chippa wil­son

Tracks - - Fresh Fish -

You might not ex­pect Chippa Wil­son to have a thing for twin fins. The North Coast air spe­cial­ist boasts one of the most pro­gres­sive reper­toires in surf­ing. In a surf­ing sub-genre where your worth is mea­sured by a com­bi­na­tion of height and vari­a­tion, Chippa is the ul­ti­mate gym­nas­tic as­tro­naut. Fre­quently his clips and pho­tos re­quire a sec­ond and third glance to fully ap­pre­ci­ate the tech­ni­cal dif­fi­culty in­volved in his big, lip jumps. Matt Hur­worth thrusters are his usual space­craft, but a few years ago Chippa couldn’t help but fall un­der the spell of a par­tic­u­lar kind of twin fin.

Cel­e­brated surfer shaper, Neil Pur­chase Ju­nior, shares Chippa’s North Coast hunt­ing ground be­tween Kingscliff and Blacks. When Neil started show­ing up on ran­dom peaks, tear­ing on a board with two big fins, Chippa was a lit­tle tor­tured.

“They just looked too weird, strange. It just looks odd so it took me about six months of watch­ing him ab­so­lutely shred for me to get the courage to or­der one.”

NPJ’s un­ortho­dox look­ing ‘Duo’ model fea­tures two big sin­gle fins, placed four inches apart. The ex­tra length in the fins equates to more drive and the closer than nor­mal place­ment of the fins al­lows you to push a lot harder than on a nor­mal twin, while still pre­serv­ing some of that twinny free­dom and flow.

For Chippa, who loves to go as fast as pos­si­ble and then load up and throw the tail as hard he can, the board was in­stantly ad­dic­tive.

“I fi­nally or­dered one and it went as good as it looked in the wa­ter and from then on I was just hooked on twin fins. The big­gest thing that drew me to them is just the lines. You can get from A to B on a twin fin way quicker than you can on a three-fin board. That means you can draw dif­fer­ent lines

– go straight for a cou­ple more sec­onds; re­ally draw out your bot­tom hand turn and still have enough drive to hit the lip.”

Smit­ten with the Duo model, Chippa ex­plored other vari­a­tions on the twin fin and sug­gested that a two-plus-one model he got off Neil was one of the best boards for airs he’d ever owned. “I feel like it helps your surf­ing be­cause dif­fer­ent lines put you in dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions … you can do some crazy stuff, I think it helps your style. I couldn’t rec­om­mend it highly enough that peo­ple should al­ways try and mix it up… They’re so much quicker than nor­mal boards but the only down­fall is if it’s choppy you’re kind of screwed.”

On this trip the 5’5” stringer-less, epoxy Duo was Chippa’s reg­u­lar go-to. As the pho­tos and footage in­di­cate, Chippa’s aerial in­cli­na­tions were in no way sti­fled by the ab­sence of a third fin. Com­ment­ing on the board and his ex­per­i­men­ta­tion with dif­fer­ent fin com­bi­na­tions Chippa was clear about how to get the most out

of the de­sign. “It was so re­spon­sive and ac­tu­ally quite good for airs. I did swap the fins around in that Duo. I thought hav­ing smaller fins would make it a lot looser but I lost a lot of drive and I would bog – you shouldn’t be scared of big fins.”

Above: Colonel Chippa flanked by his twin fin bat­tal­ion.

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