anyone shooting surfing with soloshot?

In 21 years of surfing, I have no photos of me surfing (other than some old super-8 stuff from when I was a grom that one of my buddies has).  I don’t generally surf with anyone, don’t generally go to the beach with anyone, just go by myself when I can.  Lately, that’s been pretty frequently, since I’m working minutes away from a few good (crowded) surf spots.

Occasionally my wife will accompany me to the beach, but the minute I paddle out she can’t tell me from anyone else out there in the crowd.  And lacks the patience to try, I suspect.  And has no interest in cameras / photography whatsoever.  My daughter is a pretty good photographer, but doesn’t live anywhere near.

So I’ve come to accept that I’m probably never going to find someone with the patience and skill and interest to take a few shots of me surfing.  Not to mention, I’m not a guy who paddles out into the crowd (yeah, its almost always crowded here in So. Calif. where I surf) and gets a bazillion waves, I just try to get a few every time I go out.  Meaning anyone who came to shoot pictures or video of me surfing would probably get bored waiting for me to get a wave, ha!

So that’s the long version of why I’ve been looking at this camera.  I would really like to get a few surfing shots, or video, to show some of my friends and family, and I’m not crazy about the go-pro perspective.  Heck, it might even be helpful to me to see what my surfing looks like to anyone else.  Its been on my bucket list for some time now.

Anyone have any experience with this setup?  Its more than I can afford, but might be worth saving for, if it can do what I want.



I know what you mean about photos. I was always the guy with a camera and I have thousands of photos of my friends, going back 40+ years. The few times that a friend tried to shoot pics of me, using my gear, met with limited success. I might have ten pics of myself that are in focus :wink:

I mean, it’s not easy for someone to get decent pics with a rig like this and no experience using one.

I’ve not used one personally but I have a friend that is sponsored by them and has gotton a ton of great footage using one and has even gotten a bit of it up on Surfline.  He’s using a video camera attached to the SoloShot not a DSLR.


I have never used it, but it looks like an amazing product.

Im not thrilled about gopros either, in anything less than a perfectly barrelling wave it just generally doesn’t capture the real conditioncou
I remember a couple of years ago I was surfing a point with a good friend of mine on a pretty big day, 2-3 times over head

He had a gopro strapped to his helmet, and after us both taking some big chunky waves we were frothing to see the video on the gopro. However because the waves were quite fat, the wide angle lens made the waves look tiny and almost non existent! It certainly humbled us a bit as we thought we were going to look awesome on camera haha

GoPro was the worst technology purchase I’ve ever made.  Total waste of money.  Gave it to my son and he used it a couple times and didn’t care for it either.  

It’s a cool concept. I’ve been trying to get some video of my foil for a good while now and this would do the trick… My concern with that setup would be someone walking away with it while I was out in the water, I suppose if you had one, all you would need is someone to watch it for you, at least then they wouldn’t need to have any photography skills or unlimited patience…

Rather then invest in all the equipment needed, I would just find a local photog and offer to pay for their time and photos. In So Cal,  there is always someone around taking pictures that would love the opportunity to make a few bucks to support their passion.

Wooddave - my wife has agreed to babysit the camera if I get one, and as you say, that’s as much as I could ask of her.   And most the beaches I surf, crowded as they are, are pretty safe for leaving stuff on the beach.  Because there’s always so many people around.

Phebus - Yeah, I thought of the photog avenue - I know a local photog (Baron of Rincon, who did my wedding pics, and I still run into at the beach from time to time) who takes great photos.  But like I say, I just go surfing when I can slip it in, be kind of a hassle to schedule to meet someone.  Then take the chance the waves aren’t good that day, or the waves are good but the whole pack shows up and I don’t get any good ones that day, or I have an off day, or something comes up and turns out I can’t make it after all, etc etc.  

And anyone self employed in So. Cal. has to charge more than a few bucks, I know because I’ve been self employed here, off and on, since the late 80’s.  Some people think I charge a lot, but I’m always broke / poor, because the overhead of living / owning a business here eats your income alive.  So if I had to pay someone to show up several different days over the course of the season to be sure to get some good wave shots, I figure it’d probably end up costing me the same or more as the camera, and with the camera I could just set up and shoot when circumstances allow, no need to schedule and meet someone, etc.

I’m looking into getting one… I’ve already got a decent camera, the fact that it can do pan and tilt time lapse makes it useful for more than just surf /action photography which helps justify spending the cash…

I’ve been saving up for a 500mm lens, but I might be convinced to push that back a little.

I’ve thought about hiring someone to do some video but getting the planets to line up is difficult ,and spending money on a one time thing goes against my frugal nature…

  Thanks for bringing it to my attention Huck.

It would be cool if you could rent one, and probably a good business for someone.

I surfed county line down south a few months ago and there were probably 4 or 5 solo shots set up across the beach. I don’t know how well they work but they must be somewhat effective if that many people are using them. Then again, it could just be a gimmick. 

The reviews are mostly good, it has a complicated startup procedure which seems to be where many of the complaints come from…That and it doesn’t work indoors…

Just sayin Huck, I’ve got a camera, big lens, water housing, and live 3 minutes from one of your haunts…morning light is better anyway and I don’t gotta leave for work until 7:45 most days. Hit me up and we’ll make something happen.


OK, will do!

" Occasionally my wife will accompany me to the beach, but the minute I paddle out she can’t tell me from anyone else out there in the crowd.


hiya Huck !


" if you 'must ’  surf in crowds [??]


  Then … orange wetsuit , red board … these should help her locate you ?


  or …


 … plan B …


 if you can  come here , then I’ll get more photos of you than you could ever want or need , Huck !


  no one else in the water , either …


cheers !



Not sure why people are dismissing GoPro.  Given their limitations (namely the wide angle lens), they are a reasonably nice tool.  Loads of add-on accessories available to suit many needs.  They are not designed for long range shots… more for compact uses that require that wide angle. The waterproof case is pretty bomb proof.  Check the GoPro channel for stuff that people are filming.  Those that have it wired aren’t complaining.

Disclaimer:  I received one recently as a gift and slowly learning how to use it.


Stoked to read it works with a video camera…  Guessing it can zoom and pan. That could help with seeing what is going on with board function, and a real view of the ride.  Some times photos can be lamer than the wave/ride, and some times can make it look better.

What’s the cost?  (I looked at the site, but didn’t think about it at the time, and others may be curious just to see what it goes for…)

Gopros have their place…

I have thought about going down to the local beach with my biggest lense on the DSLR and fire off a few hundred and see if anybody wants to buy but then I think that folks won’t want to buy them when they see how bad they actually look. hahaha

(deleted anti tech rant… have fun)