Have you ever wanted to capture yourself looking like a pro, but don’t have a personal photographer? We’ve all been there, you’re having the best session of your life or you’ve just landed a new move, but there’s no one there to capture the memory, or perhaps even worse your mates on the beach didn’t see you land that elusive move - whether it be your first carve gybe or your first loop - and simply won’t believe you. Well, now you can put an end to all of that with the help of Flymount, paired with your camera.
Flymount specialise in camera mounts designed for the most of extreme of conditions, so you can have full faith of capturing those magic moments no matter how tough and gnarly the conditions may seem. The Flymount will handle anything and everything you can throw at it!
To give you all the information you need to know about Flymount we caught up with the man responsible for this simple yet ingenious product, for a full interview. Read our interview with Joe Knapton below:
PWA: Firstly, we’re delighted to welcome you on board the PWA as a platinum sponsor, where did the idea for Flymount originate and when did you establish yourself as a brand?
JK: “The idea started during the winter of 2005 / 2006 in Tarifa, Spain. I was living down there with my girlfriend (now my wife) and we had one of the early waterproof digital cameras made by Pentax. We wanted to mount the camera onto our windsurf rigs, but couldnʼt find a mount that would do it, so we started making them ourselves. The camera and the homemade mounts attracted a lot of interest whenever we used them, so we decided to make a business out of it. Flymount as a brand was launched a couple of years later with the first full production version of our mount.”
PWA: Youʼre now on the third generation of Flymounts, what have the main changes been over the years and how has this improved an already great product?
JK: “Windsurfing is a small market, so we realised that the product needed to work on a variety of different equipment to give it a broad market appeal. Luckily, windsurfing is a great starting place to develop a product like this - if it holds tight on a windsurf mast landing a backloop, or being rinsed by a wave, then it wonʼt budge when itʼs on someoneʼs handlebars!”
“The very first mounts used the same system as a tripod (or any other mount) to attach the camera - they just screwed on to the cameraʼs tripod point. The problem with using just the tripod mount was that the vibration would make them unwind, and fall off!”
“This was before GoPro had taken off, so we spent a lot of time developing a mounting system around standard compact cameras. Our mounting system held the camera in two places, thus eliminating any possibility of unwinding.”
“To make it really versatile we extended the range of the product, to allow it to fit onto virtually any diameter of tube found on action sports equipment, from roll bars to BMX handlebars. We also lined the jaws with grippy urethane to protect peopleʼs gear, and prevent movement. Then we added a clever adjustment mechanism to keep the whole unit really compact, even when the jaws are fully open.”
“Weʼve used different materials over the years, but have now settled on a combination of marine grade stainless steel 316, and glass reinforced Nylon-66. This makes the mounts extremely strong - they should last a lifetime. Our camera mounts are 100% British - manufactured and assembled by us. This gives us full control over the materials used, and the care put into assembling them.”
“The current 3rd Generation version of the Flymount Original will look at first glance very similar to the 1st Generation. We prefer a gentle evolution when we make upgrades, rather than a complete redesign. Itʼs an extremely good product that doesnʼt need changing.”
PWA: Does the Flymount only work with a specific camera or a variety?
JK: “Flymounts work with any camera. We always like to say ʻvirtually any cameraʼ but Iʼm yet to find a camera that wonʼt work with our mounts. Out of the box, the Flymount will screw into a camera just like any other mount. However, we manufacture a range of adapters to suit the customerʼs camera, and recommend these to prevent camera unwinding, as mentioned before. GoPro is now the market leader in this area of photography, and we make two great adapters for their cameras.”
PWA: Who is the Flymount aimed at? Purely windsurfers?
JK: “We do still sell a lot of mounts to windsurfers, but windsurfing is now just a part of our market, with mainstream sports like mountain biking making up a big part of our sales. Weʼre very happy to say that Flymounts are used by the likes of Darrell Wong and John Carter, and unofficially by the BBC and Chanel 5 here in the UK.”
PWA: As the innovator of the product do you have any tips for setting up and getting the best out of the Flymount?
JK: “A lot of people like to use their Flymounts on the boom, which gives some great results, but my favourite mounting point is still on the mast - a third of the way down from the mast tip (if using a wide angle camera), and pointing at the harness lines. I love the classic mast mount frame like this - it reminds me of the old mast mount shots from the eighties and nineties that I had plastered over my bedroom wall as a kid.”
PWA: Are there any steps people should take to maintain it?
JK: “A quick wash in fresh water from time to time is a good idea, but overall theyʼre designed to not need much maintenance. If any sand gets into the metal parts, it usually works itself out by opening and closing the jaws a few times.”
PWA: Whatʼs included when you buy a Flymount and do you need any optional extras to begin using it?
JK: “Inside the box, the Flymount comes with a standard tripod adapter, and our patent pending safety leash. This means that the mount works straight away with any camera, but for any filming under high vibration, we strongly recommend one of our camera specific adapters. Most people buy the two together.”
PWA: Finally, where can you purchase Flymountʼs?
JK: “We have dealers all over the world - a full list can be found on our website - www.flymount.com”
PWA: Thanks, it’s a pleasure to have you on board, we look forward to seeing even more amazing photos and video captured by the Flymount!
Not only do Flymount have a dedicated website, but you can also ‘like’ their Facebook Fan page, which features just some of the amazing action which can be caught whilst using a flymount. Their page can be found here.