Custom Stern Mount for GoPro

Ok, I’m going to show you how to build a custom stern mount for your GoPro. This is a great angle to get some video from. It allows you, the paddler to be seen and your hands won’t keep blocking the shot. But first, I want to acknowledge that there is some risk in putting this on your kayak. Only you can decide how much risk is acceptable for you and if you do choose to build one of these you do so at your own peril. Ok, now my disclaimer is out of the way lets get down to business.

First lets look at what you need. This should be pretty affordable. I spent less than $5 on PVC but I already had the glue. The most expensive part is going to be the handle bar mount from GoPro. Here is what you need to get from the hardware store.

  •    a few feet of 3/4 in pvc tube
  •  1 3/4 in. male adapter
  •  1 3/4 in. tee with a female threaded middle connection
  •  2 3/4 in 90 deg. elbows
  •  2 3/4 in. to 1/2 in. reducers
  •  2 1/2 in. plugs
  •  1 foam pool noodle
  •  1 cheap carabiner
  •  tent guy line or other small diameter string to secure your camera

You will also need a hack saw, a drill, and some PVC Glue.

Step One:

Remove stern grab handle and screw plugs onto the boat using factory screws. You may need to drill holes in the plugs first.

Step Two:

Put reducer bushings on plugs

Step Three:

Put elbows on bushings.

Step Four:

Check the fit of the tee between the elbows. If necessary trim the elbows and/or tee with saw. After you trim them recheck the fit.

Step Five:

Cut 3/4 in. tube to connect the elbows to the tee.

Step Six:

Remove cat from kayak.

Step Seven:

Connect both elbows to tee and slide elbows onto plugs. Push all the way down onto the plugs. If it is tight that is good. If it’s real easy you may want to wrap a thin tape around the plugs to make a snug fit. This will be held on by friction. It is designed to come off if it gets hung up on something.

Step Eight:

Screw in male adapter

Step Nine:

Cut tube to about 2.5 feet or so it is roughly head height when you are in your kayak. Then slide the pool noodle onto the tube.

Step Ten:

Put the tube onto the adapter and connect the whole thing to the kayak. Set the angle of the tube how you like. I set mine so that the camera is about even with the end of the kayak. Make some marks on the tee and the elbows once you have it where you like so you know where to put them.  Once you have the angle you want remove the mount from the boat and glue the pvc connections together. DO NOT GLUE THE PIECE SHOWN BELOW TO THE THE TWO REDUCERS THAT YOU SCREWED TO YOUR BOAT.

Step Eleven:

Once the glue is dried drill a hole in the bottom of the tee and run your tether through the tube and out the top.

Step Twelve:

Screw the tube onto the tee, put the tee onto the boat, and attach the GoPro handle bar mount to the tube. Connect your tether to a rescue point on your boat.  You are ready to film.

stern mount

This design is intended to pop off the boat if you get hung up. If if comes off too easily you may want to wrap tape around the plugs attached to your boat to make them fit tighter. When it comes off the noodle will keep it afloat. I use a cheap carabiner so that if it’s dragging behind me and gets caught the carabiner will break. Also, I recommend attaching your tether directly to the GoPro for maximum security. I hope you find this design useful and instructions helpful. Let me know what modifications you come up with in the comment section.

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7 Responses to Custom Stern Mount for GoPro

  1. Chris says:

    Awesome write up!
    Do you use a Gopro Hero 4 model, and if so, how are you tethering to it? The new design makes it a little harder to set up the tether. I have been running my tether between the mounting plate and the waterproof case.


    • Pete says:

      Thanks! I’m still using the first Hero HD. I just tie the tether around the mounting plate and the screw that attaches the plate to the camera. Seems to work ok. I’ve been considering upgrading to the latest GoPro but I wasn’t aware of the tethering challenge. Maybe I’ll just stick with what I have.


      • Chris says:

        Probably a good idea. There is no longer a “gap” in the hinge where you can thread the tether. I have tried to compensate by using a floatie back door but if the case “teeth” or the mounting plate go, then the camera is going too.


      • Pete says:

        will the new camera’s work in the old cases? probably not huh?


  2. Chris says:

    Nope. The new camera’s shape is different. I went with the 4 silver because it has the built in LCD screen in the back. Plus it does 1080p 60fps and slo-mo.


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