GoPro founder’s awesome Barnesy connection
The man who created GoPro desperately wants to get in touch with Jimmy Barnes and "blow his mind".
Entrepreneur Nick Woodman, who attended the Consumer Electronics Show this week to promote his company's latest action cameras, told News Corp about his surprise connection to Australian rock royalty, formed after a chance encounter in 2002.
The pair met at Seal Rocks, on New South Wales' mid-north coast, during the now-famous five-month surfing trip that inspired his multimillion-dollar action camera brand.
At the time, the 26-year-old Californian adventurer was trying to create a basic camera that he and his friends could use to film themselves surfing, and he planned to start the business before he hit 30.
But Mr Woodman looked far from a stiff Silicon Valley suit - or a man who would later have a net worth of $US800 million - when he pulled up beside Barnes and his wife in a van bought and modified in Sydney's Kings Cross, along with a tatty tent.
The visiting Americans got along famously with the Barnes family regardless, and Mr Woodman said it was only later that he heard whispers around the campground that his new friend was a famous singer.
"I think he really got a kick out of staying near these guys who had no idea who he was," he laughed.
"He didn't think our tent was any good so he gave us his tent to use, and later he sent me all of his recordings."
But Mr Woodman said he lost Barnes' contact details and was eager to catch up and send him GoPro equipment to pay back his generous gesture to a random and friendly surfer 18 years ago.
News Corp reached out to the singer during his national tour with Cold Chisel this week, and discovered the tables had turned: Barnsey had no idea his surfer friend had become famous in his own right.
"I've only just heard about Nick's success but our family and band have used a lot of his GoPros," Barnes revealed.
"It's a pleasant surprise! I'm sure it's come with a lot of hard work, a brilliant idea!"
Barnes confirmed he and Jane gave the American surfers their tent - "we wanted them to have a good time in their travels surfing around Australia".
And Mr Woodman is keen to meet up with his old camping connection in future.
The GoPro CEO revealed his surprise Australian connection while showing off two new GoPro cameras at CES and the first of the company's camera Mods that add light, a microphone, or a screen to the devices for the first time.
The products are part of a major turnaround for GoPro, which struggled with a drone recall and lack of sales just two years ago, and made big investments in image stabilisation, software, and customer research.
"It's incredibly liberating to have that behind us because now the majority of what people talk about is how great the products are and not 'how's the business going'," he said. "What you want people doing is talking about your products."
And perhaps even taking them camping.