Matt Filippi on the Australian Ninja Warrior course.
Matt Filippi on the Australian Ninja Warrior course. Stuart Bryce

'Surfing ninja' leads Coast charge

OUR very own 'surfing ninja' has proven he's just as comfortable in the air as in the water.

Matt Filippi held his own against some of the top athletes in the country tonight on Australian Ninja Warrior.

After navigating the tricky pole rider and making the basket toss look easy, Filippi nearly made it through the course when he lost his grip at the end of the tyre swing obstacle.

The 32-year-old, who joined the army at 19 and served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, now works as a personal trainer and lives with his wife Emma and two-year-old daughter Zarlie in Warana.

After Ian 'Pa Rambo' Newland and Jett Kenny splashed out in their heats, Filippi is the Coast's most successful contestant this season.

"You never know how you're going to go unless you try," he told the Daily.

"If you train hard you'll be surprised what your body can go through."

Filippi has been training once a week with Newland on his hand-built obstacle course in Buderim.

"If I can be half as fit as he is at 50 then I'll be stoked," he said.

*WARNING EMBARGOED until 9pm Monday July 16* Matt Filippi on the Australian Ninja Warrior course. Supplied by Channel 9.
The tyre swing was the only thing standing between Matt and the Warped Wall. Stuart Bryce

"The biggest thing Ian showed me is it's not just about being fast and strong. It's how to use the obstacles."

He has an even tougher challenge ahead of him in Ninja Warrior's semi-finals, where the course will be extended from six to nine obstacles.

Australian Ninja Warrior's final heat airs tomorrow at 7.30pm on Channel 9.