We Threw an Axe at a GoPro To Test Its Durability, Here’s What Happened

We Threw an Axe at a GoPro To Test Its Durability, Here’s What Happened

GoPros are famous for their durability. I’ve written before about how impressed I am with their sheer stubborn will to live. But can a GoPro Hero 10 Black actually die? What does it take? To find out, I gathered a bunch of GoPros and some of the dumbest ideas I could find, and set about trying to destroy them in a true test of GoPro durability.

Some ideas, such as setting it on fire, microwaving it, and tying it to fireworks, had to be abandoned because lithium batteries can explode. Other ideas, such as shooting it with guns or arrows, had to be cancelled because firing ranges were concerned about the ricochet risk. And a few couldn’t happen, like slicing it with knives or putting it in a blender, because I like my blender and fancy knives too much and didn’t want them to get hurt.

However, we did put it through five rigorous and somewhat ridiculous tests. It should go without saying that you shouldn’t try this at home, but don’t try this at home. A cut lithium battery smells really bad and makes your skin kinda feel like burning for a while. Plus, you know, the aforementioned explosion risk.

GoPro durability test one: Can a GoPro survive being thrown off a roof?

A GoPro with minor scratches after being thrown off a roof as part of a GoPro durability challenge
Image: Alice Clarke

Method: Throwing it as hard as I can off the roof of my dad’s house.

What happened: On a fine winter’s day I went to the roof of my dad’s place in the country (the building manager at my apartment building wouldn’t let me drop it off the roof there) to just yeet the GoPro as hard as I could. The house is a bit taller than a standard two storey house, and I was able to throw the GoPro about 60m using standard shot-put technique. It landed on grass and was completely fine. Not a mark on it.


For Gizmodo Australia, I put the GoPro Hero 10 Black through five durability tests. Check my page for more (including ace throwing) and the Gizmodo site for the article. #GoPro #durability #experiment #destruction #gizmodo

♬ original sound – Alice Clarke

My dad attempted to throw the GoPro back up to me, accidentally hitting a window (made out of cyclone glass, the window was fine), causing it bounce onto concrete. The GoPro at this point sustained a minor scratch to the plastic surrounding the lens cover.

We went on like this for a while before we realised we would need to take it up a notch.

Dad started throwing it as hard as he could from the deck (about 3-4m up) onto some wood. The GoPro was fine.

I took it a step further by throwing it medium-hard from the roof onto concrete about 4-6m below. This snapped the battery cover, causing the battery to fall out. But the GoPro was otherwise unharmed, save some more scarring to the plastic housing.

The final step of this test was dad trying to skip the GoPro down the curved concrete steps as hard as he could. The GoPro hit the concrete walls and almost every step on the way down, causing a scratch to the rear screen, the battery cover to fully break and the battery to fall out. The camera turned back on and worked perfectly once the battery was replaced.

GoPro durability challenge result: The battery cover broke off
Bye bye battery cover. Image: Alice Clarke

Verdict: The GoPro itself can survive a heavy impact, but the battery cover (which is replaceable) might not.

GoPro durability test two: Can a GroPro survive having axes thrown at it?

A GoPro with the edge sliced off, exposing the innards. It failed the GoPro durability test
No. Image: Alice Clarke

Method: Using a hook and some duct tape, we attached a GoPro to a target at Maniax on Elizabeth Street in Melbourne and then threw increasingly larger axes at it to see what would happen.

Process: I started with a small hatchet, throwing two handed, overhead, as hard as I could at the target. It took some time to hit it, but even throwing the hatchet with all my strength (which isn’t exactly strongman levels, but isn’t nothing) the direct hit to the lens only broke the replaceable lens cover and left the lens itself fine. The camera continued recording.

Next up, we moved to larger axes and the manager of the store started throwing the larger axes himself at a separate GoPro. I had a lot of trouble getting a direct hit on my GoPro. He did not.


What happens when you throw axes at a GoPro? I found out for an article for Gizmodo Australia! Check out my page for more experiments such as throwing a GoPro off a roof, and hitting it with a baseball bat. #gopro #durabilitytest #gizmodo #maniax #melbourne

♬ original sound – Alice Clarke

With his first throw he made direct impact, shattering the lens cover and slicing about halfway through the GoPro. The GoPro stopped recording at this point, and the footage from the time of impact corrupted. He decided to continue throwing to see if he could get all the way through.

