NSP:018 Jessie Cripps and Michael Takach, Underwater Ally Productions & Riffe Team Divers

NSP:018 Jessie Cripps and Michael Takach, Underwater Ally Productions & Riffe Team Divers

Interview with Jessie Cripps and Michael Takach

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Jessie Cripps & Michael Takach co-founded Underwater Ally Productions, a media production company specializing in the underwater environment. From pre-production through to putting polished finished films together Jessie Cripps & Michael Takach together are a formidable media production force. They are also Riffe sponsored divers and have some good knowledge about effective spearfishing equipment.

This interview was a new experience for Turbo and I, with two co-hosts and two guests + rum it was a slightly messy but fun interview. So bear with us because both Taka and Jessie share some absolute gold spearfishing tips, stories and adventures. A highlight of the interview is the Veterans Vault section where we learn 6 tips from Jessie about improving your photography (above and below the water). Taka then shares some tips and tricks for effective GoPro filming and editing for spearfishing.

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Noob Spearo is stoked to bring this interview to you in partnership with Adreno

Adreno Spearfishing

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Michael Takach has also spent considerable time commercial diving and has been filming the underwater environment for years. Jessie Cripps skills, education and experience in television production compliment the teams dynamic well. Both are experienced spearos and both offer great insights, stories and more for the listener who wants to get better at spearfishing and underwater photography.

For fast navigation through Jessie Cripps & Michael Takach’s interview, here are some major moments…

1:00 Early Beginnings, Michael talks about moving into spearfishing from Line/Pole Fishing

2:00 Pole Spearing and Pole Spear Diaries on Vimeo

4:00 Early Beginnings, Jessie’s story

5:00 First Mentor; Thrown in the deep end with Johnny Chan

6:00 Memorable Fish, Taka with a silver drummer in a 7mm scuba diving suit and Jessie with her first Wahoo

12:00 Favourite Hunting Techniques, Getting to the bottom and getting closer

15:00 Scariest Moment, Samoa Experience – finger bitten off by a Spanish Mackerel while dive partner takes down a Dogtooth Tuna + plenty of sharks while the diveboat is 200+ m away

22:00 Veterans Vault, Essentials for good photos and video with Jessie Cripps + GoPro Gold with Taka

36:00 Funny Story, Bryson Sheehy and the Wobby + the GoPro housing from hell

41:00 Fast5Facts for Noobs

49:00 Crucial Kit for Noobs, Gun Advice , smaller bands, rest tabs and more

To Find Out More About Jessie Cripps & Michael Takach here are some links

You can find Jessie Cripps on Instagram here

and Michael Takach on Instagram here

Underwater Ally Productions on Facebook here


If you enjoyed learning about underwater photography and GoPro for spearfishing check out our interview with Aaron Chasse from SpearHeads TV

As usual thanks for listening and please leave us a review wherever you listen to the podcast – gracias!

NSP:003 Richard Leonard Exceptional Spearfishing Film Maker

NSP:003 Richard Leonard Exceptional Spearfishing Film Maker

Richard Leonard Exceptional Spearfishing Film Maker

Listen and subscribe to the Noob Spearo Podcast on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Podbean

Richard ‘Snoek’ Leonard is fast becoming a globally renown spearfishing personality, with his vast passion for spearfishing and exceptional spearfishing film’s, ‘Snoek’ is a Spearo on the go. Check out his latest film OneFish Legends feat Dr Terry Maas (USA), Barry Paxman (Australia), Rob Allen (South Africa) and Mohammed Jassim Al-Kuwari (Qatar) in an epic 120 minute+ Spearfishing DVD. Check it out at spearodvd.com or find out more about ‘Snoek’ here at  itz-productions.com. Enjoy this interview and if you want to find out more about better spearfishing film-making find Richard Leonard’s series Behind The Lens at Ultimate Spearfishing Magazine

Richard Leonard Noob Spearo Podcast

Spearfishing Film Maker Richard Leonard with an epic Dogtooth Tuna.

Richard Leonard’s Interview Times Quick-Guide

4:00 Competition diving in South Africa, Snoeks experience while placing in the top 10

10:00 Veterans Vault. Spearfishing Film Making and some In The Zone Productions history. Richard Leonard mentions a series he Authors in Ultimate Spearfishing Magazine called Behind The Lens which teaches spearos and aspiring spearfishing film makers  how to put together an awesome GoPro setup + tips and tricks that make the difference between standard and excellent spearfishing video.

23:00 Frothing Grom Stoke – Never Lose It – Maintaining a great mindset as you gain experience and time in the sport.

[Tweet “Hold onto the Awe factor, its amazing this ocean that God has given us Richard ‘Snoek’ Leonard”]

33:00 The No Stoke story. A story about a guy who lost his stoke, a fin and some skin off his bum. Lessons from a funny shorediving AKA rockhopping trip.

40:00 Fast Five Facts For Noobs

44:00 Hunting Techniques, body position, movement and cultivating an observational hunter mentality.

