Nick Nolte and Chippa Wilson
This is Chip Wilson, arranged in the same manner as Nick Nolte's famous mugshot from 2002. Nolte was arrested for driving liquored. Chip says, "Be careful on the roads." | Photo: Justin Jay (

Candid: Chip Wilson on bullies, his lisp, hucks…

He's just the world's hottest jibber! What else is there?

In a little Australian town overcrowded with late summer visitors (Cabarita!) we chance upon Mr Chris Wilson, just the world’s best huckster. Ain’t that good enough reason to gallop alongside and find out what life’s like when you’re paid to spin? Is it as beautifully romantic and as heroically sublime as it seems? BeachGrit has held Chris, nicknamed Chippa after the1960s TV show My Three Sons (kid in the show was cute as a button Chip Douglas), real close to our hearts ever since he stole 2009’s Little Weeds crown (an online search for new talent) by the stupidest of of margins.

When his sponsor master Analog changed direction a couple of years back and he was cast upon the shittiest of bear markets we foresaw black and heavy clouds, the oncoming crash of a catastrophe. Because Chris ain’t just your regular surf cat. He’s a little quiet, kinda shy in a lot of company, but smart, a thinker, a creator, and that don’t fit the structure of most brands that requires extroverts, hucksters in the 19th century sense.

He ain’t a drinker either.

“I just get super hangover. I’m like allergic to the shit,” he says. “And I can’t afford to be feeling like shit.”

Chip explains that if he’s out it’ll be the low-cal vodka-and-soda that”ll be in his paw. Beer, he says, is what makes him “get real cloudy.” (And honey we ain’t even going to mention the surcharge beer adds on your hips!)

But real talk, let’s get real. Tell me Chip…

BeachGrit: What do you do for kicks? 

Chip: I’ve been working on a new motorbike at home, an old 1977 Kawasaki 100 road bike. It’s black and green with army green tank and fenders. It’s a good little bike, super rare. My friend at Byron at Thrills, Ryan, he Instagrammed a photo of it and I jumped on it. Hustled it down a bit and got it. I’ve also got this project in Cali where I’m chasing a 400 Honda and a big Ford van, somewhere you can toss your moto in the back and just cruise. That’s the dream.

Motos are great for kicks. And they kick back. 

It’s addicting! I’m getting my license this weekend. I’ve been riding but I don’t wanna lose my license before I get it. And, yeah, it’s dangerous and you can kill yourself. That’s a setback. I’m going to be dressing to crash, f’sure.

What do you love and what do you hate about where you live? 

Everything is so… easy. Just so green. It ain’t too overbuilt yet. I’ve lived there since I was one so it’s home. What do I hate? I hate it when there’s no surf and the surf’s shitty. But, pumping today, and yesterday, so all good in the hood.

Tell me all about your frontside 540, your new trick…

My goal is to nail it by the end of the year.

Is it an air reverse kinda flat spin or an alley oop spin?

Air reverse flat spin. It’s not inverted so it looks more crazy.

From there it’s only one more tweak to a 720, two full revs… 

A 720 is gnarly, a 540 is weird enough. That last 180 is fucking trippy. You’re doing a 180 when you shouldn’t. Although the more you practise the more normal it becomes. Every time I’ve gotten close it’s been a pretty big wave, with a lot of speed, and a good wind. You need power and push to buck…

Were you bullied as a kid or did you bully? 

When I was super young, like at primary school, I had a strong lisp and I got bullied. But then, thats what kids do. They’d copy what I was saying and tease me. Same old shit. Poor little Chippa, eh?

He’s doing alright now. 

Ha! I ended up fixing the lisp myself.

Did you ever bully?

No way. I wasn’t into that. But, yeah, all kids do it to a certain extent.

What’s the meanest thing you’ve done to somebody? 

Shaved eyebrows when the boys have been passed out. Dumb shit. But nothing real mean. I kinda sound like a pussy. I’ve been in a fight or two. Maybe a punch in the head is the meanest thing I’ve done.

How does a situation in your life escalate to conflict?

I only fight when I really have to, me getting punched in the head or sticking up for myself. I’ve only really been in two fights and the last one I blacked out, full of rage, and won. I was in Bali and some dude smashed his beer into my fish bowl drink. I got up and punched on. I remember I was on top of him on the ground. All the bouncers came and I got up walked out of there.

