Watch a Man With a Gammy Knee Ride a Finless Foamie and Drive a Suzuki Jimny - Stab Mag
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Watch a Man With a Gammy Knee Ride a Finless Foamie and Drive a Suzuki Jimny

Watch episode three of (Chippa) Wilson’s Foam and Rubber.

Words by Alistair Klinkenberg

“I thought I was back, but then I had to go back in for surgery – just for a cartilage clean up – and now I’m actually back,” says Chippa Wilson.

It’s not surprising that Chippa’s had knee trouble. In fact, you could well argue that his hinges have had more pressure going through them than just about any surfer currently (barely) walking around on two legs. He’s surfing currently, working his way back to fitness, and at the time of speaking had just driven from his home in Tasmania, where we visit him in today’s episode of Wilson’s Foam and Rubber (shot entirely on GoPro Hero9 Black), to Exmouth, WA in less than a week. Which is approximately 6000 kilometres, although it’s worth noting that he didn’t choose his 1988 Suzuki Jimny as the best vehicle for the trip.

Chips whips – a treasure trove of vintage vessels.

Which makes our protagonist’s latest instalment of Wilson’s Foam and Rubber so remarkable. Riding finless foamies is A) Way harder than Ari Browne makes it look. And B) Despite its relaxing appearance, super taxing on your body. Especially your knees. So what does Chippa, a man with a newly reconstructed knee, decide would be the best type of surfing to ease him back to his acrobatic best? Yep, spinning down the line without fins.

There’s something awesome about people who’ve long been paid to surf still frothing on something so lo-fi.

Episode Three of Wilson’s Foam and Rubber (watch the first two here and here) also sees the first time that filmmaker Beren Hall (who can, obviously, use a camera, but also surf’s pretty well) has tried shooting follow cam with a GoPro HERO9 Black. Beren tells me that keeping up is far harder than you’d think, and that’s when Chippa’s riding a big tub, rather than his usual finely-tuned equipment.

Man’s best friend: a Suzuki Jimny that goes 80 downhill with a trailing breeze.

“It’s definitely hard to keep up, so much harder than it looks,” Beren says. “But the stabilisation feature of the new GoPro is pretty insane. Dan Scott shot the surf footage in the first episode, and he’s surfing behind Chippa and moving heaps, pumping to keep up with him, but the footage is super smooth. There’s no shake or motion sickness, which previously was super hard to do.”

Just looking at this image makes our knees creak.

Wilson’s Foam and Rubber is the brainchild of a man who’s long held a passion for slightly left-field motorised vehicles, and has broadened his surfing equipment vastly in recent years. Apart from the fact that they’re relatively slow and both made somewhere in Asia, there’s not much in common between a 1988 Suzuki Jimny and a finless Drag craft. But it doesn’t matter. The brief was loosely to showcase all the nifty things you can do with a 5k camera slightly smaller than an apple, apart from taking it off between your gnashers, and Beren and Chippa have done a beautiful job of showing that compelling surf content doesn’t need to be hi-fi. There’s something reassuring about surfers at the peak of profession still finding joy on slipping and sliding down a gently sloping point. You just don’t get that in tennis.

If you’ve got a penchant for film, we’d highly recommend grabbing a remarkable little camera that can do it all.

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