was surprised at how much interest people expressed when I talked about
making a “plumbing” GoPro mount for my Jackson
Villain. Now I can’t claim this idea as my own, Nick Troutman
and Stephen Wright invented it. You can see it being used in Nick’s
South Branch video. There
been a lot of different approaches to mounting a GoPro like this, from
mounting a tripod on the back of a kayak to custom made aluminum mounts
(read: expensive). I love this method because it’s cheap and
mount is going to stay on if you go upside down on the wrong spot!
needed: Drill, drill bit, screwdrivers, glue (or duct tape).
you need from the bottom up:
The first piece is a toilet flange. You can find it in the plumbing
section of any hardware store. Obviously it’s for installing
a toilet! Amazingly even the bolt holes line up perfectly with the grab
loop bolt inserts on the Jackson Villain. They come in white or black.
5″ (length) of 3″ PVC. The toilet flange has a
fitting for a 3″ PVC pipe, which can’t be seen in
the photo. This fits into the toilet flange and is what the reducer is
attached to. do. Be sure to color coordinate.
Reducer Coupling. This will be in the same aisle as the toilet flange.
You are looking for 3″ to 2″ reducer. The one
pictured is rubber but will most likely be switched to PVC. If you go
rubber it’s the single most expensive item.
Adapter. These come in two versions, get one male and one female. They
are 2" smooth on one end and threaded 2" at the other.
Next up is the big piece, and the cheapest. I got 3′ (length)
of 2″ PVC pipe. It might be a little tall, but I am going to
go with it.
2″ PVC pipe cap. Another cheap item and self explanatory.
2 bolts the same diameter and thread count as the grab loop bolts, but
twice as long. Just take one in and match it at the store. One bolt,
nut and washer (x4) thin enough to fit through a GoPro mount for ?.
This mount came in my GoPro kit from Teva Mtn Games and looked perfect.
I used an extra bolt from a Thule roof rack mounting kit, but it would
be easy to find one at the hardware store because you can bring the
mount in and check. One washer for the bolt, three to keep the GoPro
mount from crushing.
for some construction time. I debated just using a GoPro helmet mount
pad on top of the PVC cap, but didn’t feel like it would have
any real holding power. Time for some power tools! I got out my drill,
chose a drill bit the same diameter as my Thule mounting bolt, and put
a hole in the center of the PVC cap. I then stacked three washers
inside the gap of the GoPro mount, put the bolt through from the top
and inside the PVC cap, put the washer and nut on. Seems pretty solid!
one thing in my setup from the picture.. I noticed a lot of
camera sway in Nick’s video, and believe this is due to using
a soft rubber Reducing Coupler. I had hoped this would help save the
mount if I flipped in the wrong spot, but it has too much give and
would most likely break off the toilet flange anyways. So I installed
solid PVC 3″ to 2″ Reducing Coupler, which is
cheaper too. I had two problems with my mount. One was that it made
portaging an absolute nightmare. Taking it off at the base was time
intensive. Secondly, the mount didn't fit in the back of my boat. This
made it impossible to remove the mount in the mank or anywhere else I
didn't want to paddle with it that day. So back to the drawing board.
is the 3" pipe and solid reducing coupler.
prototype before making it a two piece.
but not least, I tie some parachute cord from the GoPro mount to a
rear grab loop, so if the mount breaks off, hopefully it will just drag
behind until it can be recovered. Instead of glue I duct tape the
bottom (reducer to toilet flange)
joint together. When I have had to roll in shallow water, the duct
tape gave way and the mount came off, allowing me to roll up. Don't
count on this always working through!
have to throw a little disclaimer in here too.
Realize you are taking
off the rear grab (safety) loop of you kayak and potentially
compromising your safety in the event of a pin. It will also be harder
to help swimmers to shore. Rolling in shallow water will basically
require breaking off the mount too. So there are a lot of concerns
here, proceed with caution. Enjoy
your new (and cheap!) GoPro mount! Check
out this Upper Middle Cosumnes video to see it in action.