Do girls ever send you explicit letters with accompanying photos? 

I feel like you’ve gotta be in the game to get that stuff from crazy creeps. I’ve got a gal so I deleted my Facebook.

How about our new pal Snapchat?

…that why I haven’t got it. That’s where It’s going to happen.

What about those tattoo gals? You’re a pinup for self art. 

My friend Ben Grillo, he’s a real good tattoo artist from California, he made a few tattoos on my knuckles and he put the portraits on Instagram and he tagged me on the photos. I had 20 completely tattooed gals hitting me up, liking all my photos.  Super weird.

What do you think about yourself? 

Mellow. Tatted up. Shy. Put me on a stage with am microphone and I’d choke up and walk off.

Do you care what people think of you? 

Everyone does. If they have a strong opinion, it’d be good if they told you. If they got it wrong, I do kinda care.

What is your favourite season? 

Autumn in Australia. I like cold nights and cold mornings. I dig winter too so from here until a little after August. Nice offshore winds in the morning, full suits, coffee, it’s insane. I can’t stand summer here. It’s way too hot. In winter you can always find a place to get warm. In summer you’re completely fucked.

Are you comfortable talking to strangers? 

Yeah! It’s interesting!

If you don’t like a person, how do you handle it? 

I try not be near ’em. I stay clear and I don’t get involved.

What do you snack on? 

I always eat bags of chips. Funny, huh?

What’s been your most memorable experience ever? 

Getting my first house and moving out of home. I went thirds with my older brother and a good mate and we all moved in together. I always had so much respect for my mum and dad’s house and it was always in the back of my head if I brought people back. In our house, it was a free for all. You come home and you can make a mess, have fun, party, drink all night and turn the music up loud.  always in the bad of himy head, bringing people back, one house, free for all.

What do you do when you feel sad or depressed? 

Lately, it’s been the crazy fucked up shit going on in the world. That’s sad and that’s depressing. I was in America when that Boston stuff happened. And on the way over on the plane there was a lady sitting in front of me with a Boston Marathon t-shirt and a tiny little kid. She was flying over to do it. As soon as I saw the news, I thought about her and that little kid. That type of weird shit gets me sad.

What’s your favourite time of the day? 

Morning. I like to see what it brings. Some days I get up and I have no motivation to do anything. But some days are good and you get up and surf and you’re super productive.

What’s your bad quality? 

I get lazy on the internet and having to write back to people. If I don’t do it when I have to, It’s going to take a while.

If there is one thing you’d die for, what is it? 

I’d die for a coffee right now. I’m sitting across form Gloria Jeans and it smells that good.

Who has had the most influence in your life? 

I’m always looking up to people who are ahead of me. I’ve always looked up to Craig Anderson. I could see how good he was. He was king and he’s still killing it. It’s insane. My old man’s been good. He’s a carpenter and he’s still working so goddamned hard.

It could’ve been Chip the chippy who like to eat chips.

That’s where I was going. If I had a hammer in my hand, I’d be thinking about surfing and hitting my thumb. I didn’t allow myself to get good at it.

What do you think about when you’re alone in your car? 

Lately, been thinking about little projects I want to do, the moto, the van, surf trips, everything really…

Do you solve many problems in the car

No, but I make a few phone calls which can solve things.

On a scale of one to 10, rate me as an interviewer…

I’m going to toss you a nine. You actually talk back and not talk like you’re reading off a teleprompter. I get some where it feels like I’m talking to a computer.

Live: The 2014 Surfer Poll! Tune in!

Oh holy night! The most wonderful night of the surfing calendar… 

It is the most wonderful eve of the year! An oh-holy night when little boys pair their finest, crisp-from-the-cellophane button-ups with creased denim and little girls slip into platform flip-flops. Looking as fresh as the leis around their necks, they walk in to Turtle Bay’s ballroom, filled to the rotting rafters with stink and paranoia, and vie for “awards” voted on by you and me (minus “me”).

Mai Tais flow like water. Sometimes fights break out. Always no one has any real fun. And you would be forgiven for thinking I write of The Oscars or the first night of Hanukkah but you would also be wrong. Darlings, it is time for Surfer Poll.

