Interview by Stab’s resident filmer, Toby Cregan | Photos: Aidan Stevens
Stab: Welcome to Little Cregan’s interview series via the internet, Chippa. Now I haven’t read these questions because Lucas (Ed.) wrote them, but here we go. Chippa, feels like you’ve been underground lately, what’s been happening?
Chippa: Yeah, well I’ve been above ground actually.
Ah, Chris Wilson’s jokes. You funny motherfucker. No, don’t say that word man, you know what happened to the boys in Hawaii at the Surfer Poll. They got in big trouble…
(Cregan guffaws).I’ve been at home for two months, cruising. I skipped Hawaii this year.
Is that what makes you underground? I dunno, if someone hasn’t heard from you in a month it’s like there’s something wrong. Can’t I have just a little bit of time at home? I’ve been doing work. What have you been doing, Lucas?
Yeah, Lucas. Where the fuck have you been?Yeah, Sir!
Were you bummed when you found out Kelly landed the 540?Not really. I was more stoked it was him. The King. Still doing it, pushing the limits, it’s insane.
You’re bros with Slater, yeah? Yeah, super bros.
Yeah, you rode his surfboard once. Yeah, when I was at Cloudbreak. I had a board and it wasn’t good. It wasn’t the right shape and we were out on a boat and I paddled past him. He threw me his board and he said, “Have a go of this.” The board was insane, it felt like a dream board. So Slater’s a legend and he’s doing 540s.
Did you text him and say fuck you, or was that someone else? That was someone else.
Ah, it was Matt Meola I think. They’re bros, and apparently he said oh fuck, you landed my shit! Could’ve been Albee.
Oh right, well you all spin, so there you go. Had you landed one and didn’t have it on film? Nah, I’d been close too many times.
Hey Lucas, I think this questions is dumb, but do you just give up now and learn another trick? That’s silly Lucas, c’mon man. If I get a section and it’s all happening I’m going to try. I’ll fucken spin around and try a 540. Even when I almost did my first one, it wasn’t like I’d go home, stretch, drink my guava juice and go back out there to try a 540. If it happens it happens.
What’s going to be the next internet melting move, and who’s the closest? A triple cork in speedos could melt the internet.
Who’s the closest to doing that. Tony Abbott, yeah?I wanna do a big 360 method. That’d be pretty sweet.
Devoid of colour but not liveliness.
A method already looks retro even though it’s never been done on a surfboard before, it’s all 80’s and cool. So is full deck grip. Function or fad, do you think? It’s definitely functional. I throw it on any of my boards under 5’5”. I haven’t had enough to put them on all my boards but I will because it feels like you land things a lot softer.
Have you ever felt like you were going to drown? Yeah, on that same trip Kelly gave me a go of his craft. It was five feet, onshore and the barrels weren’t really opening at Cloudbreak. I was on the boat and we’d just watched a surf movie with Craig or Dion surfing in a flannelette shirt, unbuttoned. I thought, man that’s sick I’m going to go out there and try to be steezy but button it up this time. As soon as I jumped off the boat it was like having a wet blanket over me, it was so heavy. I’m there paddling out, my sleeves are filling up with water and nothing could escape because the material is so thick. So I unbuttoned it, rolled my sleeves up, looked even trendier. First wave, I weighed a hundred tonnes and took off, tried to get pitted – didn’t – then I was underwater and I swear I couldn’t get up again. I had to rip the buttons off and get out of the thing. That was the closest I’ve come to drowning, and all while I was trying to be cool. Have you?
I almost drowned on a goat boat, once. I was in waist-deep water and I flipped over and the goat boat had a seat belt. I couldn’t get up. It took me years to tell anyone. Lucas, don’t include that… So, have you ever disappointed your mum? Yeah, all the time. Last week I borrowed the lawn mower and she’s like yeah, drop it off and I didn’t and the next day it rained and she was bummed she couldn’t mow the lawn.
That’s not disappointment. She’s just pissed off at you. Disappointed is when your mum thinks you’re a dropkick. Oh yeah, when I was a kid. One time I snuck out to my friend’s house, drank a bunch and blacked out and threw up all over the house. That’s pretty disappointing.
You’ve got a new Chevvy shipped from the US. How much did it cost to get here? Alright man, settle down. That’s a little personal… It was around the 10k mark to get it here.
I bought my chick a $500 bike once, look at me.That’s pretty good. Well, my chick’s bike was $800.
