Introduction: $15 Universal Kayak Camera Mount
This camera mount works similarly to Jackson Kayak's $150 camera mount. It hooks into the handle, and when tightened, pulls up on the handle and pulls the mount down. There are no external screws and can fit almost anything with a handle or a D-Ring.
Step 1: Supplies
- 1" PVC Pipe (2 feet) - I like to use the pre-cut sections at Home Depot because they're thicker/stronger than the full length pipe.
- 4" to 2" Flex Coupling - I originally used a 3" coupling to make it a little more compact, but the 4" coupling was much more stable.
- 2" to 1" PVC Bushing - This piece connects the pipe to the rubber coupling.
- 1" PVC Cap - I used the flattest cap I could find for attaching the GoPro mount.
- 3/4" Threaded Plug - Apparently they didn't charge me for this piece, so I'm not positive about the size. The plug screwed in perfectly to the pipe.
- 5/16" x 6" Clothe Line Hook - This will hook onto the handle of your kayak.
- 5/16" Tee Nut - This nut connects and tightens everything internally.
- The only tools I needed was a drill and sandpaper.
Step 2: Drill the Plug
First drill a 3/8" hole in the top of threaded plug for the tee nut to fit through. Put the tee nut in the hole and hammer it just a little, so the teeth will leave marks. Use these marks to drill 7/64" holes for the teeth to fit into. The size of these holes is not overly important. 7/64" just worked well for me. Once you have your holes drilled, you'll be able to tap down the tee nut.
Step 3: Add Some Safety Features (Optional)
Add a leash - Drill a hole near the top of the pipe for your leash. Make sure it's low enough for the cap to fit on later. Tie a loop at the top and leave the rest of the string hanging out of the bottom for now.
Add a weak point - I like the drill a few holes near the bottom, just in case I hit a rock hard enough. This way the pipe will break, rather than getting stuck or breaking my kayak. This setup is cheap and easy enough, I don't mind making a new one.
Add some flotation - I cut strips from pool noodles and stuffed them into the pipe. If the mount breaks or falls off, it will NOT float without this foam.
Step 4: Insert the Plug
Since I add the leash, I decided to widen one of the small holes on the plug. Put the leash through the widened hole and tie a large knot. Put some epoxy or glue on the tee nut and hammer it back into place. Put some epoxy or glue on the threads of the plug and screw it in or hammer it down.
Step 5: Add the Cap
Put some epoxy on the inside of the cap and hammer it down firmly. Sand down the top of the cap as flat as you can. It doesn't have to be smooth. A slightly rough surface will help the camera mount's glue to stick better. If you prefer to use the tripod mount, make sure you put a screw through from the inside of the cap before you glue it on.
Step 6: Glue the Base
Put epoxy or glue on the inside of the 2" to 1" coupling. Hammer it in firmly.
Step 7: Screw in the Hook
Screw in the hook and place the rubber coupling on. I did not glue on the rubber footer because I still wanted to be able to tighten the mount when the rubber starts to grip the kayak. The mount is also easier to store inside my kayak without the footer.
Step 8: Install
Righty-Tighty - Loosen the hook and hook it onto your handle or D-ring. While lifting up, twist the pipe clockwise until it's completely snug.
Lefty-Loosey - Twist counter-clockwise until the hook can come off of the handle.
Don't forget to use your camera leash!