By Dan Dobbin.
Often spotted around large suburban areas with an abundance of semi-hollow beach breaks.Middle aged, ranging from moderately fit to low level huffing and puffing to the peak, GoPro Guy is the blood that keeps the gears of the bodyboarding industry lubricated.
GoPro guy surfs in a long arm, short leg springy just like Ben Player used at Blackrock in the early 2000’s, all year round because it keeps him warm in winter and protected from the sun in summer.
His fins are often something a little unusual like DMC or ERS4 fins.
He usually sports the latest, most expensive NMD board with an elaborate wax job, sometimes still making the rookie mistake of employing a cross criss pattern.
GoPro guy will be sure to plug his board a good couple of inches wider than the recommended distance from the stringer so as to be sure not to fuck up his expensive purchase with sloppy plug placement.
Conversly, GoPro guy is happy to drive a whole bunch of screws and metal plates through his board to add a tail or even nose mounted pole onto which to secure his GoPro.
GoPro guy does this because he is a bodyboarder of only moderate ability. He’s good enough to surf decent waves, but unable to perform manoeuvres at a high enough level for a photographer or videographer to bother to point their lense his way, ergo he has to gather his own content.
GoPro guy doesn’t really care though. The shakey, often hard to decipher barrel footage he gathers that seemed fresh and exciting in 2009 is still deemed fresh and excitable enough to GoPro guy to want to upload it to social media after each session.
GoPro guy often surfs with other GoPro guy’s and as they log their sessions on social media they will often comment on each others posts about what transpired during their session.
GoPro guy is very active on social media, always popping positive vibes, bringing the stoke and happy to offering advice and knowledge to others.
Although outwardly confident, GoPro guy is secretly a little self conscious about his ability level in an activity that he is so invested in, so GoPro guy is always thinking of ways he can try to improve his riding.
The answer he usually comes up with is to buy newer and more high performance boards which will hopefully vastly improve his surfing. This means asking questions like ” Can anyone compare the Hubboard’s Scifive to the VS Wifly in terms of speed and performance? Should I stick with 41.75 or go big and get a 42′?” on Facebook.
Because he feels the need to prove his bodyboarding creditials and usually surf’s in highly populated locations, GoPro guy also feels the need to name drop and announce the location of any wave he recognises others surfing on social media, as well as recount how he has scored it epic and will have to get back there soon.
When called on his tone deaf behaviour by others, GoPro guy doesn’t see the problem with broadcasting the location and exact conditions the wave works on because ” everyone knows all about it and where it is already anyway”.
GoPro guy loves bodyboarding and talking about bodyboarding so he is a member of his local Bodyboard club. Sometimes he’ll luck his way out of a heat or two on the back of a lucky barrel or by drawing two other GoPro guy level competitors in the heat.
Once or twice a year he may even make a final where he invariably finishes 4th, let down by his inability to consistently complete manoeuvres, his difficulty in getting into waves early because of his off beat fins, overheating or shivering in his long arm, short leg springy and feeling unbalanced on his board because his GoPro mount is de-mounted when he’s in competition.
Still, getting 4th place gives GoPro guy something different to post about on social media, like a podium shot, where he tags anyone and everyone associated with the club and it’s sponsors and comments ” Awesome day of competition at L.C.D.B. with these legends”.
GoPro guy also tags the companies who’s equipment he was riding in the hope of scoring a comment or, god forbid, a repost of his picture in their social media feed.
That would be an red letter day for GoPro guy, almost as good as the time he scored Boneyards down the coast pumping when he road tripped there last year when that big cyclone swell hit. Everyone thought it would be too big but GoPro guy just knew it would be holding. Man, he got epic footage that day…..