CHIPPA WILSON AND DION AGIUS RIDE HEAVENLY WEDGES ON A FRIGID, ISLAND PARADISE. ALL PHOTOS BY JOHN RESPONDEK. CAPTIONS BY CHIPPA WILSON (PICTURED RIGHT)
Chippa Wilson was driving around running errands when the call came through from Dion Agius. “If Dion calls it’s normally about a surf trip within the next 24 hours,” explains Chippa. While Chippa loves his re-vamped 1970s Ford Econoline van, the racket it makes ensures phone conversations are impossible, so he pulled over and promptly called Dion back. His hunch proved right and an upbeat Dion urged him to get on a plane to King Island the next morning. Chippa had spent a decade poring over photos and dreaming of KI’s bluebutter A-frames, but never quite hit the trigger on a trip. When Dion reached out, the Northern NSW Coast, where Chip resides, was awash with rank brown river water – suitable for little but the cultivation of bull sharks. Cerulean wedges on a wild coast seemed even more appealing than ever. By dusk the following day he was standing on a windswept Bass Strait knoll, alongside Dion, watching a new swell fill in. Fresh lines wrapping into a hallowed stretch and being broken up like new rain hitting a cracked gully – all translating into curling peaks of sandbottom bliss for surfers. For four straight days Chippa and Dion were like lucky pilgrims who had stumbled upon Arcadia – riding their first waves at dawn, camping out all day on the beach, and then phoning in their food orders to the pub as they trudged through the dunes on dark – windburnt and weary but with minds aglow as they tried to separate the syrupy barrels which had merged into one euphoric blur of blue.