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How to shoot in the barrel GoPro surfing with Ian Battrick

Shot 100% on GoPro HERO6® camera.

Filmed & edited by Ian Battrick, giving you an insight and feel into winter living. As well as some icy tubes, being filmed from a tube view tail mount, mouth & surfboard nose camera angles.

This footage has been flipped horizontally for your goofy footed viewing pleasure.

Jersey’s Ian Battrick has been a fixture in the British surf scene for decades. He’s been a sponsored freesurfer exploring deep in Indonesia, made an incredible book with Tim Nunn exploring the cold corners of the world and is now partners in a rider owned wetsuit and accessory company Lunasurf.
He has spent more time in the barrel than most folks on the planet. So it’s no surprise he’s a bit good at filming the elusive in the tube shot pioneered by George Greenough. These days it’s a bit easier to do with a GoPro than mounting a film camera on an unwieldy rig and using a surf mat to get deep. Enjoy the footage from this winter and read on for some tips.

How long did you spend up north this winter?
A couple of months living in the van.

How cold was the coldest day air temp/wind chill/water temp.
Honestly, I have no idea. I don’t look at the numbers and think about them. It is whatever it is, I’m going surfing anyway, it’s is the best way. The warmest part of my days is in my wetsuit anyway. Hanging out in the house is way colder to deal with. I was actually too warm in my new Lunasurf 6.4mm.

Did you get many solo sessions?
You can get plenty when its howling onshore and a foot yes.

Do you get creeped out in the haunted house?
No, I like it in there. Even the coldness of hanging out in there is good for you, when you go outside afterwards it is warmer, so you are bulletproof in comparison. Leaving the windows open actually heats the place up.

Did you escape the beast from the east?
I was driving back through the start of it, but missed the worst of it.

How hard is working with a tail mounted camera?
It is different, a little harder, but you get used to it. You need to be more careful popping up not to knock the camera angle. To get a nice clip tail mount you have to ride the wave differently. Normally you might just hook in under the lip on takeoff, and stall as deep as you want to go with your hand. But with a tail mount you have to really try to set up the barrel without touching it, or using your hand to stall, as it will spray up the camera. Riding in/behind/on the foamball and shockwaves with the GoPro in your mouth you still get a nice clean view, whilst with the tailcam riding the foamball it can spray up the shot for a second or so. It’s all experimentation. The mount is actually bolted through the tail of of the board, and the base adds a tiny bit more tail weight but you get accustomed to that.

Do you ride a bigger board to stop kicking it off?
Yes I normally ride a 5’8″. For the tailcamera shots I was riding a 6’3″ slightly tweaked Doofer as a step up, shaped by Lee Bartlett at Fourth surfboards.

What are your top tips for working with a GoPro?
As the set is approaching, lick the camera lens, and duck it under water once afterwards, this will keep water droplets off the screen better than anything else I’ve tried. Test your settings and angles before you surf. Then you know what you are in for when you score a nice day to shoot, and you will not be blowing it having the wrong angle. I draw a line (sometimes several for different angles of view) across the teeth where the gopro housing meets the mount housing. Then, if it moves on a wipeout or knock, you aren’t guessing what angle to have the camera at again, you know that line and the shot it gives. Always use the float. Make sure you have more than enough memory on your card, there’s nothing worse than the surf turns on, you are out there and run out of memory.

That reef is pretty bloody slippery when it’s icy, stack it at all?
Only one major high speed stack, and resulting in no dings, so no problem.

What did you do in the bulk of the day up there mid-winter when it’s dark?
I worked online, trained, read. There is always something going on.

How the hell are you not drinking coffee anymore?!?!
I was on about six litres a day of espresso for a fair while, I just thought it was probably getting to time to knock it on the head.

Interview by Roger Sharp / Carve Surfing Magazine

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