You may remember several years ago a GoPro video bounced across the internet featuring North Carolina surfer Ben Bourgeois getting quickly drained at a Nicaraguan beach break at sunrise. Thousands have likely had the same experience, but something was different about Ben’s footage. It wasn’t in his mouth so that all we hear is the heavy breathing of a man hungry for a tube. Nor was it the handheld option or the surfboard nose mount looking back at him – all methods through which a piece of the getting barreled experience is lost. No, Ben’s angle of choice was a curious tail mount that perfectly captured him (with no leash, we should add) threading a Nicaraguan pit staying perfectly in frame.
As it happens, the pioneer of said strange tail mount is North Carolina-based craftsman named Ian Balding, and he’s quietly been refining the concept over the years. Recently, he got an updated prototype in the hands of Brett Barley, and the angle is pretty nuts. Not to mention, Barley’s first wave in the video above is a master class in foam ball navigation.
If we’re being honest, the mount isn’t the prettiest thing in the world. But its utility far outweighs its aesthetics if you’re able to get footage like what we see above.