Must Watch: Chippa Wilson’s “Video No.4”
“It’s sooo fucking crazy!” Jack Freestone says of the new Octopus film!
“It’s soooo fucking crazy,” Jack Freestone says of Chippa’s new edit, and we’ll be the first to agree.
The ten-minute heater above, filmed on a four-month, post-breakup bender, is certainly one of the most radical of the year, a raw collection filmed entirely in Indo this spring and summer.
Having just wrapped two months away from his beloved rural Australian hideout—traveling to Stab High, as well as a string of European premieres while competing in the WSL’s fledgling Air Tour—we caught up with Chippa as he was headed home, finally, for chrissakes, to work on his Chevy pick-up and his Travels With Charley–esque camper setup before hitting the road…
So this new flick came together pretty fuckin’ quick, brother? When did you start filming? And mostly in Indo, right?
Yeah, I did four trips altogether—I think we started around March, and we filmed until June.
We did two trips at the start, and the footage was sort of going nowhere, so I figured I’d put those trips together, and then I went on two real quick ones after to finish it out.
The first one was to South Sumatra. The second one was a boat trip to the Mentawais. Then we did a week in Bali, which was sort of a write off. Well, we got some shit, it’s in the movie. But we went pretty hard, partying.
The fourth one was to the Maldives, another boat trip.
When you’re approaching a project like this, are you going into it with specific waves in mind or tricks you want to tick off, or are you just going on surf trips with no plans, just seeing what you come back with?
This was the first one I ever worked on like this, so it was sort of new. When we came back from the two trips, like, I really wanted to get some backside stuff, because it was all lefts up to that point. That was why we went to Bali. To try to hunt down some backside ramps. But not so much tricks, I’m just trying to make something cool. I mean, there’s not a crazy amount of variety of tricks in the movie, it’s a lot of fuckin’ straight airs… [laughs]
Well, a lot of people came away from the premiere claiming it was the flick of the year so far…
Well, that’s exciting. I can only watch myself surf for, I don’t know, about thirty seconds [laughs]. So I’m glad they could watch ten minutes.
Who were you working with on this one?
I worked with a couple of filmers—Dave Fox, Beren Hall, Shane Fletcher, and Michael Cukr.
At what point did you feel like this was finished?
Dude, for me, I only worked on this for four months, but I would have loved to work on this for like an entire year. And still keep it at that length—ten minutes. I think that’s a good length to keep people interested. It’s plenty.
But for me, there were a bunch of clips that I kinda would have liked to leave out, and film more, really hunker down. I might do that next year, just settle in and film for a year on one project, and do that—one film each year. I really like the idea of working on something a little more long term.
So how’s Octopus going? I feel like every grom I see these days is running a full Octo kit—is it cool to see your guy’s influence with so many kids rocking front pads and jumping on the wagon?
Man, our front pads are sick—we sort of lucked out first sample, with that ¼-inch grip. We haven’t really had to change anything. It’s mental. It’s thin, you don’t feel like you’re on top of your board. A lot of the front pads that I rode before felt like you were just so on top of your board.
Yeah, disconnected, like an entire other layer under your feet.
But we got really lucky with the corduroy grip. I feel like with pads you gotta keep it as simple as you can. The whole gang at Octopus just wanted it to be simple, not loud, and that grip really worked out perfectly.
I feel like surfing with you guys the last couple years, and seeing just how fucking prone to injury you all are, the front pads really do help with confidence and seem to keep you guys from just blowing up your fucking knees.
One. Hundred. Percent.
For sure, man. Two years ago I would sort of throw them on here and there, not really all the time. But when I started going to Indo a lot, and just dealing with fucking melting wax and then slippery boards in colder places, after using front decks it’s just… you can’t not fuck them.
It’s a saving grace.
And when you land a big air on a front pad and it’s all nice and spongy…
For me, it’s night and fucking day.
I love being able to slam down on it and not, you know, hitting the stringer—just fucking heel bruises and shit like that [laughs]. It’s insane. I love it.
But those corduroys grips, I feel like I can move my food around plenty for like tuberiding and shit.
Yeah, totally. It’s a happy medium. You aren’t locked in, you know?
And when you get booties on, that combination is pretty amazing.
Yeah, I’ll hold out until my feet are fucking stumps before I put booties on.
I love em. I fucking love booties. The corduroy grip with good booties… That’s the shit.
I feel like I’m walking around in aquasocks.
Ha! I’m backing ’em, for sure! We just gotta get you some better booties.
Holmes, I run a surf mag, I’ve tried ’em all. Fuck ’em. So are you working a new signature pad?
I have one in the line right now that’s just a straight three-piece with a big ol’ vertical kick tail. But I’m working on a front pad. I just haven’t had time the last two months to design it.
I want to do sort of a combo tail pad and front deck, so I might make some adjustments to my tail pad. Just watching the footage [from Video No. 4], I walk up the board a bit when I’m tuberiding, and my back foot comes off the pad a bit when I’m getting barreled, so I might work on something new. A kind of old school, retro-vibe modular pad.
What else you got planned for this year?
I gotta go home for a bit, and hopefully spend a few weeks working on my camper and my truck, hopefully hit the road from there—that’s the next adventure. The truck’s ready to go, and the camper’s probably a couple weeks out.
You built yourself a freedom bird, man.
You probably won’t hear from me next year…
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