So what happens when you combine a GoPro camera, a water balloon slingshot, and a stabilizing fin? Check out the video after the link thing to see, and for instructions on how to build your own. The video turned out really well; I just keep watching it over and over. Note that the first few shots were taken with streamers, then at 0:27 I change over to the foam tail shown above. Much more stable.
If you want to try this experiment yourself, you’ll need the following:
- GoPro Camera – mine is a HERO3 White
- Micro SD card – I use a SanDisk Ultra 32 GB Card
- GoPro Floatie backdoor – better safe than sorry, even if your “tail” floats
- Water balloon slingshot – I used this “CX Blaster” model
- GoPro Tripod Mount – to attach the eye bolt to
- 1/4 – 20 eye bolts – available at your local hardware store or from Amazon
- Stablizing fin - I used packaging foam cut with a razor knife.
- zip ties - hardware store, Walmart, or these from Amazon should work
To make the foam GoPro stabilizing tail, I cut out a piece of packaging material that I had available with a razor knife. I used a level to make it straight, but anything a few feet long with a good edge should work. The tail came out to be 18 inches long x 2 inches wide x 1 inch thick. This was really a combination of a wild guess and what was available, but I was happy with the stability. I also cut the back as shown below, and pulled it tight with a zip tie to make the “fins” pop out.
to attach the GoPro camera to the stabilizing fin, I cut a slit in the middle of the foam and pushed the eye bolt into it. I then poked a hole in the other side of the foam and wrapped two zip ties around it as shown below to secure everything. Although it stayed securely on the foam, I still used the floatie backdoor, just in case something came loose somehow. As tough as GoPro cameras are, that doesn’t really help when it’s lying at the bottom of a lake.
After that it was just a matter of screwing in the GoPro and locking it down with the nut. It was set to look forward; the hope being that it would hang upside down with the tail holding it up. As you can see from the video, it sort of worked.
The other Idea I tried was tying light t-shirt material to the GoPro. This was tried in the first two shots in the video. It definitely made the camera point forward, but there was very little rotational stabilization, so it looks very out of control.
On the first couple shots, I swam out to get the camera, then paddled out on my surfboard. In the end, our dog Evie really wanted to help, and after we realized that she would just go get it for us, setting up the shots was quite a bit easier.
I was quite happy with the results of this “GoPro Water Balloon Slingshot,” and would be thrilled if anyone wanted to copy this idea. If you do try this, or have any questions, be sure to let me know in the comments!