It has been several weeks since we honored a new “Gladiator of the Week.” The main reason for this is, I really wanted to find someone on the east coast that I thought would fit profile. I spoke to quite a few people about it, especially at the Carolina Cup. I got a handful of great options, some of which we will likely honor in the future.
This first one though, goes to the guy whose name came up most often. With the Carolina guys, it was a no-brainer. First name off their lips. What surprised me though, was how many of the Florida guys also had him as their number 1 recommendation. This guy even had the Dana Point crew pushing for him, as many of them have known him for years, and even raced with him several times.
Taking all of this into consideration, we are happy to award this “Gladiator of the Week" Award” to Chris Hill, known as “Chill” to his friends. Once you meet Chris, you realize his nickname (which is one of the coolest in our sport) isn’t just a convenient shortening of his full name. It really fits him well. He tells me EJ Johnson is the one who gave him the nickname and it just stuck.
He is an amazing surfer, and equally impressive SUP Racer. It was interesting to me that while I am just getting to know Chris, on the East Coast he is very well known. Some might even call him a surfing icon in that part of the country. A lot of the locals talk about him the same way people in other parts of the country might talk about Jamie Mitchell, or Chuck Patterson. Needless to say, I got the sense he is pretty highly respected up in the South East.
I got a chance to meet with him a few times in Wilmington, and we discussed a variety of topics. The ones I thought were most interesting are in the Q&A below. I would also ask you to take a look at the video montage I put together for Chris. There are some great shots in there, and I think it helps paint a picture of who Chris is, and how talented of a Surfer and Racer he has become.
Interview with “Chill”
SG: Where do you live and where are you from?
Chill: I was born in Ohio moved to southern Florida for my childhood and ended up in North Carolina on the coast since 1986
SG: How long have you been surfing?
Chill: 25 years
SG: Who or what got you into Stand Up Paddle?
Chill: My good friend Jason Colclough went to Maui in the winter of 05 – 06 to surf and was introduced to Jeremy Riggs who was living behind Dave Kalama’s house , and Jeremy turned him onto SUP Down winding and surfing and then Jason came back raving about SUP and I tried it with him and never looked back.
SG: What is your favorite aspect of the sport?
Chill: Surftech , Quick blade , Maui Rippers and SUP Co – for surfing I ride Lopez @ 8′ 11" and 9’4" and also The 9′ 8" Mitcho model and 12′ Mickey Munoz Ultra Glide – For racing its the 14′ Bark Dominator and 14′ Expedition Bark for down winding
SG: What races or Surf Competitions have you won or place in?
1st Florida State Championships 14′
1st East Coast championships 14′
1st NC mullet run 14′
1st intra-Coastal SUP cup 14′
1st WBLA – 1st Golden Isle Sup Classic 14′
2nd Shem creek 14′ and over
2nd Seaside 14′
3rd Gulf Coast Championships 14′ and over
1st Cold Stroke Classic 14′
1st Surftech Sup shoot Out Race 14′
3rd Florida State Championships 14′
8th Carolina Cup 14′
Chill: Yes my wife and I have opened a SUP , Outrigger and prone boards Shop called Ohana Paddle Sports and will will carry boards , paddles , clothing and accessories. Our mission is to spread the stoke of paddling be it standing, sitting or laying down and try to get a youth movement started in NC.
SG: Do you have any young Groms at home you are grooming up?
Chill: Yes my son Brian who is getting ready to turn 15 . He has been surfing since age six and is all about SUP surfing and slowly showing interest in racing.
Chill: Jaime Mitchell. He is someone I have looked up to since my prone paddling started many years ago , just a great waterman and he puts in the work which I admire.
You can find Chris at his shop at:
Ohana Paddle Sports
303 S Topsail Dr # B
Surf City,NC 28445-6747 US
Or you can reach them through their website, at
You can also leave a comment at the bottom of this page, and we will make sure it gets to Chris.