Surfer Poll, our red carpeted celebration of surfing and surfers. Surfer Poll, our Sal Masekela and Freddy Patacchia seven-hour comedy show. Surfer Poll, our Surfer Poll. It has been happening for too long, I think, and there have been so many memorable moments. All of them involve Dane Reynolds speaking at the lectern. And there have been many memorable winners. Kelly Slater.

The show used to take place in the friendly confines of Anaheim, California, if you recall. And sure, sure Anaheim has absolutely zero style, culture or charm but, back then, it was safe. Anyone could go. Anyone could drink and say anything at all. There would be no slaps, no shifty-eyes, no rotting rafters or paranoia. But what sort of awards show is that? A boring one is what and so the powers decided to move the event to Oahu’s North Shore and hold it during the Triple Crown. Genius is not too hefty a compliment to hoist upon those powers (not Roy, fyi).

What is more, the show is live-streamed. You can watch Dane Reynolds and Kelly Slater in the ballroom right here. If you sniff deeply enough, you can even smell the weird. Or it might just be Spam Musubi but anyhow, shall we watch it together? Yes? The red-carpet show begins at 9 pm Pacific Standard Time.

Mix yourself a mai tai and we’ll play a drinking game. One large gulp every time there is a long and awkward pause. Just kidding! We’d all die of alcohol poisoning!

Click here to watch! 

Candid: “North Shore Girls are Savages!” says JOB

Six hundred lovers, by our calculations! But, still, no love!

It was lunchtime on a Sunday when the simpering of Jamie O’Brien’s Katie Perry ringtone (Firework) indicated BeachGrit was calling. Jamie, we soon found, was in the town of Kahuku, not so many miles from his Pipeline house, the new Pipeline house behind the old Lopez joint and not the rental he occupied most of his life and that fronted the Pipe reef, getting his grinds, the very Hawaiian dish called Poke, deboned and sliced yellow fin tuna deposited amid shards of seaweed and candlenut and spritzed with soy sauce.

Jamie was sharing his company with Damien Robertson, a man employed to film his myriad exploits, both water and in the jungles, as hunter.

It was a roundabout conversation about Pipe, the wave, that reminded us that we hadn’t lit up Jamie for…what… six, seven years? And, suddenly, amid a thunderstorm of mental calculations, we figured, ain’t Jamie O was now over 30? The kid that was never going to get old? And, now he nearly is?

Talk to us Jamie boy!

BeachGrit: Oh my god, how does it feel to be over 30?
Jamie: Oh fuck, I know, right? I’m fucken halfway to 60. But it’s all good. I’m only getting better.

Life goes so fast don’t it!
I know, right! Fuck! You know what freaks me out? That it ain’t a joke and that I’m actually halfway to 60. Fuck!

How about your Dad? He’s 60 plus…
Sixty something…

…and he’s doing okay…
Yeah, he’s good. But, you don’t feel like you’re getting old until you start to bald. Then y’think, I’m old now, I better start combing this shit over.

Are you balding?
Fuck no!

I remember you with the greatest mane of reddened hair.
A big fucken mane of hair.

A big fucking mane of red hair. Like y’pal from Maui, Cheyne Magnusson.
Fuck you. I ain’t red.

How about we compromise and call it strawbs blond?
Brah, easy, easy. Cheyne’s all red.

You never used to drink, now you do, what’s life like, pre and post drinking?

You started drinking in 2004 after winning Pipe, yes!
I had to do it. I told ’em, if I won, I was gonna drink. I won and I remember doing an interview lying down. Everything was spinning and I couldn’t go to sleep because of the sugar-beer buzz.

Is life better with alcohol?
I don’t know. I gotta stop drinking. It’s fun. It’s social. I don’t know. It’s always your friends, they tear you down. It’s always, “Let’s have a beer!” There’s always someone coming and going. There’s always an excuse to drink. Good times. Good people.

Booze stops boredom.
Yeah, it does.

Does that Pipe win feel like a lifetime ago?
Yeah, too long ago. It’s a long time ago. Fuck it pisses me off.

Because it was so long ago?
No, just cause I surf there everywhere day, but those contests, you win, you lose, you win, you lose. Unless you’re Kelly Slater.

