On our last trip to St. Lucia I had a chance to put my new GoPole Reach to the test. I’ve currently been using the POV pole, which I loved, but wanted to get a selfie stick (monopod) that can float so that I wasn’t worrying every time I used it in water.
The first thing I noticed was that the GoPole Reach was significantly thicker than the POV Pole. Not just in the hand grip but in the pole itself. The larger hand grip was not much of a big deal for me but the thickness of the pole made it more noticeable whenever the pole was caught in the shot.
SIZE: POV Pole wins!
When collapsed the GoPole Reach was also significantly longer than my POV Pole. This made it difficult to travel with, as my POV Pole can fit into my back pack with the GoPro camera attached, while the GoPole Reach had to stick out of my pack (This was my second least favorite aspect of this pole). While it is much larger collapsed when fully extended, the GoPole Reach is only slightly longer than the POV Pole.
The GoPole Reach is just slightly longer when extended
OPEN and CLOSING: POV Pole wins!
This is my biggest problem withe the GoPole Reach. Both monopods use a similar motion to extend and collapse the pole. You twist and pull to extend and then twist the opposite direction to lock it. The problem with the GoPole Reach is that there is no “stop” when you twist and you have to grab each section individually and extend them one by one or else the pole will just be free spinning. For example, I first hold on to the hand grip and the middle section and extend that portion. Next I have to hold the middle portion and the top to extend it the rest of the way. With the POV Pole I can extend and collapse with my hand on the grip the whole time. The POV Pole will turn about a quarter turn and then hit a “stop” which allows you to extend the first section. Then to open the next section you just continue to turn another quarterfrom the hand grip until it hits the next “stop” and so on. It really makes a difference especially in the water when your hands are too slippery to grab the smooth cylinder tubing. There were times when I couldn’t even adjust the size of the Reach while underwater.
Although it is a good 4 to 5 inches longer when collapsed
STEADINESS: POV Pole wins!
The heaviness of the The GoPole Reach also made it front heavy when trying to shoot. It was not a huge difference but it was noticeable. The biggest downside was underwater. Because the Reach floats I was always fighting with it to take video underwater. The POV Pole does not float but it moves very smoothly when swinging it around underwater (just make sure you have the wrist strap on!)
OVERALL: POV Pole wins!
While the POV Pole wins hands down in just about every aspect, the GoPole Reach will still have its uses. It’s main use will probably be when I am taking video above a water surface and want to protect it from sinking in case it falls from my hands. I’ll probably be using the Reach on boats or water sports but not under the water like when we’re snorkeling or diving.