You bought her a bike? It must be a sick fucking bike… you just had to one-up me didn’t you, Chip. I actually did say that just to one-up you, yes.
I remember a time when you were a hard-ass labourer. Ever miss a day on the shovel?It wasn’t too bad labouring, hey. You don’t have to think about it. You go move shit here, shit there, dig this hole, and that one. With this new house, it has a tonne of stuff like that to do.
It’s nice to do proper work sometimes. Not that I’d know, I make surf videos. Yeah man, it’s rewarding. I got a problem, I can’t sit still. If I’m at home and I’m not surfing I’m getting mulch dropped off, taking it up the hill. Or I’m fucking with my bikes, always doing something.
Let’s get a little serious for two questions, how has your sponsorship change affected your career?With Fox it’s made it better. I’ve travelled a lot more than I would’ve with Analog. The budget is heaps bigger. I’ve spent two years with them and I haven’t stopped travelling. It’s been a blessing. At the start I wondered what it would do for me, knowing Fox wasn’t a surf brand at the time.
I think you’re enough of your own person for that not to affect you. It’s like when Steph changed from Rip Curl to Quik, it’s not like you noticed really, because she’s Steph Gilmore. You’re your own dude. I was tripping at the start, but they’re such a rad crew.
Do you worry about being a flash in a pan? I don’t even know what that means. Let’s Google it. Oh, it’s like a one-hit wonder.Nah, not at all. I don’t think about that shit. Heavy question.
Does a full rotation feel better with a GoPro in your hand or mouth? I’ve never done one. Ever.
A rare moment of Mr. Wilson in imagery. No fins, no spin, no air, just style.
How long do you surf for each session? I love this shit, Lucas. Chippa, are you a 5 x 30 minutes guy or a 1 x 4 hour guy? It depends. If there’s no one around and it’s okay I’ll do usually two hours. But, if it’s crowded or there’s a shitty vibe I’ll go the half hour.
Longest session ever. We did a few marathons in Bali with Dion and Warren Smith. Dion’s an animal. They were like two four-hour session.
Yeah, he surfs so fucken hard. And he’s like 80. Nah, he’s 29. But still, he should have a huge party. What’s the best thing you land in Kai’s new puppet show? Sick questions, Lucas. I land a pretty fun barrel. There’s a jump or two in there as well.
Any methods? No methods… They’re coming soon though.
Do you watch the news? If it’s on.
It’s pretty depressing, hey. It’s like one good thing to 500 terrible things.
What’s right with the world? It’s still a really happy place, apart from all those fuckers who keep blowing shit up and killing people. That’s pretty shitty.
That’s why you don’t watch the news. I actually watched it this morning. Oh my god it’s the heaviest thing. The shooters in Paris were running around yelling in the streets, they jump in their car and a cop car comes and tries to stop them. They jump out and start shooting. It’s wild.
Yeah I hate watching that shit, Ignorance is bliss, eh. Who’s your favourite surfer? I enjoy watching John. He’s nuts. Kelly’s sick. Nathan Fletcher is one of my favourites, too. Oscar, Taj, Creed, Ben Godwin, anyone having fun.
What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever bought? Creed buys the dumbest shit. He’ll buy a sick shaver and then won’t shave, or a polaroid camera and won’t get batteries for it. I always buy dumb shit on the internet for my motorbike. Actually, I bought a motorbike online once and it was fraudulent. I got rorted. Yep, that was the dumbest thing I’ve ever bought.
You just gave ‘em your money and it never came?Yeah, the coin went straight to Barbados and they split it up from there into 10 accounts, and then split that up into another 20 accounts. It was like $4k. It seemed so legit how they did it, fake website and everything. You get your own account and the dude sent me his passport photos and all this shit. The entire thing was a stitch up. As soon as they got my money the dude said the company name was changing and I knew something was up so I called the bank to cancel the transaction but it was too late.
I look like I’ve got fucken boobs in this interview. That’s why you wear black, man.
If an airshow tour returned, would you compete?Hell yeah! If it’s not every month and it’s like a tour I would compete, f’sure. All the boys would be going. I’m not doing anything else really except for shredding everywhere across the world. Why not go slide at an event.
Why don’t you go in normal events then? It’s too serious. The vibe’s way off.
Alright Chippy, that will do us. You happy with that? I think it was a good interview. Yeah, I’m done. That was fun.
Chippa could’ve bought a Prius. But he didn’t. He bought a Chevvy from the US which needs more petrol than you do air. Why? American muscle, that’s why.