseneck on the more square edges of a Pearl acoustic rack if you’re playing acoustic.

If you’re making a music video and want to go the extra mile, you can put a GoPro on a Shorty in the bass drum to get a different view of how your feet move. It would be particularly impactful if you play double kick.

Mount for when you want to show your perspective: Chesty means you’ll miss a lot of the drama from up top, but if you’re playing with good technique, your chest won’t move anywhere near as much as your head, giving followers a better view of what’s going on. A Head Strap is also cool, but it means you can’t move your head around as much as you might want and it’s a little further away from the interesting part of the action.

Hand + Wrist Strap is another option. Sure, people will feel sick with the rough motion, but having the camera on your hand that travels the most around the kit would show people just how much precise movement is used in drumming. Depending on how much hi-hat is involved, I would recommend going with left, unless it’s a fill with minimal cymbals, which would make the right hand more interesting. It’ll probably throw your weight off a lot, so it wouldn’t be good for long clips, and it would take a lot of practice. But it would be so cool for a couple of feature shots.

Playing guitar with a GoPro mount

on clip mount
Not as good as The Jam, but more readily available on the GoPro store.

Mount for when you want to be in frame: This really depends on what kind of set-up you’ve got going on. If you’re just sitting at home, then a 3-Way 2.0 or Shorty on a table a metre or two away would get all of you in shot with the guitar. Or, if you’re in a gig situation or practice studio, then a Gooseneck mounted to a mic stand would be largely unobtrusive and get a great view of you and the band. Just make sure it doesn’t go too high over the mic and blocks your face from the crowd.

Mount for when you want to show the guitar’s perspective: Your perspective of playing guitar is cool, but because of the weird angle, it’s not as cool as the guitar’s perspective. You could technically put a GoPro on a very small tripod in the sound hole of an acoustic for some really cool shots, but that’s going to change the sound a bit, and would get boring after about 30 seconds (though, again, very cool for some feature shots in a music video). I’d go for the Gooseneck attached to the headstock, presuming you have enough clearance from the tuning pegs. Absolutely do not clamp onto the pegs unless you’re sure it won’t interfere with the tune.

You could also just use Jaws to get a nice clean view down the strings (and it would look fantastic), particularly on a guitar with a flatter headstock. With just that 4cm clearance, you might get enough of a view over the fretboard to see your strumming and create a really cool effect with the wide lens.

But, the addition of the Gooseneck means you can get a bit more perspective of what’s going on around the guitar, and see the ways your arms are moving, particularly on guitars with a headstock that’s off-centre or angled backwards.

This is also exactly what The Jam was designed for, with a more gentle clamp and a small extension, but that’s not as easy to find these days.

Painting/drawing/calligraphy

Mount for when you want to be in frame: This has much of the same benefit as the building hobby above, and thus most of the same advice. But you can also add a Gooseneck with Jaws to the top or bottom of an easel to get a different angle on the action.

Mount for when you want to show your perspective: A Head Strap would be perfect for this, because your audience really wants to be able to see what you see as you create. A Hand + Wrist strap could also give an amazing paintbrush’s view of creation, which could be really beautiful. But this is also a situation where movement could take away from a piece, distracting from your creation, so you might be better off with an artfully angled tripod or bird’s eye view using a Suction Cup on a helpful surface.

GoPro mounts for dance

Chest strap
The Chesty

Mount for when you want to be in frame: Any of the tripods on a helpfully placed surface is a wonderful way to showcase your movement. If you’re at a dance studio or doing barre work, then Jaws paired with a Gooseneck will be able to show the audience what the barre sees without taking up precious floorspace. Another option is a Suction Cup on a mirror. For tap dancers, a Shorty focusing on your footwork will give an excellent secondary feature shot to edit in for moments when you want to show off more complicated moves.

Mount for when you want to show your perspective: This one is tricky and depends so much on your style of dance. A breakdancer could get some great footage with a Head Strap if they were doing head spins and flips. A ballet dancer could show off their pas de deux work without throwing off their balance too much by using a Chesty. But mostly viewers want to see the way you move.

Sewing/knitting/crocheting/embroidery

Mount for when you want to be in frame: All this is basically the same as the art and building hobbies.

Mount for when you want to show your perspective: The only ways this differs from art and building is when it comes to cool perspective options. If you can handle the extra weight, The Jam would make a cool attachment for an embroidery hoop, getting a close view of the ins and outs of the art. For those using a sewing machine, if you had enough clearance and a large enough machine, you could use a Suction Cup on the underside of the horizontal arm to get a different view of the needle movement. Otherwise, a Shorty on its lowest setting could give a great view of it all coming together.

Glass blowing

Handlebar mount Mount for when you want to be in frame: Here you really need something that’s out of the way, so clamping something like the Magnetic Swivel Clip or Jaws to a work bench might give you coverage while also staying at a safe distance. Otherwise, just the usual tripod mounts should do if you have the space.

Mount for when you want to show your perspective: I want to suggest putting a Handlebar Mount onto the punty, but that will make viewers sick pretty quickly and could block your view while blowing (though it is very cool in feature shots). A Head Mount is probably going to be your best bet, given everything that’s going on.