2009 Seal Island

2009 Seal Island

Chris Bertish is unsound. Unhinged some might say. One of South Africa’s highest profile big wave surfers has made a name for himself by consistently pushing the envelope. Not content to take off late, backdoor sections as big as suburban homes and pull into huge gaping close-out maws, Chris also likes to be the first oke to do something. Remember he was the first guy to paddle into Jaws / Peahi in Hawaii and the first to paddle big Ghost Trees in California. He pretty much single-handedly re-established modern big wave surfing in the UK when he paddled out at the Cribber to catch some close-outs, and made the front page news. Then he was the first guy to catch a wave on an SUP at Dungeons.

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2006 Easter Island

Easter Island

Part 1

I flew out of England after a six-hour drive to Heathrow from Cornwall. I had zero luggage to check in, only boards. They were under the 25kg weight requirement but Iberian still stung me 276 pounds! Just to get to Chile, not even to Rapa Nuie! Don’t fly Iberia, is all I can say.  Strike 1 …

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Stand Up Paddle World Tour Event France

Stand Up Paddle World Tour Event- Anglet, France- May 2010

The Stand Up Paddle World Tour event in Anglet was the first Sup event I have ever entered and competed in. Relatively new to the sport of Stand Up Paddle surfing, after only starting just under two years ago it seems I have built a reputation abroad for Supp’ing into some of the heaviest waves on the planet- I guess Dungeons included. Luckily for me, this reputation has enabled me to get a place on teh stand Up Paddle World tour Committee Board and a slot into the Top 16 for the first two legs of the SUP World Tour.

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Big Wave World Tour Awards 2010

Big Wave World Tour Awards 2010- Chris Highest ranking South African places 3rd in the World!

The Big Wave World Tour Surfing Awards were pretty special for two reasons.

Firstly this was the first ever Big Wave World Tour Awards, crowning the first ever Big Wave World Champion.

Secondly, it was on the night after the XXL Awards and I have never been in a worse state than I was that day, for probably one of the most amazing events of my entire life.


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XXL Awards 2010

XXL Big Wave Awards April 2010

I’m back for another four weeks and then get the call they flying me out for the Big Wave world tour awards and infamous XXL Awards.

And here we go again…..LA, Limo’s Tuxedo’s and the gilts and glam of the fake world…You want to be a rock star for the weekend, this is it! Party on my friend, party on!


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Todos Santos Event March 2010

The Todos Santos Event-Mexico March 2010

Literally a couple of weeks back from the Mavericks Win, after arriving back the day after the Mavericks after party, straight off the plane and directly into a work appointment, things just haven’t let up for a split second since I got back to RSA. Straight into 16 hour days for work, six days a week, with interviews and press stuff jammed in between.


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Welcome home party Mavericks Win

Welcome home party-Mavericks Win Feb 2010

After the whirlwind evening of the Mavericks win and partying all night, I got a flight out in the morning to fly back home for work!

While on the way home my brothers and girlfriend organised a welcome home crew to meet me at the airport, unbeknown to me…

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Press, PR and Promotion

The businesses I run, guest speaking I do, along with the journals I write & exploits along the way, have created a wealth of press and PR over the last decade. From global TV coverage on the news on channels like ESPN, CNN BBC & NBC, to sports host evenings in South Africa, like Sports Night on SABC 1 and 3.

Last year, due to the start of my own small business in South Africa, I was really strapped financially and unable to personally raise enough money to go abroad, compete  and represent my country. So to compete abroad and as an innovative South African I set up a website www.pleasesponsorchrisbertish.com and with the help of friends from all over South Africa, set up a couple of fundraisers, selling raffle tickets, sunset cruises, some of my own boards, signed posters and ad space on my big wave guns to anyone to generate enough money to go abroad and represent my country.

The site and campaign generated huge publicity and a large following with updates being posted to Facebook and my personal blog on the site.

The following and support was so amazing that I ended up giving a couple thousand rand to the Reach for a Dream foundation who do a great job looking after kids with life threatening illnesses.

There is a great marketing tool here with huge potential waiting to be tapped, if anyone is interested in getting involved with branding and or sponsorship, please drop me a mail on my contact details and I am more than happy to discuss any opportunities I maybe be able to assist you with.

