If you want to capture some of your amazing trick runs and slaloms on the water you will need a camera.
But which is the best camera for kneeboarding?
The answer depends on your budget. The latest iPhones (particularly the iPhone 11) have brilliant cameras and you may already have one of these in your pocket if you are lucky. If not, any smart phone camera will let you record your run so you can check your technique afterwards and work to improve.
The most obvious next step is a camera with a bigger zoom. Things happen quickly on the water and the ride can be bumpy so we recommend something with decent video recording ability and optical image stabilisation. You want to be able to zoom and maybe take still photos as well. You need a camera with a quick response so a mirrorless or compact format camera is better than a strict digital SLR. Having the ability to change lenses means you can shoot from further away, so standing on the bank can get you good footage. We use an Olympus OMD EM-10 Mark II but this has been replaced by the Mark III which you can see here. The main difference between the two is that the Mark III records in 4K video. You pay a lot more for 4K recording and you should ask if you really need this. Not many people watch YouTube video at 4K but you may want this if you are watching video at home on a fancy TV. Nobody needs 4K video just to watch their performance and improve their technique.
A really good facility if you want to take still shots is to have a burst mode. This is when you hold the shutter button down and the camera takes a number of shots in very quick succession. You will need a highly rated memory card for this, such as a class VI SD card and it’s worth spending a few more pounds to get a card with a higher capacity (128 GB will keep you going all day and all night) such as the SanDisk Extreme card we use which is featured here.
That covers the photos taken by camera from the boat and from the shore.
If you want to flex you might want to take footage from the point of view of the rider or from the board. For this, we recommend a GoPro and the very best right now is the GoPro HERO8 available here. You can attach this to your chest with a harness like this or you can fix it to the back of the boat using a mount like this with a quick release clip like this.
If you want to, you can fix it to the crossbar of the boat near the rope attachment with a pole mount like this. Crossbars on boats can be quite thick and you want to make sure that your pole mount is is not too small.
If you want to go for the ultimate POV then you can use one of these to fix the camera to the front of your board. A word of warning here because if you go nose down or hit the water hard after some aerial action, the camera might dislodge. Although the GoPro HERO8 is waterproof to 10m it doesn’t float! We always use an attachable float like this, brightly coloured, to make sure that the camera can be recovered after any problems. Just like when you’re learning to monoski and you drop a ski, be aware that a camera in the water is an obstacle and very mind other skiers when starting out with this.
If you really want to go all in, then drone photography is the ultimate. Drones have been really expensive over the last few years and take a lot of experience and expertise but the follow me feature seen on the more expensive DJI drones is a real winner. This “Active Track” makes things much easier by following the rider and keeping the camera pointing the right way and focused. Even better, you don’t need to carry any equipment to use Active Track, so there’s nothing to lose in the water.
The big news for the 2020 season from the drone world is the release of the DJI Mavic Mini which comes in at an amazing £369. This shoots 2.7K video (more than you need) and does not have a follow me function but, with lots of electronic flight assistance and safety measures inbuilt, can be used with only a little practice to get fantastic footage.
You may find that you also need the Fly More Combo featuring three extra batteries and some propeller guards available here. The Fly More Combo is worth it for another £90 and will keep you airborne all day.
Here is some great drone footage taken at Church Wilne showing what you can do with the right equipment and the right skills.
With your smart phone, mirrorless camera, GoPro and drone you will be shooting good quality video in no time!