Choosing a pole for your GoPro can be confusing. There are hundreds of poles and selfie sticks on the market, some more expensive and some are dirt cheap. UKPro is one of the brands that produce high-quality durable poles and are doing a good job at it. We got our hands on the Pole 38HDF to see how it stacks up against it`s competition and here are the results.
UKPro Pole 38HDF – first look
The pole itself is black with a bright orange rubber grip, that has a hand protector, almost like a sword. The handle has a solid non-slip rubber coating so it`s really a good hold even when soaking wet. This might seem like an unimportant thing, but for a pole that is meant to be used in water, this can be a deal breaker. We tested it while kitesurfing and in really cold conditions, where the fingers start to get stiff but we had no issues getting a good solid grip. The sword-like hand protector keeps your hand from slipping off the grip. It might be a handy feature but it also makes the pole harder to pack down when you are short of luggage space. We felt like it could be a bit smaller to make it more compact and travel-friendly.
The orange color makes the pole stand out when you happen to lose it in water, snow or tall grass and we loved this feature. Although Pole 38HDF has a really solid lanyard with a rubber padding and an adjustment pulley you might end up in situations where you lose the pole and the bright color can save your GoPro in those situations.
What makes Pole 38HDF a truly watersport-friendly pole is the floater foam tube around the base of the pole. The foam has enough volume to keep the pole afloat with the GoPro attached so you don`t even have to attach the lanyard every time you use your GoPro above the water. The pole won`t sink and you can retrieve it easily.
Another reason we really love the floater is that you can grab it in your mouth when you need both hands. This might seem like a non-issue, but you don`t want to bite down on a plastic or metal pole and the foam is perfect if you paddle on a surfboard or need to control your kite when kitesurfing or adjust your snowboard straps while riding or you just need to swim a few strokes.
The size retracted is 16” and 38” when extended. That`s a solid reach and is not too intrusive when packed down. Of course, you can set it anywhere in between also.
The Pole 38HDF comes with the attachment screw that is different from the original GoPro screw and we love it. The screw makes it so much easier to tighten and loosen when hands are cold. Try tightening the GoPro original screw with gloves on – impossible, so much simpler with the UKPro screw that is big enough and has the flat shape to operate it with oven mittens if needed to.
What we like about the pole is that it`s made of lightweight high-strength anodized aluminum and stainless steel so it`s really really light but still sturdy enough. We even mounted a DSLR camera with a big wide angle lens to it and we saw only minimal bend. So we are pretty sure this pole can handle a lot of weight and not give up on you.
Using Pole 38HDF
The number one thing that really makes this pole different from the rest and why we loved using it is the foam floater. There are many floating poles around, some have sealed insides so the air inside the pole itself works as a floating device but UKPro has a different approach. Although it adds some bulkiness to it and it might be an issue when you have really limited space in your backpack but for is it never came up.
We actually found it useful when strapping it down to the side of our backpack because it provided some additional grip and the backpack strap held the pole nicely. This might be an issue with smooth solid metal and plastic poles that will slip more.
Another good use we found for the foam grip was that you can grab it with your teeth if you need to use both your hands but don`t want to or can`t put the pole down for some reason. And unless you have shark teeth or monster jaw strength you don`t have to worry about chewing the foam up too much. It`s very flexible and we coulnd`t manage to leave any bite marks on it.
One small issue for us is the hand protector ring that we feel is a bit unnecessary or a bit too big. It`s actually even a bit bigger than the floater diameter so even if you can squeeze the foam a bit tighter for packing the handle ring can be a nuisance if you pack the pole down for traveling. And it`s not like you will stab someone in the stomach with the pole and need a stopper on the handle right?
Pole 38HDF can be modified to with different additional mount that you can get from UKPro.
We had three different mounts to use:
- Dual Mount
- Tripod Mount Head Adapter
- Pivot Mount 4″
The Dual mount is a small double-mount that enables you to add multiple different configurations to the pole.
You can use it to hook up two GoPros facing the opposite direction, a GoPro and a light source to get footage at low light conditions or hook up your phone to get the live view on a bigger screen for better framing. The Dual mount gives a lot of options and endless configurations so you can really up your GoPro game with this addition.
Tripod Mount Head Adapter does what the name suggests – you can put your DSLR or a pocket camera or any other device that has the standard tripod mount on the Pole 38HDF. A really good feature when traveling with other cameras besides your GoPro
Pivot Mount 4” is a small extender that you can set it at any angle you desire to extend the pole or create an angle. Additional 4.25″ (10 cms) will give you a decent extension on any GoPro mount you might have.
The only thing you need to consider using those additional mounts is that you need to have tools with you. The main mount can be removed with a nut and a bolt so you need a screwdriver and pliers to hold down the nut. When on the move this can limit your options so consider throwing a pair of pliers and a screwdriver in your GoPro case. We would love to see some sort of quick release system for them or why not just using the standard GoPro mounting bracket for easy and fast operation? The Pivot Mount, Dual Mount and the Tripod Mount all have a “tool-free” attachment so it would be perfect to implement that on the main attachments also.
But if you are not in a hurry the mounts work perfectly and we found them to be really useful and essential to the setup. The Dual Mount is perfect for attaching the phone to the pole so you can see the footage and get the best angles possible.
The Pivot Mount is a great way to move your GoPro a bit further away from the pole itself so it`s not that intrusive in the image.
What we love about UKPro Pole 38HDF
- No bend
- Quality materials
- Bright handle
- Handy screws
- Strong lanyard
- Foam floater
- The handle protector ring could be smaller for better packing
Things we don`t love
- Changing the mounts need a screwdriver and pliers
UKPro Pole 38HDF – Our verdict!
If you ever use your GoPro in or over water then get this pole. The floater will save your camera and the bright orange handle is perfect to spot the grip when you lose it. The lightweight materials are durable and sturdy enough to hold up a heavy DSLR without bending too much.
The pole comes with a pretty nice price tag, so everyone can afford it and you know you will get a quality pole.
Learn more about Pole 38HDF from UKPro.com
Get it from UKPro Amazon store
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