Best GoPro Accessories for Snorkeling
Make your photos & video a lot better (and easier): a guide to the best GoPro accessories for snorkeling: 5 I can’t do without
My absolute favorite thing to do when snorkeling is to utilize my GoPro.
Snorkeling is incredible in and of itself; I’ve had the blessing to swim with dolphins, sea turtles, massive numbers of tropical fish, whale sharks, humpback whales, rays, sharks, and much more in stunning coral forests and the open ocean. It has been fantastic.
But when I take my GoPro (along with a couple of the best GoPro accessories for snorkeling in 2023), I not only get to enjoy those moments, but I also get to record them and keep them forever in a very genuine sense.
Instead of just trying to picture myself and my loved ones among those fantastic creatures and settings, I can relive those trips at any time. I can post them all over my apartment, Instagram feed, YouTube channel, or living room walls.
Needless to say, I love GoPro cameras for snorkeling.
Even after years of tough competition, GoPro has reestablished itself as the best action camera maker for snorkeling with the release of the GoPro Hero10 Black (Amazon). Not only do the Hero9’s 5.3K films and 23-megapixel photographs dazzle, but the camera’s new Hindsight and Horizon Lock functions are revolutionary for snorkelers. What can I say?
(For more information on the new capabilities and how they will function for snorkeling, check out our post titled The Latest GoPro for Snorkeling: 3 Keys for Buying or Upgrading to the HERO 10 Black.) However, the number of features and performance improvements attributed to the device’s excellent hardware is limited. To elevate your snorkeling images and videos from perfect to exceptional, you need to familiarise yourself with GoPro’s underwater capabilities and pick up some of the best GoPro accessories for snorkeling in 2023. And with that, let’s get down to business.
What Do You Need To Use Your GoPro Underwater?
If you want to capture the beauty and wonder of the underwater world with your GoPro, you don’t need to worry about getting a case for your camera. The newest GoPro models can handle the water pressure up to certain depths and keep your camera safe and dry. But more is needed to get the best results for your footage. You must also know some tips and tricks and use some GoPro underwater accessories specially designed for aquatic photography and videography.
These accessories can help you stabilize your camera, improve your image quality, enhance your colours, and explore new perspectives. They can make a big difference in how your underwater videos and photos turn out.
Make Sure You Have the Right GoPro Settings for Snorkeling.
Knowing how to operate a GoPro underwater is a prerequisite before discussing the best GoPro accessories for snorkeling. Even the best camera and accessories would be useless without proper camera settings.
To get the most out of your GoPro while underwater and to make post-production editing a snap, you’ll want to dial in the ideal numbers for framerate, video quality, color balance, and other parameters. Since there is so much to consider, I dedicated an entire post to the optimal GoPro settings for snorkeling, titled How to Use a GoPro for Snorkeling: 5 Easy Steps with Photos. You should look at it before your next trip so you can fine-tune your GoPro.
The Best GoPro Accessories for Snorkeling
After we get our GoPro properly adjusted for snorkeling, we will begin. Underwater photography, however, is an entirely different beast and can present some challenges. I usually bring along a few essentials to ensure that the GoPro photography I take while snorkeling is as simple and high-quality as possible.
A floating handgrip is the main accessory I always, always, always have hooked to my GoPro whenever I’m in or near water.
Even though it is naturally waterproof to a depth of 10 metres (33 feet), the GoPro Hero10 Black does not float. And many people have dropped their GoPros while diving or off the side of a boat, and the camera—along with everything stored on the memory card—sank to the bottom of the sea, never to be found. Talk about a downer.
Get a floating handgrip in its place. When utilising your GoPro in the water, they’ll save you a lot of heartaches because they’re cheap, lightweight, and simple to bring. I enjoy using the CamKix Waterproof Telescopic Floating Hand Grip, which is available on Amazon. It floats effortlessly with my GoPro attached; the bright handle pieces make it simple to spot if I ever need to track it down in the water.
It extends (which is excellent for getting a closer look at something outside arms’ length or for taking simple underwater selfies with family and friends), and the grip is hollow, allowing me to stow cash, rings, or any other smallish items in it that I wouldn’t want to leave unattended. It makes no sense.
GoPro Protective Housing
Now that we have a plan for keeping our GoPro safe underwater, we can discuss ways to improve the quality of our final footage and images. The GoPro Protective Housing (Hero10/Hero9 version, available from Amazon) is the first step in achieving this goal.
There is some thought put into camera security with Protective Housing. I have noted that the Hero10 Black is waterproof to a depth of 10 metres (33 feet), but this surprisingly easy casing that clicks over your GoPro increases that depth to an incredible 60 metres (196 feet). While you probably won’t go much deeper than 33 feet when snorkeling, you can still utilise your GoPro for more advanced scuba diving if you want.
The action camera is sturdy, but the housing significantly increases its longevity. When this isn’t ordinarily necessary while swimming, it can prevent damage to your camera’s lens or sensor if you have any kind of fall or spill while engaging in intense land-based activities. As a result, that’s a welcome added benefit.
