Chris Bertish

  • Photo Credit: Craig Kolesky

Tagline: Ocean Adventurer

Talent Highlights

  • Record-Breaking Achievements: Chris Bertish is a trailblazer in the world of ocean adventure, renowned for his record-breaking feats and daring exploits on the open sea.
  • Solo Transatlantic Crossing: A testament to his indomitable spirit, Chris made history with his solo transatlantic crossing on a stand-up paddleboard, defying the odds and pushing the boundaries of human endurance.
  • Big Wave Surfing Champion: As a big wave surfing champion, Chris has conquered some of the most treacherous waves on the planet, showcasing his exceptional skill and fearlessness in the face of adversity.
  • Adventurer and Philanthropist: Beyond his remarkable athletic accomplishments, Chris is also a dedicated philanthropist and adventurer, using his expeditions to raise awareness and funds for charitable causes around the world.
  • Inspiring Speaker and Author: Through his captivating storytelling and infectious enthusiasm, Chris inspires audiences to embrace challenges, pursue their dreams, and make a positive impact on the world. His book, “ALL IN,” chronicles his epic journey and serves as a source of inspiration for adventurers and dreamers everywhere.

Keynote Topics

What if you chose to see challenges as Adventures?

A talk about what it takes to succeed in anything- a project, a start up, a goal.. going “All In!” is not just a phrase, it’s a philosophy. A code for achieving anything against all odds, when everything is on the line and success is the only option.

What it takes, from mindset and attitude, the planning and preparation of your team, and the resilience needed to achieve anything, even the seemingly impossible!

Virtual or In Person Talk

Chris rides waves the size of four-story 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.

He holds the South African Open Ocean Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) 24-hour Distance World Record.

Chris is living proof that if you truly believe in something, set your sights on your goal – no matter how big – if you work hard at it, stay focused and never give up, you can achieve anything.

The Maverick’s Big Wave Story 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.

THRIVE is a 1 hour Virtual and Interactive talk & workshop via Zoom / WebX, designed to arm employees for the challenges they are currently facing.

Thrive will give them the necessary tools to face and overcome these unprecedented and challenging times, while staying positive, productive and emerging more evolved, resilient and even stronger.

As the Mavericks Big Wave Champion and the only person on the planet to survive in a tiny box sized space, paddling alone in the Atlantic Ocean for 93 days, Chris Bertish is probably one of the best and most qualified and equipped individuals to talk and give guidance on isolation and how to get through adversity, change and challenging times.

Chris Bertish has learned some highly valuable tools and skills that helped him get through these challenging times which he will share with you through this interactive Talk / Workshop.

  • Virtual – 10 Tools for Remote Success! For Business & Life
  • Unlock Your Superpowers! And Achieve Anything 


(8 reviews)

Travels from:

  • Los Angeles, CA

Fee Range:

  • Fees* On Request




Chris Bertish has become a sought after global motivational keynote and TEDx guest speaker. Whether talking at corporate events or schools, his tale of overcoming obstacles to get halfway around the globe for the Mavericks competition final always has audiences clinging to the edge of their seats. There’s an authenticity to this material that makes […]

Chris Bertish has become a sought after global motivational keynote and TEDx guest speaker. Whether talking at corporate events or schools, his tale of overcoming obstacles to get halfway around the globe for the Mavericks competition final always has audiences clinging to the edge of their seats.

There’s an authenticity to this material that makes people sit up and listen – because Chris walks his talk. In his popular motivation talks, Chris doesn’t just talk about what he does (believe it or not, he’s not one to brag about his achievements). Instead, he talks about why he does it.

Like every successful sportsperson, team-leader, businessperson or entrepreneur, Chris Bertish knows that it’s the reasons why we do something that determine how we do it – or whether we do it at all. 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, Filmmaker and Businessman.

Chris Bertish | Amazing Ocean Adventurer

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

Now he has his 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 Bertish, 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.

