Surfing With a Lifeproof Phone Case – Does it work?

Surfing with Lifeproof case

There’s really no point in taking your phone surfing when GoPros exist, right?

That’s what I thought… until Periscope.

If you haven’t heard of Periscope yet, it’s a fairly new mobile app for live streaming.

It hasn’t quite blown up yet, but there’s a lot of buzz around it, so I wanted to get in early.
(Follow me @hostevie if you have Periscope)

I upgraded my phone from a Samsung Galaxy S4, to an S6. So I can have the highest quality stream possible.

After doing some research, the Lifeproof case is pretty much the only high-quality option for a waterproof case for my Galaxy S6.

(After upgrading my phone and seeing the poor results with my Lifeproof case, someone recommended a Watershot case. Unfortunately they don’t have a Galaxy S6 version, only iPhone 6. Hopefully they will make one for the S6 soon)

Back to the story…
So I threw down $80 for the Lifeproof case. Other options were water resistant, but not waterproof. It’s a somewhat clunky case, and apparently the audio is greatly affected, but I am only using it when I surf.

Galaxy S6 Lifeproof case
I bite on the floaty when paddling out.

I attached a GoPro backdoor floaty to the back of the Lifeproof case, so I could hold it in my mouth while paddling out.

I took it out on a small day, when the waves were probably only 2 feet.

I started the Periscope broadcast on the sand, and paddled out with the phone in my mouth. As soon as water started to splash on it, things got funky.

The phone thought the water was my fingers, so random things would get “tapped” by the water splashes. Very annoying, and honestly I don’t think I even submerged the phone all the way.

At the end of my first wave, some water splashes made the Periscope app close, and my broadcast was ended. Sad times.

So I didn’t try using the regular photo or video functions on the phone, but I can’t imagine it works any better with those.

Of course I emailed Lifeproof and told them this story, and asked if they had any recommendations.
They replied with the following canned message:
“Thank you for contacting LifeProof. We are excited for the opportunity to assist with your request, and we look forward to exceeding your expectations.

All we need in order to process your replacement is a photo of your LifeProof product. Please follow all directions to prevent any processing delays.”

I did not request a replacement, nor did I say anything was damaged (nothing was). I just asked if they had any suggestions.

So if anyone from Lifeproof is reading this, please leave a comment or email me if you can help! I would love to do some live Periscope broadcasts while surfing every week.

Galaxy S6 waterproof case

I’ll keep trying to do broadcasts (usually weekends with small waves are when I will try this) and maybe Watershot will make a case for the S6 soon.

Please share any advice you might have!

Hey I'm Stevie, and I started this company (Ho Stevie!) in 2014 so I could bring more value to surfers like you. I want to build the best surf gear, at the best price for you, and provide the best service. (Over 100,000 happy customers agree!) I surf with our products every day here in San Diego, and when I'm not surfing, I'm working with my team to create the most entertaining and educational content about surfing (hence this blog). Drop a comment or email me if there's anything I can help you with!


  1. Periscope. …while surfing. I have nothing nice to say about the idea so I’ll refrain.
    However, concerning the water drops causing button and finger misfires on your phone, the same happens to my Galaxy S5 when I have it in the water without a case. I haven’t tested, but I suspect underwater (equal pressure on screen ) is less problematic then above water where it mistakes drops for finger input.
    Maybe try changing screen input sensitivity?

    • Oh I didn’t know I could do that… actually after searching Google I’m still not sure there’s an option for screen sensitivity. Do you know how to do it?


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