A short time later he made another direct impact and went two-thirds of the way through the GoPro, slicing open the battery. This is relevant for later.

After that I made a direct hit with the larger axe, fully slicing through the battery cover, top of the battery and, unfortunately, the memory card. The memory card is extremely dead, so unfortunately I don’t have any POV of the GoPro’s demise.

It was at this point that the fumes from the sliced open batteries started to get to us, and we realised they were getting a bit hot. The instructions from the Melbourne Fire Brigade were to monitor and wait until they cooled down. After about an hour, they did cool down enough that we no longer felt concerned about the explosion risk.

A GoPro with two larges slices taken out of it
This was Lachlan’s GoPro. Image: Alice Clarke

Verdict: GoPros will survive hatchets much better than you’d think, but they are no match for a well-aimed, well-thrown axe. Very much do not do this at home. The batteries smelled really bad.

A redheaded person holding an axe and a man holding a fire extinguisher
Alice and Lachlan. Image: Karma Clarke

GoPro durability test three: Can a GroPro survive being run over by a car?

A slightly damaged GoPro
Yes. Image: Alice Clarke

Method: Our friend Jam brought their car over and ran over the GoPro.

Process: I put the GoPro on the ground and Jam drove over it forwards and backwards, relatively slowly because we were in a carpark.


What happens when you run over a GoPro with a car? We investigate for Gizmodo. #gopro #durabilitytest #experiment

♬ original sound – Alice Clarke

Verdict: The GoPro was fine. The rear screen cracked a bit, but the camera kept recording the whole time. Both impressive and disappointing.

GoPro durability test four: GoPro vs freezer

A GoPro covered in ice
Brr, it’s cold in here. There must be some Clovers in the atmosphere. Image: Alice Clarke

Method: I put the GoPro in a takeaway container, filled it with water and then put it in a chest freezer to see how long it would take to stop recording.

Reason: This tested two things: how waterproof the GoPro is, and how well the battery can survive the cold.


What happens when you freeze a GoPro Hero 10 Black in a tub of water? I found out for Gizmodo Australia. Check the Gizmodo website for the full article. #gopro #durability #durabilitytest #experi

♬ original sound – Alice Clarke

Verdict: The GoPro survived the water just fine, but stopped recording after about an hour (one hour and two minutes) because the battery got too cold. There are Enduro batteries available for GoPros, which last longer, but they’re not included with the GoPro Hero 10 Black. An hour that cold is pretty good, and it did revive fairly well once it warmed back up, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re taking it skiing or something.

GoPro durability test five: Let’s play baseball with the GoPro

Two very broken GoPros after being hit with baseball bats
No. Image: Alice Clarke

Method: We used the GoPro as a ball and played baseball using different bats.

Process: First I got my dad to pitch the GoPro to me like a baseball to a wooden bat. The first hit removed the lens protector and corrupted the file. The second hit destroyed the battery cover and cracked the SD card.

Over to the metal bat, the first hit did nothing, really, because I just winged it rather than really hitting it. Hit two put the lens askew, but the rest of the camera remained ok.


How indestructible are #GoPros anyway? I’ve put them to a series of tests for @gizmodoau. Will this tiny but fierce camera survive being hit with a bat? 🫣Check my channel for the rest of the tests, and click onto Gizmodo to read the whole story.

♬ original sound – Alice Clarke

The third hit killed the memory card to death, the lens cover fell off and the rear screen got a bit damaged. The fourth hit seriously damaged the rear screen, making it half dead. The fifth hit didn’t make much difference. Then dad had a go and obliterated the battery cover, and the battery got quite bulbous and hot. At this point we decided to stop playing.

Verdict: The GoPro can survive more impact than you’d expect, and the camera itself survives better than the SD cards. I’m impressed with everything, except the SD cards.

All up, the GoPro Hero 10 Black is ridiculously durable. Can they make phones out of GoPros? Because that GoPro durability a lot. If you are doing something like this, though, make sure you can connect it to the internet so you can get the footage off it as you go. I’m still so sad I missed out on getting that footage of the GoPro’s POV of being destroyed by an axe. Also, don’t do anything like this.

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