By Dale Mears
Joby has been releasing great accessories for action cameras (POV) for many years now. The original GorillaPod being an outstanding product and now available in all sizes, colours and materials to hold whatever you can throw at them or fit in with your fashion. Easy to carry, intuitive to use and outstanding performance. So what is Joby’s latest offering and how will it improve your game?
The Joby Suction Cup and Locking Arm/GorillaPod Arm is another suction cup to add to the current market. Now I know there are quite a few knocking about, GoPro produce one, Contour produce one, you can also go on eBay and pick one up for a reasonably cheap deal, but like those annoying sat nav suction cups they fall off, or simply don’t have the suction to hold onto most surfaces.
I have been using Joby’s new Suction Cup since the prototyping stages and the ability to stick onto a kayak with ease is something many people just don’t seem to try. I assume it’s fear of losing their precious camera but things have definitely moved on. The Suction Cup comes separate to the locking arm allowing you to use this with the full range of Joby Action Series products. On top of the Suction Cup is a quarter inch thread to screw in the Locking Arm or any other device. Once tightened this doesn’t budge and holds in place thanks to a small rubber washer supplied on the Locking Arm even when wet this holds in place and allows you to continue shooting.
The Suction Cup itself looks like any other however has a good amount of travel before locking into place, some suction cups are very shallow so you do not get a very good airlock. This allows you to use the Joby Suction Cup on not only flat surfaces but a good range of curvatures (test it first, as this is hard to measure). I have used these or seen them used on my Wavesport Recon, Wavesport Mobius, Pyranha Burn, Lettmann Granite, and Zet Raptor with ease. My one bit of advice is to keep it to a shiny surface. However, Joby has a range of cool stickers to allow you to expand your stickability – they really have thought of everything!
The Suction Cup is very intuitive, it has a red rubber band around the exterior, which can easily be gripped and twisted to lock the cup. I use these and have had no issues on my kayaks in the wet, or on my car bonnet, windscreen etc in the rain. I shall be taking mine skiing in February to try out on a ski/board too. Oh yeah and I’ve even stuck it onto a storm troopers helmet!
The Locking Arm features two ball joints and one allows you to pivot through 180 degrees and rotate through 360 so you have full control how you position your camera. I am a Contour user, so for me having the adjustability is great. Both ball joints lock in place thanks to a single twist lock knob making it quick and easy to adjust.
My advice for the most secure system is to lock on the Suction Cup first, separate to the locking arm and then screw in and tighten the Locking Arm in place before tweaking your positioning. This way your Locking Arm is tight into the Suction Cup. I always recommend using a tether with the Suction Cup for extra security, I have knocked mine off a couple of times but only due to hitting it with my paddle when on a short freestyle kayak and of course the dreaded slalom poles! Amazon sell some cheap 3M tethers that do a great job.
I used these earlier on this summer when filming for Joe Morley who was cartwheeling his creek boat with the Suction Cup and it stayed on strong with no problems.