Save money and time. Exclusive tips by Jake Rosenbrock
On the 20th of September 2018, GoPro released its latest and most powerful action camera to the date, Hero 7 Black. It is packed with fantastic features such as extraordinary stabilization (Hyper Smooth), powerful slow-motion shooting options and the ability to take extraordinary pictures out of the video using it’s ability to shoot 1080p at 240 fps.
“If your Go Pro is new enough and playing up, contact the Go Pro team and try get it replaced. Adding a water proof housing to your camera is important…this could increase its life span to more than 5 years instead of 1 or 2.“Jake Rosenbrock – Essential Tips for body-surfing with Hero 7 Black,
GoPro has moved from having a compulsory waterproof case to now simply taking your camera straight into the surf. In their advertisements world wide, they claim that Hero 7 is ‘water proven’, with some amazing POV surfing shots coming from deep inside perfect barrels.
It’s Hyper Smooth stabilization, which is truly spectacular was a game changer for many body-surfers around the globe, who love taking their camera out in an attempt to document that perfect ride.
But is everything as perfect as it looks?
Far from it! Here at WaterUKnow, we got our first Hero7 Black about 3 months ago. We took it to the surf and whilst we got some spectacular footage, about a month in we noticed that water had somehow managed to get into the charging port. 2 months later while filming a Mediterranean cruise we got the ‘error’ notification and the GoPro 7 was dead.
Upon our return to Sydney, we caught up with the Budgy Boys body-surfing club, team captain Matt O’Donnell, who is also passionate about documenting his body-surfing experiences. Surprisingly, he was also disappointed with his camera. His biggest issue was that, the touch screen even when locked was simply too sensitive to water droplets, meaning that desired setting changed at the will of the ocean. Furthermore, he also noted that the water was somehow managing to get in the case of his camera and while still functioning it was truly worrying as what ‘D-day’ would be just around the corner.
We managed to contact the GoPro team in Australia and they were kind enough to send us a replacement camera. While that was a reasonable effort on behalf of the GoPro team, we were unable to record the final month of our Europe experience as well as some epic body-surfing sessions back at home. Now, we have completely lost confidence to take the $550 AUD ‘water proven’ camera in the ocean.
Escalating this issue, we chatted to a few more GoPro Hero 7 Black users and the feedback was much the same. It was the time to talk to the expert in the business.
We managed to catch up with a body-surfing POV specialist, Jake Rosenbrock (@barrel_pig). Jake has perfected this game. He has been regularly upgrading his camera since the time of the GoPro Hero 3+ and has consistently provided the community with extraordinary views of his rides.
Jake, you have been one of the first guys to have the GoPro Hero 7 among body-surfing community, how has it been serving you?
“Just like you guys, I had to send my GoPro 7 Black to get it replaced. While it took some awesome footage, it was really frustrating. The touch screen was too sensitive to water droplets, which meant that I always had to worry if the camera was in the right set up. That can be agonizing when you are in the surf. Since getting the replacement camera, I bought the Water Proof Case and never had problem since. It is a cheap investment that could prolong the lifespan of your camera to more than 5 years”
What would be your most important tip to someone who has recently bought the GoPro Hero 7 for body-surfing?
“If your GoPro is new enough and is playing up, contact the Go Pro team and try get it replaced. Adding a water proof housing to your camera could increase its life span for more than 5 years, instead of 1 or 2..From my experience, GoPro 5,6 and 7 all end up with the same issue at the end. No matter how hard they tried to seal it, in the long run salt water and electrics simply do not mix. Nothing survives the salt water. This will solve both the touch screen issues and the water problem.“
You take your GoPro in the ocean regularly. Would you mind sharing what type of the mouth piece you are currently using?
“I love the @theprostandard mouth pieces, how ever there is a bit of a story to it. It was created by a Canadian, largely for snowboarding. Back in the day I had some issues with it. The mount was too stiff and when it broke it cut my lip. However the new version is superb as they are made out of the new plastic (holycarbonate). It is super strong and most importantly under the extreme pressure it should bend and not snap. Compering to some other mounts in the market, it is by far the best for being able to communicate while wearing it. It will take a few sessions to get used to breathing with it, but surprisingly I noticed that I have better breath when I regularly keep using it.“
“Don’t forget the good leash. I don’t think the float is necessary, but a traditional bicep leash will do the job. Just make sure you do as many loops as you can around the top of the mount so it stays secure at all times.”
On a final note. It is always an interesting discussion, as to what mode is the best to shoot in. What is your preference on that topic?
“I’am a huge fan of slow motion, although I know some are not. I also like to shoot on the super view setting, as you need to get crazy deep with wide setting to get a decent barrel vision. So generally, I stick to 1080p 120 FPS super view. 240 FPS is rad, as when it’s super slow it turns out super silky, but you are limited to the “wide-view” setting. 240 FPS is perfect for shooting into waves.”