When you think Panama, the first thing that comes to mind may not be wave quality. However, when Nixon thinks Panama, they think perfect testing grounds for their latest tideteller, the Base Tide watch. (shop here)
When Chippa Wilson received word from Nixon HQ that they wanted him to be a part of a trip leaving in just 48 hours, he’d just returned from California and was nestled into life back on Aussie shores. When Nathan Fletcher received the call, he was perched up on Oahu’s North Shore enjoying home life and the elements that surround it. Within two days of each call, both were en route to the Caribbean side of Panama, soon welcomed by pumping waves, friendly locals and a promising forecast – the long journey there now forgotten and the prospect of scoring now a genuine reality.
Yes, it might be an ad for Nixon’s latest watch (which by the way, is the bees knees) but the surfing, mind blowing cinematography and adventure itself is so much more. Put a few minutes aside and watch the clip below, then keep scrolling as we chat to the fellas to get the inside scoop behind the feature edit and find out more about the watch functions that are leading the digital game.
Lets get straight to it, you fellas recently teamed up on what seemed to be a trip of a lifetime to promote the new Base Tide Pro watch for Nixon. Tell us all about it!
Nathan: Well this was the second time we’d been to Panama in less than a year. The place kept drawing us back. The first time we were on the Pacific side, searching the coast line by sea plane. We got some ok waves but overall pretty hard to score on that side. This time it was a quick strike based on swell they were expecting on the Caribbean side. We honestly, got so skunked on the first trip that we had really low expectations, which is the best way to go into these things.
The coordination of the journey, the cinematography, the edit, imagery and everything else is epic. Apart from yourselves, who were the key people in bringing this content to life?
Chippa: We had a big crew of creative people capture every moment from start to finish, they are hard workers. As you can tell by the end piece.
Nathan: Well, we were looking to shoot a campaign with Nixon around their new tide watch, the Base Tide Pro. The timing was to shoot Feb – March, somewhere in there. The watch comes in an array of colors that are very tropical. Based off of that we need we wanted to go to somewhere tropical to match to have some color coordination. Based on a few options Caribbean Panama just kind of fell in our lap with the coordination from Surfline. We found out there was a swell and we were literally all on the plain 48 hours later.
Chippa: Yeah, it was something new, some exploring for us! We ended up finding some epic zones we both having surfed before.
Tell us about the ups?
Nathan: Where we stayed was this house placed right in the middle of the jungle, monkeys, and all sorts of wildlife everywhere. Everyone there is really killer, at no point had that feeling of sketchy travel. No roads really, mostly travel by boat between islands, which was different. The waves were well the video shows pretty damn fun, and no crowds.
Chippa: Yeah, scoring a decent swell with good winds, rolling into carnival week, food and hanging out with Nate.
What about the downs? You touch on a few at the start of the clip and as you say, in the end it’s always worth it!
Nathan: It’s mission to get there from Hawaii where I live, from where Chippa lives it’s even more grueling. Lot’s of time changes and all that comes with traveling. There weren’t really downs, it’s just not knowing all the details that can add a level of stress. All in all, it was awesome. We were there during Carnival which we didn’t even realize until we were already in route.. The result was just crowds and transportation is difficult with that many people around in the city portion of the travel. On top of that surfing isn’t that main stream where we were so you have that, “why are these guys carrying airplane wings syndrome” going on.
Chippa: The travel time. I was home for two days in Australia of the back of a Californian trip when I got the call. Which means I had to fly back to LA to get down to Panama...... mission!
You scored a variety of waves. What was the favourite? Any that you spent more time at than the rest by pure choice?
Nathan: We surfed a left point that Chippa and were tripping on, nobody out and just the best airwave. Then just up the point was this slabby barrel. Every day we were there was better than the next. We both got hurt and pounded considering it wasn’t very big.
Chippa: I think the beachie was the best, there was no one out except for Nate. Super consistent and heavy, it always had us on our toes.
Now lets talk the reason of the trip, the Base Tide watch itself by Nixon. Run us through your favourite features and tell us why the watch is the one for everyone’s wrists?
Nathan: Well it’s just the essentials. It’s their new bullet proof watch. Not too complicated and just the things I need. Time, Tide, sunrise.
Chippa: I’m not the best with anything tech but this watch is pretty damn easy to use. My favourite thing is tide charts, I use them all the time. They have every spot you can surf locked in there!