What are the best POV camera mount options for a wave pool?

The best POV camera mount options for surfing a wave pool are: mouthpiece, rail mount, front pole mount, front-facing board mount, back-facing board mount and rear pole mount. Which one works best for you is a matter of skill level and personal taste. Here is what each POV looks like as used by Aaron Withers at The Wave in Bristol.

For many of us, our surf lives have gone from surgical strikes when swell, wind and tide all come together perfectly, to just being bloody grateful for some high tide slop. Aaron Withers is at that point in his life when every surf is dictated by children’s needs – so yeah, the high tide analogy is applicable here.

Thankfully there’s The Wave in Bristol. Aaron’s made the most of it, getting creative with his camera angles from inside the tube on the right at Bristol’s most famous wave. The best part? Aaron gets a digital memory of each precious session.

Mouth Mount

camera mouth mount surfing
This POV is the classic camera mouth mount we see so often in surfing

Rail Mount

camera rail mount for surfing
The rail mount captures a unique angle and works well to show both the tube and surfer.

Front Pole Mount

camera front pole mount for surfing
A camera front pole mount captures eye-level or above of the surfer

Front-Facing Board Mount

front facing camera board mount for surfing
A front-facing board mount for surfing provides a shallower tube POV but is the most simple option

Back-Facing Board Mount

back facing board mount POV
Back facing board mount POV fills most of the frame with the rider
POV rear pole mount in the tube
A rear pole mount can be awkward, but the resulting images are often well worth it

What’s your background, you’re “from Frome?”
Yes. I was born in Bristol in 1979 and I moved to Croyde in North Devon when I was 19 and worked as a lifeguard there as I wanted to bodyboard more and more and try and compete! This then opened the door to traveling, so I’d work the English summer and travel the English winter to places like Indo, Oz, Central America, Asia and many more to improve my riding. Did this for about 10 years and then moved back home to Frome to ‘settle’ as they call it. I have a son who’s almost four and we’re currently halfway through another pregnancy. And this is where my addiction to ‘The Wave’ pool started.

What’s your local spot?
My local spot is ‘Croyde’, love the place and vibe, not in the summer tho, too busy! Low tide when it pumps rivals any spot I’ve surfed around the globe. There is a good level that helps and pushes your performance in the water.

How often are you in the pool at The Wave?
How often am I at The Wave? A LOT. Currently, I’m there weekly as they do this cool session called ‘play in the bay’ which gives me and my son an hour in the shallows for him to build wave confidence and catch some waves on my bodyboard. Expert sessions, definitely for me is fortnightly, I’m hooked.

aaron withers and child play in the bay at the Wave
Aaron and his son Indiana play in the bay at the Wave

You get pretty creative with the camera – how many different setups have you tried at The Wave?
On the right, It’s been: mouthpiece, rail, front-facing pole, front-facing board mount, back-facing board mount, rear pole. On the left, only three of those. I’ve only just started to give the left a go.

Do some work better than others to illustrate a certain facet of the surfing experience?
All of them work. I have a lot of non-surfers who are mates and follow me on my socials and they always take a liking to my pictures and clips. I can give them insight into bodyboarding and the view of inside a tube that they may never experience. This is why I create the content as they all offer something new as well as a different perspective. The poles can get restrictive though and the mouthpiece is tricky with maneuvers as it’s shallow in the pool and I don’t want to lose any teeth.

shooting photos in a wave pool
One of the rare images where Aaron did not take the photo

Which is your personal favorite?
The front-facing pole but with the GoPro Max, it offers you a shot that only pros can get with their personal photographers in the ocean close up. You use the stitch line to eliminate the pole. It’s a great piece of kit. The front-facing pole doesn’t restrict you as much when you want to do tricks either.

What is the next angle you are going to try?
The rear pole. I’ve done it already, the most restrictive setup I’ve ever done but it gives the most rewarding content for sure. The difference this time is I will be using the GoPro Max in 360 mode, again using the stitch line to eliminate the pole, meaning I’ll get what looks like a pro-shot of me in the tube from behind. I want to try the helmet cam one day but I’m not fully convinced as a lot of people do it. I like to try and get those different shots that not everyone is willing to take the risk for I guess.

You can follow Aaron’s photography on Instagram right here.

Endless Surf 2023A