Surfing contests can be extremely frustrating.

Yeah, but then, at the end of the day, everyone eventually eaves the North Shore. It’s so crowded, so many people. It’s too hectic and then it goes away. So, the actual contest? I don’t care that much.

It gets a little hot out there on the North Shore?

For me and John John, everyone’s got their head over our fences, yelling, no one calls you up, everyone just pours into the yard. But, like I said, I don’t want to be anywhere else but here.

Before this Pipe house, the one behind the Lopez joint, you had a crib at V-Land. You ever live there?
I never lived there. I couldn’t do it. I’m addicted to Pipeline. It’s where I grew up, that’s where I’m born and raised. That’s where everybody wants to be… and it’s my home. If a kid grows up at Pipeline, there’s a connection and he’s going to be a really good surfer. It’s the ultimate place to grow up. That’s why I want to live there, to keep the generation going of weasel Pipe surfers. I moved into my new house last year. At our beach house at Pipe I was so sick and tired of these rats and cockroaches. That was the dream pad on the beach, now I’m 20 feet from the beach. But, this place is clean and nice and not a rundown beach house. That thing was savage.

Who is the best surfer in the world?
John John, Dane and Kelly. John John. He’s gnarly, brah. His surfing is so good. John is 20 and charging Jaws with his brothers and shit. John is always going to be that one step ahead. And, he surfs more than anyone alive. He surfs all day long. He wakes up in the dark and surfs until dark.

How’s your relationship with John John?
Me and John? He’s like my little brother. We’re tight. I dunno. Fuck. He’s still a little shithead grommet.

You got him into his first contest, pushed him onto his first wave. Is the story true that you’d toss turds at the kid?
Aw, you gotta give him shit, beat him up, tie him to a tree and throw shit at him. It was all in good measure.

How’d his ma Alex react?
Alex? Oh, she snapped! But they were dog shits. It wasn’t that bad.

How many Bulls y’taking down every day?
Two or three. Sometimes I take six or seven.

You must feel like an eagle after half-a-doz Red Bulls.
Oh, I do. Very energised. I just do it. My fridge is pretty much empty. There are so many scavengers coming and going around my house. And, all that’s in the fridge is Red Bull, so when they’re hungry, I tell ’em to grab a Red Bull. I grab one, go surf, then have a food attack and eat poke, drink some more… fuck.

Most Red Bulls in a day?
Very difficiult to quantify. It has been a beautiful 15 years together. I love it. It’s a good relationshp. I can’t keep a girl around for two weeks.

I was wondering, how many gals y’think you’ve pounded in the last 10 years?
Fuck, I don’t know. Fuck you!

I ain’t asking for proof. Just a ballpark number.
You’re tripping…

Let me calculate for you. Say, 30 every winter, 20 during those long summers, over a dozen years. Does 600 fucks sound about right to you?
This is a very strange interview.

How about this. Out of the 600 ladies, or maybe they weren’t so much ladies, how many were real-life squirters?
Haaaa! You’re fucking out of control.

My colleague wondered this: do gals suck y’dick harder cause you’re the man at Pipe?
I’m not the man at Pipe. I reckon we get less chicks cause all these guys all around the world come here and bone all our chicks, it wigs ’em out and they don’t want to hang out anymore. They’ve been trampled by the whole CT and QS. We’ll say, something like, “What’s up, you should come on down to my house at Pipe.” And, they’ll be, “Oh my god, I don’t want to go to the North Shore, it’s so gross!” Thanks to the surf world for making us look bad.

I believe women flock to your top-floor studio bedroom. You are a very popular 30 year old.
It’s not all it seems to be.

Have you discovered love?
Oh brah! The chicks are all savages here! There’s no love around here.

Who was the last person to say they loved you?
My dad.

Surfline is hiring!

Your dream job is but a click away.

A job in surf is a thrilling adventure. Close your eyes and picture with me, if you will, warm salt water gently dousing your tanned face. Trips to far-flung and exotic islands where the waves break only for you and also a handful of professional surfers. Funny drinking games with like-minded gentleman deep into the night. And getting paid for all of it! Because it is your job! Because you work in surf!

