Best GoPro for Surfing in 2020

GoPro for Surfing

Catching huge waves is fun, but it can be a bummer when you ride one out and there’s no one around to see. To ensure that doesn’t happen, it’s best to pick up a GoPro and strap it to your body or board. That will give you the evidence you need to prove you have what it takes to conquer the ocean.

There are many GoPros on the market. In this guide, we’ve selected the four best options on the market, and listed all the reasons we think they would be great for your next surfing trip.

Quick Summary

  • If you want an affordable GoPro option, check out the GoPro Hero7 Silver. It takes great 4K video, and has the build quality you expect from GoPro.
  • If you want the best GoPro available, the GoPro Hero8 Black is the way to go. Few other cameras can match this model’s cutting edge features.
  • If you’re looking for a 360 camera, the GoPro Fusion is a good option. While 360 cameras are just starting to become popular, the Fusion has all the features you need.
  • If you’re looking for a good middle ground, the GoPro Hero7 Black is the camera for you. It is last generation’s top model, which means you can get it at a solid discount.

Who Should Buy This?

If you love to surf, these cameras are perfect for you. They will allow you to capture everything you do in the water, ranging from great waves to awesome wipeouts. As long as you use a solid mount, you’ll never miss a great moment again.

These are also great cameras if you love any other extreme sports, including snowboarding, skateboarding, and BMX. No matter what your hobby is, having a GoPro to strap on will make it that much more exciting.

Best GoPro for Surfing: What to Consider in 2020

Max Resolution

You want to try and get a 4K capable camera if possible. The massive increase in pixel count makes the footage much sharper and more pleasing to the eye. While 1080p is a suitable resolution for a high frame rate recording, it isn’t the same.

Max Frame rate

If you want some amazing slow motion video, you need a high frame rate. This will allow you to slow down the footage in post to create that epic slow shots. Having a minimum of 60 frames per second is needed for this effect. High frame rate footage also looks very smooth at normal speed.

Battery Life

The last aspect you need to take into consideration is your GoPro’s battery life. You don’t want to take your camera out and have it die just before that last big wave rolls in. Always get a camera that is able to run for a long time.

Prioritize resolution over everything else, as it gives you the best video quality. Battery life is definitely important and would be second, with frame rate bringing up the rear. If you prioritize slow motion footage, frame rate could be your number one though.

Best GoPro for Surfing: Our Picks for 2020

1. GoPro Hero7 Silver

The GoPro Hero7 Silver is a mid-range option that combines good specs with premium build quality. The 4K video looks great, even if it does max out at just 30 frames per second, and will provide you with amazing results. The still image quality is very mediocre, and the battery is non-removable. Always make sure you keep the Hero7 charged.

What We Like:

  • Good 4K video quality
  • Great build and rubberized feel
  • Simple to use

What We Don’t Like:

  • Image quality is mediocre at best
  • Built-in battery is non-removable

Specs:

  • Max Resolution: 4K
  • Max Frame Rate: 60 @ 1440p
  • Battery Life: 106 minutes

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

2. GoPro Hero8 Black


The GoPro Hero8 Black is the best camera GoPro has ever made. The video quality is stunning and the stabilization system makes the footage look like you are using a gimbal. The inclusion of a built-in mount is a nice touch. They did remove the HDMI port on this model, which is a bit of a bummer. Even so, this is a solid all around.

What We Like:

  • Amazing video quality
  • Fantastic video stabilization
  • Built-in mounting system

What We Don’t Like:

  • No HDMI port
  • Gets hot while recording

Specs:

  • Max Resolution: 4K
  • Max Frame Rate: 240 @ 1080p
  • Battery Life: 74 minutes

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

3. GoPro Fusion


GoPro has only made a couple of 360 cameras, and the Fusion is a great choice for any surfer. It has an excellent battery life alongside advanced water-proofing. The mobile app also makes it easy to stitch footage together for a great 360 video experience. Sadly, you won’t be able to live stream from this camera. It is a bit on the larger side as well. However, those are minor complaints compared to all the amazing features this model comes with.

What We Like:

  • Good battery life
  • Great water-proof design
  • Fantastic mobile app for controls

What We Don’t Like:

  • Square shape is large compared to other models
  • No live streaming capabilities

Specs:

  • Max Resolution: 5.2K
  • Max Frame Rate: 60 @ 3K
  • Battery Life: 75 minutes

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

4. GoPro Hero7 Black


The GoPro Hero7 Black was last generation’s top GoPro camera. That means it still provides you with great 4K video and has a high frame rate when shooting in 1080p. The battery life here is also quite good, giving you plenty of time to record all of your surfing shenanigans. The touchscreen is a bit spotty, and it isn’t a huge jump from the previous generation. Even so, it’s great for those who don’t want to shell out for the Hero8.

What We Like:

  • Clean 4K video quality
  • High frame rate at 1080p (240 fps)
  • Good battery life

What We Don’t Like:

  • Touchscreen can be unresponsive
  • Not a huge improvement over previous generation

Specs:

  • Max Resolution: 4K
  • Max Frame Rate: 240 @ 1080p
  • Battery Life: 90 minutes

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Useful Tips and Resources

If you plan to use your GoPro around water, you might want to pick up a floating hand grip. This is pretty much just a selfie grip, but it floats rather than sinks. That ensures you’ll never accidentally lose your GoPro if you drop it.

The best thing you can buy when you pick up a GoPro camera is a full accessory pack. This comes with many different mounts and connections, which allows you to always set up the perfect shot. Expect to see chest and head harnesses, selfie sticks, and car mounts.

Final Words

Every GoPro in this guide is perfect for the surf. In fact, there is no need to ever head out into the ocean again without having a good camera with you. All of the above options are small, portable, and rather affordable. Know what they offer and get the one that’s best for you.

Have you ever used a GoPro while surfing? Did you record any big waves? Let us know in the comments below!

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