NSB Logo Chris Bertish Chris Bertish

Chris Bertish


San Diego, California, USA

Big Wave Surfing Mavericks Champion, SUP Record Holder & Ocean Pioneer

Chris Bertish is a Big Wave Surfing Mavericks champion; Stand up Paddle Boarding Guinness World Record Holder and Ocean Pioneer. He recently redefined the concept of Extreme Adventure by becoming the first person ever to Stand Up Paddle across any ocean. Defying all odds, Chris paddled 7500km – solo, unsupported and unassisted – for 93 days, across the Atlantic Ocean from Morocco, Africa to Antigua in the Caribbean. By conquering this challenge, Chris showed the world that we all have the power to overcome the impossible. His philosophy is one of positive change – starting with ourselves; we can make a difference to others and the environment. This is the message inspirational speaker Chris shares in all his talks and public appearances.

Keynote Speeches

Limitless! - The Sup Crossing Story

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, he 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 on topics such as planning, attitude, change management, risk and fear management, resilience & more.

Achieving the Impossible: The Mavericks Big Wave Story

Chris rides waves the size of four-storey buildings for fun. He won the Maverick’s Big Wave International surfing event in the biggest waves ever recorded in the history of the sport. In this presentation, Chris tells the tale of how a regular working guy from South Africa manages to get halfway around the globe to win the prestigious Maverick’s competition (TITANS OF MAVERICKS), the world’s premiere, high adrenaline, big wave surfing event, overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles along the way, against all odds. This is a story filled with insights about overcoming obstacles, the power of the mind, embracing change, determination, never giving up and tackling the “impossible”. He’ll show audiences how to redefine limiting beliefs and reframe obstacles into opportunities. 

Chris also offers customized workshops on Change Mangement, Success, Goal-Setting along with an Insirational Q&A. View a full list of his presentations here.

Chris also offers customized workshops on Change Mangement, Success, Goal-Setting along with an Insirational Q&A. View a full list of his presentations here.

Platform Plus Presentations

Unique formats and ways to connect with audiences.
Film Screening | Ocean Driven
Chris Bertish comes of age in giant waves, leading to the Mavericks Invitational in 2010. Minutes after nearly drowning, he takes the world by storm. An empowering true story about resilience with gripping scenes of a unique big wave brotherhood and the hardships they face. This is an exclusive opportunity to be part of a private screening of this award-winning film which leaves audiences captivated at the power of the Ocean, marvelling at mother nature but more so, at Chris’s ability to overcome challenges and conquer fear. Chris demonstrates that with preparation, training, mental and physical fitness… anything is possible. Perfect team building event or corporate conference inspiration session, it compliment's Chris' Mavericks - Big Wave Story talk. The film is 1 hour in length.
In Conversation | Fireside Talks
A completely unique and very intimate & personal, informal evening around a fire/fire-pit, at a venue/location chosen by the client. Chris will open the session with some of his stories in a relaxed, intimate, yet casual setting, without audio visual. Clients get the rare chance to talk and engage on a one-on-one basis with Chris and find out the secrets to the magic that makes him tick, what inspires, drives and motivates him to achieve the seemingly impossible time and again and to continue doing so. This personalised session is perfectly suited to smaller groups who want a really unique and special evening comprised of your Executive Committee, VIP Guests or recognised top achievers. It’s an opportunity to engage and hear various stories about some of the greatest Adventures of our time, from the man himself. From massive waves, to great white sharks, giant squids, to World Records, Guinness World records, crossing the Atlantic, surfing Shark Island and so much more… Ask Chris the questions that you don’t get the answer to in a formal talk! This will definitely be a night to remember and one every guest will never forget.
Team Building SUP Sessions
Learn to SUP and receive some tips and techniques from the world’s most accomplished stand-up paddle boarder in a controlled and safe environment! Anyone from any background, shape, age and size can learn within half an hour. Chris’s team will help facilitate the booking and hiring of the SUP equipment (at the clients cost) and ensure sufficient boards and paddles according to your needs and then it’s all about fun, being outdoors, laughing with your team, racing, turning and experiencing first-hand the amazing sport of Stand-up Paddle boarding (SUP’ing) Chris offers personal guidance, expert tuition, advice on open water paddling, water safety, body posture, correct style and technique to optimise stroke and maximise SUP’ing enjoyment. It’s safe, easy to learn and great exercise and most of all, loads of fun! Previous Locations include: V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa and Half Moon Bay in San Francisco, USA.

