The SurfStitch Shop Team Models Rubber on Australia's Most Perfect Catwalk - Stab Mag

Now Live: "Zipper" — A Film By Stab & Monster

1333 Views

The SurfStitch Shop Team Models Rubber on Australia’s Most Perfect Catwalk

Jai Glindeman, Chippa Wilson, Benny Howard and Mitch Crews surf Australia’s most perfect wave.

cinema // Jun 2, 2021
Words by Alistair Klinkenberg
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Photos by John Respondek

“I love the Shop Team idea,” says Chippa Wilson.

“Back in the day I was sponsored by Kingy Surf in Kingscliff. It was rad – they put on local grom comps, hooked the local kids up with discounts for wax and grips and it was just the coolest vibe ever. And this is similar, you just get your wax and stuff online.”

The idea’s pretty simple. Instead of using models or having to constantly wade through the legality of shooting professional surfers under contract (who can wear what, when etc), SurfStitch locked in four of the most captivating surfers in Australia and off they went. It’s coming up to winter, S’Stitch stocks all the rubber the boys’ sponsors product, so they shipped them off to Australia’s best catwalk/worst kept secret spot, and put them to work.

Nobody does it half as good as you, Chippa you’re the best…

“We went down there for a week, not even,” Chippa says on the phone from his new home in Exmouth, WA. “Six full days of surfing, which was amazing for me. I’ve been out injured and hadn’t been on a surf trip like that in a year and half.”

The Shop Team’s an interesting mix on paper, but knowing the four members separately, it’s not surprising they all get along. Without sounding like a sycophant, they’re four of the best, most humble blokes you’ll come across amongst the pro surfing traps, and all seem genuinely stoked that they get to go on trips together for the foreseeable future.

Mitch Crews, still sharp as ever.

Mitch Crews and Chippa Wilson grew up within half an hour of each other and are exactly the same age, but their surfing paths couldn’t have been more different.

“We’ve just been on completely different programs,” Chippa says of his history with Mr Crews. “The only time we hung surf-wise would’ve been years back in the Pro Junior circuit. I wasn’t making heats and Crewsy was waxing people. Still is. But then we’d hang every second weekend partying and stuff as we ran in a similar crowd. But he’s such an asset to have on trips now. He’s the Team Manager and brings a huge vibe, always.”

Jai G showcasing that natural talent compensates for growing up on a right point.

Looking for some surf inspiration after a day of perfect 4ft offshore closeouts, I thumbed play on Jai G’s Electric Acid Microdose last night. It struck me the surfing is eternal. Hit play in 20, 50, 1000 years and his surfing will still be the pinnacle of surfing fundamentals. Chippa concurs, and says that watching Jai’s talent on a wave that’s not really suited to him at all, opened the mind of one of surfing’s most forward-thinkers.

“His surfing is so cool to watch for me as it’s the poler opposite of what I do,” Chippa explains. “That wave’s pretty much a tube then a big ramp, but he moulded straight into it. Every time he was in the bowl he’d hack it to bits. The wave’s not suited to carving and combos really, but he adapted perfectly.”

Benny Howard: low key on land, high as hell in the drink.

Benny Howard’s spent ample time at the wave in question and it suits the goofy fly boy with a deft touch in the tube perfectly, so it’s unsurprising that his surfing was equal part progressive and easy on the eye. Chip says that as well as good company and beautiful surfing, it’s also handy having Benny, a man who’s no stranger to heavy machinery, on the road.

“Whenever we had car problems Benny would comes and fix it,” Chip says. “The first trip we did we were at Ballina on the beach and Crewsy’s 4WD got bogged. He had 50 attempts to get it up the track and was sweating, swearing, then Benny steps up and does it first go. He’s the best, a good pal of mine who I met years ago. Just the solidest human ever.”

Chippa and this wave were made for each other; watching him surf it is the definition of progression (despite a dodgy hinge).