Chris Bertish, a name that has become synonymous with daring and determination, is a modern-day hero whose story inspires individuals across the globe. With a background in big-wave surfing, ocean exploration, and an unwavering passion for humanitarian and environmental causes, Bertish has made waves in various fields, showcasing what’s possible when one combines courage, determination, and an unyielding commitment to making a positive impact on the world.

Early Life and Passion for Surfing

Chris Bertish was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and from a young age, he displayed a deep connection to the ocean. He started surfing when he was just five years old and, over the years, developed a fascination for big-wave surfing, a niche within the sport that challenges even the most seasoned surfers.

Bertish’s dedication to mastering the art of riding enormous waves would set the stage for one of his most significant achievements.

Big-Wave Surfing Prowess

Bertish’s prowess in big-wave surfing did not go unnoticed, and he began competing in international surfing competitions, earning recognition for his fearless approach to tackling some of the world’s most colossal waves. His deep understanding of ocean dynamics and his ability to navigate treacherous waters made him a standout figure in the surfing community.

In 2010, Chris Bertish achieved a major milestone by winning the Mavericks Invitational, one of the most prestigious big-wave surfing competitions held in Northern California. This victory solidified his reputation as a formidable force in the world of surfing.

The SUP Transatlantic Crossing

While big-wave surfing was a significant part of Bertish’s life, he had even more audacious dreams beyond conquering waves. In 2017, he embarked on a solo journey that would captivate the world and redefine the limits of what could be achieved on the open ocean. Bertish set out to paddle across the Atlantic Ocean on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP), covering over 4,050 miles from Morocco to Antigua.

This incredible journey took 93 days, during which Bertish faced monumental challenges, including brutal weather, exhaustion, and encounters with marine life. He relied on a specially designed paddleboard equipped with solar panels, satellite communication, and an emergency beacon, as well as meticulous planning and unwavering determination.

The crossing, known as the “SUP Crossing,” was not only a personal triumph but also a testament to human endurance and the capacity for individuals to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It was also a fundraiser for various charitable causes, including the Lunchbox Fund and Operation Smile, further illustrating Bertish’s commitment to humanitarian efforts.

The Ocean Driven Activist

Chris Bertish is not merely a waterman and adventurer; he is also a passionate advocate for environmental conservation and ocean protection. His close connection to the ocean has inspired him to take action against the critical environmental issues affecting our planet’s waters.

He is actively involved in initiatives focused on cleaning up oceans, raising awareness about plastic pollution, and promoting sustainable practices. Bertish’s dedication to these causes is reflected in his motivational speaking engagements and involvement with non-profit organizations. He has used his platform and influence to encourage others to take responsibility for the health of our oceans, ensuring that they remain a thriving ecosystem for generations to come.


Chris Bertish is a living testament to the power of courage, determination, and a resolute commitment to making a difference. From conquering colossal waves as a big-wave surfer to achieving the unimaginable feat of paddling solo across the Atlantic Ocean on a stand-up paddleboard, Bertish’s story is one of inspiration and possibility.

His dedication to humanitarian and environmental causes further highlights his impact beyond the world of extreme sports. As a global citizen and an advocate for change, Chris Bertish continues to demonstrate that the boundaries of human potential are only limited by one’s imagination and the willingness to push beyond perceived limits.

His journey serves as a reminder that with unwavering determination, anyone can accomplish the extraordinary and make a lasting impact on the world. Chris Bertish stands as a symbol of hope and a call to action, inspiring individuals to dream big, face challenges head-on, and contribute to the betterment of society and the environment.

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  • Name: Chris Bertish
  • Type: Inspirational Adventurer Keynote Speaker
  • Theme: Motivation & Sustainability
  • Speciality: Mindset, Adversity, Resilience
  • Travels from: Los Angeles, California
  • Expert On: Overcoming Adversity, Mindset, Motivation and Adventure
  • Author: All In, Stoked
  • Keynote Topics:
    • ALL IN!
    • 10 Tools for Remote Success! For Business & Life

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