Audience reviews:

  • Chris’s talk about achieving our own goals was truly fantastic. My team found it engaging and inspiring, linking in all our key focused messages, while leaving a lasting impression and fueling a higher level of confidence and motivation to take on the challenges we face going forward

    - Head of Marketing, Clicks Group
  • Your talk was simply incredible and the staff are still buzzing today and amped to read your book. There is a type of crazy that challenges the status quo and what we perceive to be possible. Chris Bertish has this in bucketloads and inspires people to be a better version of themselves. Huge appreciation and respect!

    - Managing Director, DigiCape South Africa
  • Everyone is just raving about your talk. Your story is truly outstanding and is told with humility, insight and humor, which are woven into a spellbinding narrative. As a motivational talk, I cannot fault it!”

    - Alternative Investments Manager, Old Mutual Investment Group
  • Chris shared his personal story which was extremely inspirational to all the agents at our Conference. I believe every person in the room walked away feeling that they could conquer the challenges that lay before them. He was engaging and had their full attention for the whole duration of his presentation.

    - Marketing Manager, Pam Golding Properties
  • It’s not all that often that I meet someone in life who literally comes up with a mind-blowing expeditions and then has the courage and ability to fulfill them, against all odds and it's not often a speaker is so remarkable, he gets a standing ovation and Chris brought the house down. Meeting Chris and hearing his story had a huge impact on me and our entire team.I can highly recommend Chris who not only understood our brief but truly lives the theme Finding Courage.

    - CEO, Carrick Wealth
  • You were everything we could have asked for and more! The response was overwhelming… Amazingly inspiration. You are a special Human Being!

    - GM, Southern Wines, California, USA 1000 delegates
  • You were Fantastic! Simply World Class! Great feedback from all of our delegates, thank you so very much. You really are a true Pro and an Inspiration to us all.

    - Global Head/Wealth Experience- Standard Bank
  • Chris’s story is inspiring, extraordinary and unique; the sold out audience was captivated from start to finish.

    - Marketing/Events Manager, One&Only Hotel Group
  • Your Talk was incredibly inspiring and hit all the main key points for the event. Truly amazing!

    - Vice President, Model N - Silicon Valley, USA

Speaker Biography

In everything he does – from breaking world records in big wave surfing to Stand Up Paddleboarding and other water based disciplines – ocean pioneer Chris Bertish shifts boundaries and shatters perceptions of what’s possible.

His mantra – Dream It. See it. Believe It. Achieve It – has led Chris to redefine his approach to success – not only across multiple sports, but also as a respected Author, Film Maker and Businessman.

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

Now he is launching his new speaking series on the SUP Crossing, starting in South Africa and touring abroad. Known to inspire, educate and motivate audiences by sharing his captivating experiences, Chris delivers a spellbinding and captivating narrative complimented by a powerful audiovisual presentation that will blow your audience away.

Engaging Chris to address your organisation is a worthwhile investment, as your team members will be inspired to adopt a “can do” attitude and implement the tools and skills he teaches through his powerful storytelling. Chris is also able to personalise any talk to reflect your company values, mission or a particular message.

When you book Chris, you will automatically be giving back to community projects, as percentage of the revenue generated by his global speaking engagements is donated through his various charity initiatives and his RAOK (Random Acts of Kindness) Projects.