I have lived this dream for many years and now you can too because our economy is finally coming back into the light and Surfline is hiring. Yesterday the surf-centric wave forecasting company sent out a tweet seeking customer relationship specialists, front-end web developers and, maybe the crème de la crème, a human resources manager.

The human resources manager “contributes to the accomplishment of Human Resources practices and objectives that will provide an employee-oriented, high performance culture that emphasizes empowerment, quality, productivity and standards, goal attainment, and the recruitment and ongoing development of a superior workforce. The Human Resources Manager will be responsible for all functions in the HR department including hiring and recruiting, benefits management, maintaining employee records, ensuring employee morale, coordinating company events, etc.”

Can you feel the warm salt water gently dousing your tanned face? Can you? Apply here and the best of luck. I hope to see you in the water. And by “water” I mean “cubicle.” And by “see you” I mean not.

Zach at theinertia!
…meanwhile, over at, they seek an editor and studs for accounts and sales. Email Zach (here) at [email protected]

(Semi) Essential Equipment: Dane Reynolds’ Sperm Whale

Wide as a river, thin as a reed? What fun you'll have!

Carpinteria ain’t but two hours north of the City of Angels, up there in Santa Babs county. A real good righthand point there called Rincon, too, in case y’didn’t know. But what should really get your SUV rental pointed to Carps is the Channel Islands factory. For there, in the corner of the reception area, is the Dane Reynolds-shaped Sperm Whale (among a bunch of other iconic CI boards).

Pick the Sperm up! What do your hands tell you? It’s wide, yeah, the wax is dirty, sure, but feel the rails. Have you ever felt anything quite so slender? And ain’t it ugly!

But there is something incomprehensible, something a little mystical about this surfboard, something that makes it paradoxically easy to ride, but difficult to master. How did it appear? Let’s ask Reynolds, the shaper.

“Thomas (Campbell) was doing a book and wanted to take pictures of me shaping a board that I would bring and ride in Morocco ’cause he thought that was a cool thread for the book. He did the same with Alex (Knost), too. I ended up hurting my knee and didn’t go to Morocco, but anyways, I had shaped three boards free-form and thought I was the free-form guru. My point being this: look at the thing you stand on the board with, your foot. It’s such a bizarre shape and there’s no way you apply pressure to the heelside rail the same as you do the toeside rail, so what’s the point of symmetry?”

Listen, closer, readers, as Reynolds continues with the theorem. “So we just fucked around in the shaping room all afternoon. Thomas was more interested in taking weird photos, cutting up blanks to look like Christmas trees and shit. But the Sperm Whale basically came from that. Just hacking away until it was too thin and we had to stop and glass it. He was telling me what to do, kept telling me it needed more vee, more vee, more vee. ’til it was crazy thin and the whole board had vee. I didn’t know he hadn’t even shaped a board before. He was telling me what to do like he was Skip Frye or something. But the end result was a misshapen Sperm Whale looking thing, hence the name, and somehow it actually worked. Well, I thought it worked. Thomas wasn’t convinced. He didn’t like the way I surfed on it. I brought it to Chile and he kept telling me to get off of it. But it was pretty fun anyway. For me.”

CI’s Trav Lee says: “Dane had a knee injury at the time so he shelved it for a bit, but as he was recovering he pulled it out and rode it a bunch and was surprised how incredibly fast and fun it was. Sometimes boards, no matter what they look like, have a magic element and work incredibly well. When scanning and reproducing this board for the model we really wanted to maintain the integrity of his original shape.”

Says Reynolds: “Travis said he kept getting orders for a Sperm Whale and so they scanned it and I’m surprised at how many people I see riding ’em and saying they love it. The scanned version, where they took out all the major mess-ups, goes pretty insane. It’s less of a curve ball. The basic fundamentals aren’t that weird, just flat with a ton of planing surface and that eggy wide-point back thing with the big hip to pivot off of.”

“This board has a big cult following and sells extremely well in Australia and Japan,” says Trav.

Adds Reynolds. “I think I see way more homemade Sperm Whale incarnations in the lineup than real ones, which is pretty cool.

Dimensions: 5’5″ x 21¼” x 2 1/8″ and 28.1L volume. Interesting side note: “It’s crazy how close to Dane’s normal volume he got on this board when shaping this from a raw and using no measuring tools,” says Channel Islands’ Travis Lee.