When we go snorkelling, though, we start with the GoPro Protective Housing (Hero10/Hero9 version on Amazon), and then we add various high-tech lenses and filters to make our underwater images stand out. If you need a protective case for your GoPro Hero, you can acquire the Hero8 Black version on Amazon or the Hero7 version here if you have an earlier model.
The Best Red Filters for GoPro
Regarding snorkeling, a set of red filters [Wikipedia summary] for your GoPro will improve your underwater photos the most. You can easily attach them to the GoPro Protective Housing (Amazon) we recommended before.
The underwater environment is often very different from the terrestrial one, which is why red filters are so helpful. Even if the lighting seems good, your camera may not capture it correctly, and your photographs and videos may look muddy and too blue or green. This is because varied water conditions allow different wavelengths of light to bend in different ways, which isn’t great for photography.
However, if you equip your GoPro with the appropriate red filter, you can eliminate the light sources that distort the colours in your footage and photographs, resulting in a much more lifelike presentation. Since 99% of snorkeling footage isn’t captured precisely at the surface, this is a significant deal.
I think the PolarPro DiveMaster Filters (Hero10/Hero9 version on Amazon) are the most delicate red filters for GoPro. The package includes three distinct red filters that easily snap into your GoPro Protective Housing depending on the colour of the water you’ll be filming in.
(Amazon also sells PolarPro filters designed for the Hero8 Protective Housing and a SOONSUN alternative suitable for the Heroes 5-7.) PolarPro Dive Filters have dramatically improved the colour accuracy of my underwater photographs and films. We could get into the physics of how and why they function, but instead, let’s simply have a look at the difference for ourselves:
The red filters for the GoPro are so crucial to underwater photography that I dedicated an entire guide to them (What’s the Best GoPro Red Filter for Snorkeling & Scuba?)
GoPro Underwater Photo Dome
A high-quality underwater picture dome is another one of the best GoPro accessories for snorkeling that will dramatically improve the quality of your photos and videos. Do you ever see those wonderful underwater photos where half the subject is visible above the water, and the other half is submerged? That’d be nearly impossible with just a GoPro, but guess what? For this purpose, underwater domes are ideal.
You’ll be able to clean your GoPro lens before diving, and be sure that it will stay clean for the duration of your dive, thanks to the added protection they provide from the elements. The Telesin Dome (Hero10/Hero9 on Amazon) is my go-to underwater dome for the GoPro. It’s not too heavy, yet it holds up well, and the price is right without feeling stingy. It’s an excellent option for everybody and may be used as a handgrip in midair.
However, the Telesin Dome is often criticised for its tendency to fog up when submerged in water. You may avoid this nearly totally by cleaning and defogging the interior of the dome before you enter the water, much like I propose cleaning and defogging snorkel masks in (How to Clean a Snorkel Mask & Easily Prevent Fog and Damage) (and by not leaving it in direct sunlight).
Extra Battery & Memory Card for Your GoPro
Finally, one of the best GoPro accessories for snorkeling is a spare battery and memory card, which are not as flashy as the other things on our list.
As with previous Hero models, the GoPro Hero10 Black’s battery life is superb, allowing up to 112 minutes of 4K/30p filming [source]. They also limit file sizes, so shooting in 4K or higher won’t immediately fill up your memory card.
However, there are always limitations, and if you end up snorkeling for longer than a morning or afternoon snorkel excursion would allow, it’s a good idea to bring along a spare battery and memory card. When your camera’s battery dies, or its memory card fills up amid a trip, and you have to leave it on the boat, you risk missing out on a beautiful underwater moment that you won’t be able to relive again. Ugh.
You’ll also need a certain kind of memory card for optimal GoPro footage. A slow microSD card won’t be able to keep up with the massive 4K and higher video files that your GoPro will send. If you don’t do this, you risk having corrupted or incomplete footage when you go back to review everything.
If you’re interested in shooting 4K or 5K footage with your GoPro, I recommend the SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I (available on Amazon) with at least 256GB capacity. It’s a high-end memory card that doesn’t break the bank, and I’ve never lost a video to it, no matter how many times I’ve compressed it or how high the quality (or for how long).
The sort of battery you will require is determined by the model of GoPro you own. Here’s a short rundown of the Amazon direct listings for each model type:
- GoPro Hero10/Hero9 Black batteries (x2) plus a charger
- GoPro Heroes 5-7 Black solo battery
- GoPro Heroes 6-8 Black battery plus a charger
Snorkeling on its own is always fantastic and frequently results in lifelong memories. But, with a GoPro, I can also record those experiences and keep them forever, communicating them with anyone and wherever I choose. It’s a lovely complement to something already fantastic.
On the other hand, buying a GoPro and jumping in the water is unlikely to yield high-quality results. There are a few items you should get to protect your new investment and a few more to truly make your photo and video seem slick. And our list of the best GoPro snorkeling accessories will get you started!