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Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Feeling Chippa


Chippa Wilson, blowin' with the breeze in Hawaii.

He couldn't tell you where his name came from or where he's going, but Chippa does know surfing, specifically modern, progressive, aerial surfing. While the two are unrelated, you could think of Chippa Wilson as Julian Wilson's punk rock alter ego. Jules is your golf-playing, World Tour poster boy for Nike, while Chippa, who attacks the lip with equal ablomb, spends his days under the tattoo gun or on the road sniffing around for surf and other forms of entertainment. An abundantly talented goofy-footer from Australia, his surfing's as carefree as his attitude. Over the winter Analog tried to bottle some of his energy for their film "NOW." ESPN Surfing recently caught up the man to see where he's been hiding since:

Lets get it out of the way, where'd the name "Chippa" come from?
Not that question. I always get asked that and have no real answer to it. I said I was going to make some kind of cool story when I was asked next but still haven't.

Where you from?
I'm from the East coast of Australia, a little town called Cabarita Beach. I've grown up surfing the right-hand point that breaks of a headland at Caba, there's also heaps of other fun waves around there too.

How would you categorize your brand of surfing?
I guess it's a little modernized. I try and make it look as smooth as possible.

Wilson didn't quite ride out of this varial, but the attempt speaks to his creativity above the lip.

Who do you look up to for inspiration in the water?
There's a few things. I love board control, style, and someone with a diverse bag of tricks which look easier then what they are.

You're known as an air guy, do you think that misrepresents or generalizes what you're doing?
Yeah kind of, I mean I just like surfing. So whatever the waves are doing -- barrels, long walls, ramps -- I'll be doing whatever there is to suit those waves. Well, I'll try my best.

Career plans?
My ambitions are to stay around the front of modern surfing, travel the world and love it while it's happening.

Right. What will you be doing in five years?

Well, I may need to see someone with a crystal ball to know that one. You never know what could happen.

Best part of surfing comps is ...
Winning.

Worst part of surfing comps is ...
Bad waves.

In light of that river bore in Indo, the concept of a "perfect wave" changes with every passing generation, what makes a wave perfect in your mind?
That changes with what mood I'm in, I mean right now my perfect wave would be six to eight-foot Cloudbreak. But if I'm in my normal mood it would be a three to four-foot beachbreak, right and lefts with ramps at the end of every one.

Your movie project, tell us about it?
It was something me and my friend Riley Blakeway, who filmed and edited the flick, wanted to do ever since we were kids. When given an chance by Analog we jumped straight on it. The film is a feel good surf movie, it's all about having fun and traveling around to different cool places. Plus, my friends in are ripping in it too.

Plans for the summer?
I have no idea, this is the first time I have even thought of it. Hopefully getting busy filming and shooting somewhere.