Watch Surfer Chippa Wilson Ride the New Duo Board
The board looks like a mistake, but carves like a caffeinated thruster.
The Duo. Copyright Michael Cukr
When Chippa Wilson pulled his new board out of his truck, the thing looked like a mistake. Interesting design, but definitely a mistake. More of a novelty board you'd ride on long beach days to make your friends scratch their heads—not for what Chippa does on an Australian point break in this video from What Youth. Which is carve surreal, refreshing lines with a newfound velocity.
Turns out, the board was shaped by Queensland legend Neal Purchase, Jr, who knows what he's doing. It's called the Duo. We talked with Chippa and Neal about the design and how to surf one.
Why do you call it the Duo?
Neal Purchase, Jr: I was calling it a Double Single for a while when I first started riding them, then started to call them Duos. That's stuck.
What do they feel like?
Neal: Well, it's a personal feeling, riding a board on a wave, but the Duos have a unique, smooth, drivey feel—unlike anything I've ever ridden. I like the feeling they give more than a thruster, and I haven't done a test but I reckon they are better in a hollow and in heavy situations.
Chippa Wilson: It feels pretty similar to riding a single fin since it doesn't slide out and has a lot more drive. They're really good in point breaks and mellow waves—actually, they're really good in sucky, hollow waves, too, since they're super drivey. I'm headed off to Indo, and I'm gonna be taking a step-up Duo and a step-up thruster, so that's definitely going to be interesting. I'm going to have to have a session where I ride both and really see how they go.
How long have you guys known each other?
Chippa: I bought my first board off Neal. I've seen him around town for years and years now. I've known him since I was a little kid, and we've gelled from chatting and stuff.
What drew you to this design?
Neal: I have been thinking about the design for a while as it bridges the gap between a single fin and a twin. I saw an eight-foot windsurfer a guy was surfing at Fingal on the Gold Coast of Australia one day, and he seemed to like the way it surfed better than a single fin. So I thought I'd better give it a try.
Chippa, how'd you end up with one?
Chippa: I was fucking around on my single fin, and I was watching Neal ride one for many months. I was, like, sussing it out since it looked weird to me. It didn't look that nice or whatever at first on land, but the way he surfed it was incredible. It got to the point where I just sucked it up and ordered one. And it was a good move. The thing is insane.
What's up with doing airs on them? They look like they'd be impossible for airs.
Chippa: You just have to get the two fins over the lip of the wave, and it's like a bodyboard—you're just fucking sliding. Once you get your head around it, it gets easier.
Neal: I thought the fins would be too deep to break and release for airs. They were designed for carves and pivoting, but he could probably get air on anything.
You pretty backed up making these now?
Neal: Yeah, waiting time can be pretty far out, and I'm not a big fan of that, but we really don't want to do more than 10 a week.