  • TV- Global coverage on various news channels like ESPN, CNN BBC & NBC., UNBC, sports programmes in South Africa, like Sports Night on SABC 1 & 3.
  • Web– I do a journal on my own blog, aswell as updates on Facebook, Twitter and a newsletter that goes out to a broad spectrum on a quaterly.  I get great coverage through media partners:
  1. Thebombsurf.co.za  who will be following my exploits via a weekly journal with video and stills
  2. Wavescape.co.za who will be doing a feature on my updates
  3. Zigzag.co.za
  4. Mahala.co.za who will also be doing a number of key updates on my progress.
  5. Various coverage from Surfline, Surfermag.com and Surfersvillage
  6. Live coverage from three of the five events – Live streaming web events, event details listed below.
  • PR– PR releases will be going out before the numerous events and through my web updates and newsletters, which communicate the various charity fundraisers projects and or other events information that needs to communicated to the public.
  • Radio- I  do various radio interviews from time to time on KFM & CapeTalk which have a large national audience.
  • Interviews– I’m constantly doing interviews for magazines and or radio for various events and or projects I am involed in, from Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health, Rooi Rose, Mail & Gaurdian etc.
  • Logos  & branding is important on all my boards and my website, to ensure those who support me get as much mileage as possible, at all times.
  • Print– all magazines & newspapers both local and international – Surfing Life Australia, Surfer Magazine,The Bomb, Zigzag, Stand Up Paddle Journal, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Sun, Cape Times, Argus, Sunday Times, etc


Environmental Projects

Environmental Projects

Chris is very involved in numerous enviromental projects.  Our environment is merely on lone to us and the ocean is our sanctuary which we need to look after, protect and respect.  We need to help keep it clean and aid in any way to protect it from people and or companies that have little respect for the planet, our enviroment and the future of the planet.

Surfers Call

Chris is very involved with his brothers Conn and Greg, in an initiative started by Conn, named ‘the Surfers Call’, which is a surfers initiative to protect the oceans & rivers that we are so fortunate to be able to use and enjoy, that has been passed down from generation to generation, for us to continue to enjoy, but also protect and respect.

The Surfers Call is on a mission to make people aware and protest against any organisation and or people that contribute to damaging our enviroment, the ocean and the waves we are so fortunate to enjoy, as ocean custodians.

Recent Surfers Call Projects include:

  • Surfers Call- Disa River Awareness campaign- Hout Bay (March10)

This was a project to bring about awareness and protest against the damage all the pollutants are having to the area and how the Disa river has now become a major pollutant to the Hout Bay region, the beach and the ocean, as the run off from the township now is so toxic it is causing major pollution to the river and making the beach and ocean unsafe to walk, bathe and swim.


  • Surfers Call- Elands Bay-Moetant Rivier Anti Mining Campaign- Elands Bay (June10)

This was a protest to show our willingness to get involved and protest against the proposed mining action in the Elands Bay valley, the Moetant River and make a stand against the destruction and the damage the mining will have in the area to the environment, the natural wetland area, the ocean and the waves.  We say no to mining in one of South Africa’s few last natural wetland regions.

Next Surfers Call Project:

  • Coming soon to protect a beach near you!

Ocean Minded Custodian Projects

  • Local Beach Clean up Initiatives- Beaches around the Western Cape

  • Local Community projects to help Ocean Awareness and living and protecting and repecting the enviroment


Thyspunt Protest against the building of a Nuclear Power Plant in JBay

  • Surfers joined locals in huge protest against the building of a nuclear power plant on the 20th July 2010 at JBay

Over 2000 people joined in to show their concern about the buliding of a nuclear plant in an ecologically rich and unique area.  Turning an eco-destination into an industrial area will not only be sad and bad for planet earth, but many people will lose their livelihood which depends on tourism or fishing for a living.

The environmental and social impact of building a power plant will be catastrophic.  Thats not to mention that there are no safety guarantees from Eskom. An accidental radio active fallout at Thyspunt would be potentially 5 times that of Chernobyl which will result in deaths, long term cancers and birth deformities – terrifying!

We have to stand together to protect our planet!

If we don’t make a stand, who will?!