*******************Join Snoek on Facebook or Youtube****************************************************

The Interviews ‘NO STOKE STORY’ – Turbo and I laughed so hard at Snoek’s story here, enjoy!

Snoek: …we were actually there on a dive/spear/surf trip and he was more of a surfer. So we went out there and we were drifting pretty fast in the current around this point and I looked up at him at No-Stoke, (we actually call him No-Stoke. Because the guy hasn’t got a lot of stoke)..

Shrek: Even his name is funny, I love it.

Snoek: So I looked up at No-Stoke, and he had no stoke. The current was screaming and we’re going around this point and I didn’t know how long this point went for or if there was any exit. And there was no way to swim against the current back around where we had entered because the current was too strong, you know? So again, note to self, make sure when shore diving, to know your entrance and exit points. So having not done that, I didn’t know how long it would take to get to the other side or if there was even an exit point. So there was this flat rock and then there was a steep bank of rocks but they were super jagged sharp, but I figured the flat rock was okay. The problem was the surge was just rushing up and throwing on top of this rock and then pulling away. So if you timed it just right, you could wash up onto the rock, do the gecko, hold on for dear life, the swell would wash away, jump up quickly, grab your gear, pull off your fins, bolt along the rock, and jump up onto this bank and hang on for dear life. So this was our brainwave, the plan to escape imminent death at sea. Now No-Stoke, again, like I said-

Shrek: {Heavy Laughter} Oh I love his name! Snoek and No-Stoke, just awesome.

Snoek: So have you seen the big eyes? Have you ever seen a guy making the big eyes?

Big Eyes


Shrek: Oh yeah, yeah I know what you’re talking about.

Snoek: Well No-Stoke had no stoke and big eyes. This whole situation was deteriorating fast. So now I go for it, I do the first rush, boom, nail it, obviously having shore dived for many years there is always these kinds of situations. I did the gecko, got the landing perfectly, held on, sucked away, ripped my fins off, boom. Made it. So now I’m parking on the bank. And now I look out and No-Stoke is just not operating. So now I’m like, ugh, man, so I decide I’m going to get my fins back on and help out No-Stoke. So I get the fins back on, wait for the surge to go away, rush onto the rock, dive into the water and now I’m back out there again. In this surging swell that’s rushing up towards the rocks. So now I’ve got to tell No-Stoke when to go so we wait for the moment, and go. He goes, but just didn’t land the gecko. {Heavy Laughter – Shrek and Turbo again}

Shrek: Oh no, No-Stoke had no gecko.

Snoek: No, just total a total fail on the gecko. So he landed on his ass and he starts bumping along, and as he’s bumping you just hear him going ah! Ah! Ah! Which was quite feminine. So he’s bumping along and he slides back off the side of this ledge, boom, back into the ocean. So I’m like, ugh, this isn’t going down too well. And then, to top it off, what’s even worse, I look at his fins, he’s using my dad’s fins and one fin is gone. Now, No-Stoke, big eyes, and one fin. The situation is just not happening.

Eventually I get behind him, push him flat on his stomach, he lands the gecko, runs up and No-stoke’s fine. I landed and now I’m like, okay, I’ve got to tell my dad about this fin and anyway, No-Stoke’s alive, and that’s fine. So we hung on and made it, happy days, we all survived. No-Stoke’s soaked a bit, but anyway it’s fine, we got through it, we got through the friendship trauma. Next morning we’re like, let’s leave the diving today, let’s go surfing. So we’re out surfing, and I just see this shoal of something smashing the surface and they keep rushing in the surfline and rushing past us and I’m like no, dude, we have to go get our gear, this is ridiculous. Eventually he buckles and I said to him, look I’ve found the exit point, we’ll be fine, you have to come with me. So we borrowed some fins for him, we head out into the ocean and I didn’t know that spot really well so we’re swimming on sand, there’s nothing, and I’m zig-zagging trying to find a reef, and I’m zig-zagging all over the ocean, different depths and I see this black object, I must have swum out to about 15 meters. So I see this black object floating in the distance, I’m like what is that thing.

Shrek: It was your dad’s fin.

Snoek: I swum out to it. It’s my fin. I find my fin. Absolutely crazy. So that’s the story of No-Stoke and the fin.

Shrek: What are we going to call it, No-Stoke, one fin? That’s brilliant, I love it.

As you go through the difficult times spearfishing these kinds of stories are always the ones that stick out. Like Snoek mentioned – pay attention and plan your entry and exit points as best you can. If you have just headed out anyway, do not panic. Hopefully all you end up with is a bruised ego!


Rich Filming Action. richard leonard

Richard Leonard capturing the action, helping to tell spearfishing stories to the world.

If you enjoyed this interview and would like to learn more about using GoPros for spearfishing then check out this interview with Aaron Chasse.

If you would like to learn more about Underwater Photography listen into Jessie Cripps and Michael Takach here or if you heard the No Stoke story maybe a Guide To Shore Dive Spearfishing is more up you alley.

Let us know what you thought about the No Stoke story in the comments! Thanks for listening