Interviewing Chuck Gainey, Co-Founder of the Carolina Surf Film Festival

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Shred Season's founder, Liam Becker, was lucky enough to catch up with one of the masterminds behind one of the coolest surfing events in the Carolinas; the Carolina Surf Film Festival.  The festival exhibits surf films from the Carolinas and around the world.  Art, music, food and an eclectic mix of vendors round out an impressive celebration of wave riding.  

Liam Becker:  Hey Chuck, tell us a little about yourself.
Chuck Gainey:  Hey Liam! I've been surfing most of my life--I moved to Charleston in 1989 from the upstate of South Carolina. I have a 6 year old daughter who has me wrapped around her little finger. I try to spend as much time with family and friends as possible. I work hard and play hard, mostly in the ocean!

Liam:  What made you want to learn to surf?
Chuck:  I knew I'd be a surfer the first time I saw The Endless Summer. It looked like so much fun, I had to try it.
When did you learn: It was the summer of ’83.

Liam:  What was your first board? 
Chuck:  5’10” thruster by Fox Wave Weapons.

Liam:  What is your favorite everyday board to ride? 
Chuck:  Lately I’ve been enjoying a 5’2” Mini Simmons shaped by Greg Eavey, but I'll try anything if the conditions are right.

Liam:  Tell us about Carolina Surf Film Festival.  
Chuck:  My partner, Chad Davis, came up with the idea. As part of his work with his music company, Triple 9 Music, he had been to other surf film festivals and had a great time. I've always loved surf films, so I was stoked to be a part of bringing the festival to the people! We also put on one-night surf film events under our parent company, Carolina Surf Brand. One of the best things about being a part of the fest is that we are able to raise money and awareness for non-profits we support, such as Surfers Healing.

Liam:  How would you sum up the Carolina Surf Brand?
Chuck:  Carolina Surf Brand is a lifestyle brand focused on surfing and life on the coast.

Liam:   Which one came first: the brand or the festival?
Chuck:   Very shortly after we decided to put on the festival, we decided to start CSB to act as the parent company of everything we do. Under Carolina Surf Brand we produce events and have an apparel line. Check out our new fall and winter line at

Liam:  How did the clothing line start?
Chuck:  The brand started as a result of us putting on the first festival. We wanted a company that could grow and expand alongside the festival.

Liam:  What is the mission of Carolina Surf Brand?
Chuck:  We’re on a mission to stoke people out while bringing the surfing community together! We love being able to support and promote non-profits, artists, shapers, and local businesses.

Liam:  What can we expect in the future for the festivals?
Chuck:  We hope to add a festival in the Myrtle Beach area soon. We currently have festivals in Charleston [South Carolina] and Wilmington [North Carolina]. Eventually we'd like to cover the entire eastern seaboard.

Liam:  What is your favorite surf film?
Chuck:  Surfer, Dude, with Matthew McConaughey. Now that's a surf film. I bet he has racks on his Lincoln in real life! Really though, I guess I'd say my favorite "classic" surf films are The Endless Summer and Big Wednesday. My more recent favorites are Psychic Migrations and Death 2 Hipsters.

Liam:  What are your goals for the next few years?  
Chuck:  I'd like to continue working with artists and athletes to grow Carolina Surf Brand into an international brand. I also want to surf more!

Liam:  How can people follow you and the business?
Chuck:  We're on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Link to the festival website: