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Wonderfully Simple Joby Gorillapod Broken Leg Fix

It’s pretty great what you can do with simple heat shrink tubing!

I’ve been using this small Joby tripod for the last couple years (and an older one much longer than that) — it worked great for a while, but as indicated in many of the Amazon reviews, the legs can develop a tendency to pop out of the socket, not unlike a dislocated shoulder or ankle.

This happened to me too, about a year after I got it. It was not too bad at first, but over time it loosened up to the point where any force applied to that leg would cause it to come apart, essentially rendering the unit useless for anything except static, standing-up uses. And as these devices are best for their location versatility, that’s no good!

I spent a while trying to device a fix for mine. I considered glueing the socket together, or amputating part of leg in hopes that the next joint would have more grip. Then one night, as the tripod and I stared at each other on my desk, it hit me: heat shrink tubing.

I grabbed my electronics kit, pulled out the largest diameter heat shrink I have (1/2″, I believe), and inserted the wounded leg. A blast of heat wrapped it tightly. Actually, it still felt a bit loose, as heat shrink stays pretty soft after you apply it, but an hour or so later it had firmed up.

I tested it out the next day with my GoPro, and the attempt was successful — the leg still had most of its range of motion, and the tubing held it together even when pushed far.

It’s been in use for about a half year now, and shows no sign of degradation. Now to find a fix for my older one that has almost no friction left in it whatsoever.