Next on the agenda for the SurfStitch Shop Team, under the watchful gaze of Captain Crews, is more time on the road, more filming and, thankfully, more films.

“Yeah I’m just psyched to continue to make these movies, and progress from film to film,” Chippa says. “That’s the idea: cool films around summer/winter vibes showing off whatever’s going on at SurfStitch at the time. Crewsy’s the Team Captain, so you know good vibes aren’t going be a problem.”

The mercury’s dropping, get your fresh winter rubber here.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

The Eddie Gets A New Headline Sponsor, Coca Cola Group Stickers A 2x World Champ, The Tractor Scoops Up 2x SSOTY Winner + A SITD Star Parts Ways With O’Neill

The surf industry is showing signs of life — here's a Q1 2024 update.

Apr 13, 2024

The Best Surfing I’ve Ever Seen: Duncan Macfarlane

Covid cleared the lineup while Rasta, Creed and Wade went to work.

Apr 13, 2024

The Stab Interview: Actor Jeffrey Wright

The Oscar nominee for "American Fiction" on what Hollywood can learn from surf films, why…

Apr 13, 2024

This Would Be The Best Surf Trip Of 99.9% Of Surfers’ Lives

Surfline and O'Neill manage to score untouched zones (again) + Soli Bailey adds more inertia…

Apr 12, 2024

Chippa Wilson Stars In ‘Zipper’ — A Surf Film By Stab & Monster

Featuring Filipe Toledo, Harry Bryant, Bobby Martinez, Eithan Osborne, Taro Watanabe, and Dion Agius.

Apr 11, 2024

A Big Ol’ Flaccid Salad

It was hard to be charitable about the opening day in WA.

Apr 11, 2024

Stab Interview: A Rare Glimpse Into The Mind Of World Number 2, Ethan Ewing 

On his favourite surfer (not who you'd think), high-budget surf films, and what it will…

Apr 10, 2024

Full Framey: How Soli Bailey Seized The Wave Of The Swell Event (Again)

A land angle of the backless time-warp and a firsthand encapsulation of the Tasmanian expedition.

Apr 10, 2024

Dead Reckoning: A Western Australia Margaret River Pro Preview

Can John regain his 2017/19 glory? Will Tyler and Gab make the cut?

Apr 9, 2024

There’s A Razor-Sharp Guillotine Hovering Over Two 3x World Champs in WA

Margaret River Boardriders Prez says ‘put your BOAG money on Pinto + Pickles’

Apr 9, 2024

Watch: A Cylindrical And Cinematic Approach To Stab Edit Of The Year

Conor Maguire and Clem McInerney's 'Hounds of the Storm' is an ode to Ireland. 

Apr 8, 2024

This Aerospace-Inspired Board Builder Is Closing Down In Three Weeks

And not because they weren't selling.

Apr 6, 2024

Rumor: The WSL Has Chosen A New CEO

Former employee of Activision, Microsoft, Netflix, and Hulu to take surfing’s reins.

Apr 6, 2024

The Sun Is Shining On Nathan Florence, Who Just Banked A Chunk Of Equity In Surfing’s Fastest-Growing Brand

In the most difficult surf sponsorship climate in modern history, the best surfers are still…

Apr 4, 2024

How Surfers Get Paid: Season 2, Episode 3

The sexualization of women's surfing.

Apr 4, 2024

Could Gabriel Medina Actually Get Cut From The Championship Tour?

A mathematical analysis of who needs what to escape the mid-year guillotine.

Apr 4, 2024

Full Frame: Chippa Wilson Is Not (Just) A Small Wave Sultan

Brought to you by Oreo tubes, tuna cans, a reef pass in Oceania, and Zipper.

Apr 3, 2024

The 2024 Bells Trophies Will Live Less Than 25 Miles Apart

Californians Cole Houshmand and Caity Simmers sweep the podium, Griff offers a free lesson in…

Apr 3, 2024
Advertisement