Chris Bertish – South African surfer, adventurer

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Key Features

Out-of-the-box thinking
Fun in the sun, in a controlled environment
Overcoming fears
Embracing the unknown & stepping outside your comfort zone
Dealing with change
Empowering self
Confidence & morale building
Synergy team booster


Chris Bertish is a man of many passions. He has set world records, Stand up paddled solo across the Atlantic, surfed monster waves, presented keynote talks to hundreds of thousands across the globe, written best-selling books and directed motion picture documentaries.
Somehow, he has still managed to grow multiple entrepreneurial businesses in South Africa and across the world, and to fight for our youth, our planet and our future.
A man of many passions, indeed. And one who doesn’t believe in iMPOSSIBLE!


In 2010, Chris made headlines when he won the Mavericks Big Wave Invitational, a surfing competition without rival. Born a skinny kid in Kenilworth, Cape Town, Chris found a way to travel across the world and outwit, outsmart and outperform the world’s best-paid professional athletes – and forever change the face of big-wave surfing.

6 years later, after half a decade of intense training, Chris set out from Morocco, alone, on a stand-up paddleboard, with his sights set on the shores of Antigua in the Caribbean. 93 days, 7500 kilometers and uncountable challenges, terrors, self-doubts and trials later, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean and entered, tanned and bearded, into the Guinness Book of World Records.

What is perhaps most inspiring about this tale is not the work of Chris himself, but the 1000 children of the Lunchbox Fund and Operation Smile that he did all of this for 1000 kids who had been born with cleft palates, who now have had their futures returned to them.

He continues to use his adventures to support charities in environmental, humanitarian, educational, sustainability and conservation realms, to bring about tangible positive change and inspire us all to be better human beings.


With sustainability and his beloved oceans an everlasting part of his heart, Chris takes his roles as Ambassador for the World View Climate Change Parks, Operation Smile, 2Oceans Aquarium and Conservation International very seriously.

Through his business he annually plants multiple forests around the world, to offset his own carbon footprint and to be an example to others of the change we wish to see in the world.

Chris runs his business as a B Corp Certified business, using what he does as a force for good, while also being 1% for the Planet Certified.

More recently, Chris was recognized as one of the Top 5 Speakers in South Africa and selected as one of the Genius 100-Global Visionaries for the future by the Einstein Institute, both for excellence in his disciplines and universal global positive influence.

Together with collaborators Deepak Chopra, Sir Ken Robinson, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Shimon Peres, he is working to inspire the next generation of geniuses.

He’s also been a part of a small team working on a new, innovative and forward thinking educational curriculum for the world, called “Ambassadors for the Planet”, which was recently endorsed by the U.N. and will be launched globally in 2021.

The goal of this program is to create better humans by teaching kids design and conservation to create a solution driven youth with the planet in mind.

Limitless! The SUP Crossing Story

There has never before been a solo expedition so wild, extreme, and hazardous that as Red Bull, Nat Geo, and the New York Times said, ”Redefined Adventure!”

But not only did Chris’s incredible Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) Crossing transcend the limits of what was thought to be humanly possible, it was completed for an incredible life-changing purpose that directly impacted and inspired millions around the world.

In Chris’s latest and most impressive talk yet, which is receiving standing ovations globally, The SUP Crossing – Go The Distance talk, Chris delivers a spellbinding and captivating narrative complemented by a powerful audiovisual presentation that will blow your audience away.

In March 2017 Chris completed his most daring challenge yet by becoming the first person to cross the entire Atlantic Ocean (over 7500km) on a Stand Up Paddleboard over 93 days and 93 grueling nights, solo & unsupported. In doing so, Chris dared to achieve what most perceive to be impossible.

This talk will inspire, educate and motivate audiences by sharing his incredibly captivating stories, lessons and learnings.

Key Takeaways:

  • The importance of meticulous planning and preparation
  • Defining your why?
  • Adopt a “can do” attitude
  • Embracing change as a constant
  • How to implement the tools & skills Chris teaches
  • Chris’ “5 P’s”: Planning, Preparation, Passion, Perseverance, Purpose
  • Risk and fear management
  • Innovation / working with what you have
  • Collaboration and the importance of teamwork
  • Going the distance – resilience