The Best Camera for Paddle Boarding: Don’t be Afraid to Get Wet!

Start with a Splash! The Best Camea for Paddle Boarding

Paddle Boarding is one of the best ways to get out there and explore your water world! We will get to the best camera for paddle boarding in a second but first, have you ever had that moment while you were paddling that you saw something unforgettable and wanted to capture it? The only problem was that you did not want to risk getting your digital camera damaged.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on my paddle board and I see a friendly Harbor Seal swim around my board but didn’t have anything to capture the moment with! (insert over exaggerated video below)

I finally decided to take action and I’m pretty happy that I did.

I bought the Activeon CX Action Camera Bundle for about $89 CAD (It’s cheaper on AMZ) and it was actually a pleasantly surprised with the quality this little camera brought. Here are some of the pictures that you can judge it’s quality.

Budget Option: The Best Camera for Paddle Boarding

The Activeon CX

Features

  • Full HD 1080P 30fps Recording
  • 5M Pixel CMOS Sensor
  • 6 Aspherical Elements Glass F/2.0 Lens
  • Built In LCD/WIFI
  • 1200 mah Battery
  • Time Lapse Photo
  • Aqua Mode
  • 196/60M Waterproof
  • Ability to Share Content

The Activeon CX in my experience is actually a pretty handy little camera. While I have not tinkered with all of the options I have used it for it’s video and picture purposes and must say it got the job done! The bundle I bought came with a waterproof housing, a 32 gb Micro SD card, Dual Battery Charger 2X Li-Ion Batteries and a sticky mount instead of the handle advertised here.

I tested this little camera out in Shuswap Lake B.C. and at the Nicklomeckle river in White Rock both fresh and salt and freshwater environments. Testing it out I got a quick lesson from my friend on how to use it. Facing the screen hold the top right button two seconds to turn it on and click it once to take a picture/ video. The Left Button is to change modes. You have options to use video mode, photo mode, photo burst mode (shoots 3 pics for every 1 second and 5 for every 1 second) as well as photo time lapse mode. I only tested video and the photo modes and you can see above the quality picture it takes. I will have to test the other modes on my next paddling excursion :)!

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Caught with Activeon CX

Testing it out on its maiden voyage in Shuswap the Sticky Mount Held the Camera in place on the board despite it getting a bit wet at times. I ran the video for an hour but only got about maybe 30 minutes max out of it upon returning. The Battery life for video is a bit disappointing but for the price I paid I suppose I should not of expected so much. I tried mounting it on the board again but this time in a saltwater environment and I found after a few uses the mount would not hold on.  My theory is either the salt dilutes the sticky material or it’s simply not very waterproof. With the hand handle grip extension you can simply lie it on the board and have it tied down with the bungees should your board have them (most do).

The Activeon CX does also have Streaming capabilities when you download the Activeon App on your phone.

I will update this review when I go paddling with it again (right now there is snow everywhere) and go further in depth with all of it’s features.

Pros

  • Pretty Good Picture Quality
  • Video Quality is good
  • Easy to Use, instructions are clear
  • Social Media Friendly
  • Cheap Price for what you get
  • Simple Set up for People that just want to get some footage of the water

Cons

  • Sticky Mount Will not hold after extended uses on board
  • Battery Life is short
  • Most of my problems lied with the sticky mount really

The Best Camera for Paddle Boarding

The Go Pro Hero 5

Features

  • 4 K Video
  • 12 MP Photos in Single
  • Burst and Time Lapse Modes
  • Waterproof the 33 feet
  • Preview and Play Back of your shots
  • Video Stabilization
  • GPS Data Overlay
  • Video is in 4K30/ 2.7K60/ 1220p80/ 1080p 120 / 960p120
  • Comes with Mobile App
  • Charging Cable
  • Two Sticky Mounts

If you are looking to shoot more advanced video this is the camera for you!  GoPro Hero 5 is the industry standard when it comes to action cameras. So you have to ask yourself, what’s the difference between this and the Activeon? It’s all in the features and the price you are willing to pay!

If you are looking for high quality video with image stabilization that you are planning to use in your newest promotional surfing video, go with the GoPro. It even features voice control. This means it’s similar to Alexa or Siri in the sense that you can command it to take a crisp photo just by telling it to do so. This is ideal if you have your hands busy and are unable to press that snap button.

Whats perhaps most impressive is the video quality. You will not get any blurry videos whatsoever with crisp 4 k video quality. The auto stabilization is great especially if you don’t want any jerky movements while you are in the process of paddling.

Customers seem to have a few mixed reviews on this model though. Some have gone on to state that this camera is not as waterproof as GoPro states it is, some problems with the battery arises when folks when diving with the camera.

Truthfully this won’t be a big issue if you just plan on using it for paddle boarding. The Biggest Issue would be keeping the Mount stuck on the Paddle Board but you can buy a body mount or others types of varus mounting accessories. Some Paddle Boards like the Xterra board have an attachable swivel mount that comes with it.  

Here are a few Further Tips from our friends at SUP Board Magazine on Go Pro Preperation before paddling

Pros

  • Great for people who want next level footage
  • Great for Video Editors, Video Production
  • Playback Available
  • Cones with Two Sticky Mounts
  • Voice Control allows you to be hands free
  • Wifi and Bluetooth Capabilities
  • Good Quality Time Lapse
  • Great Quality Playback Audio

Cons

  • Some Problems with Diving Under the Water
  • USB Port has a few reports of falling off and generally being problematic
  • Problems with Low Light Settings for Photo and Video
  • A few Complaints about Customer Service

Conclusion

Choosing the Best Camera for Paddle Boarding is ultimately dependant on what you need it for. If you are looking to a get a cheap non name brand camera that does it’s job ad a little bit more I would recommend my current Action Camera the Activeon CX If you want more professional quality the Go Pro Hero 5 or GoPro Hero 6 are great options, especially if you are big into quality video production.

Send me some pictures of your Paddle Boarding Experiences by emailing me or tagging my instagram 

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