Tips for Using A GoPro on a One-Day Whitewater Rafting Trip
Adventure activities such as Whitewater Rafting are perfect for GoPro footage. There are non-stop photo and video opportunities. You can great action and still shots of friends and family, the spectacular surroundings and the awesome rapids.
If bringing your GoPro for your next river trip ask an important question – will we be paddling (hands busy) or holding on in a raft that is rowed or motorized? If your hands are free, then bringing an extension (“Selfie”) stick makes sense to create angles and perspective that you may miss with a helmet or chest mount. If your hands are on a paddle most of the time and changing gear on the fly is difficult to impossible, then try to mount the GoPro to a helmet.
Chest mounts are bulky when combined with a life jacket and paddling gear.
If you are on a commercial trip, ask if your outfitter provides helmets with GoPro mounts.
Crab Apple Whitewater in Maine and Massachusetts provides helmets ready to go for GoPro users. Let’s get some great footage!
Assuming you have chosen a helmet mount for your camera, where should you sit in the raft?
Best option – move around into different seats! In the front row you get the bow of the raft crashing through the rapids and taking a “face full” of water. Awesome! In the back of the raft you tend to sit a little higher and you get to see the action ahead as well as your crew of friends or family riding through and reacting to the rapids. A higher position also works best for a 180 degree turn that shows all of the scenery around you.
Make sure you have enough battery and capacity on the SD card to get all of the footage you want. There are no bushes or trees on shore with charging stations! Handling batteries and cards on the side of the river can be tricky (if you brought a spare!)
There are water droplets on the camera … what to do. The river is not a perfect environment with dry microfiber cloths, so do your best. Blow water droplets off the camera. If necessary, wipe a finger across the wet lens even though this cuts against every bit of advice you’ve had about your camera!
When should I film? Crab Apple Whitewater guides are trained to work with guests wearing GoPros. Mounts on the helmet make it easy to safely position the camera in the best spot. Guides know when each rapid is coming and will let the guest know if it is a “big one” and worth getting the shots or a milder rapid where it is an opportunity to save battery. Crab Apple Whitewater guides also are in tune with their surroundings and know when special views can be captured by an action camera.
Bring your GoPro on your rafting trip! You will capture awesome still shots and exciting video from a memorable day on the river. Ask questions before your trip – will my hands be free? can I mount my camera on the provided helmet? will there be a guide or someone to help me?