Stab Magazine | Once One Of Surfing's Brightest Young Talents, Chas Chidester Is Dead At 28

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Once One Of Surfing’s Brightest Young Talents, Chas Chidester Is Dead At 28

The surfing community mourns another drug-related loss.

news // Apr 18, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

He was the small, stout kid that surfed better than everyone three times his age.

By the time he was five or six Chas Chidester was already owning all the old guys at the Seal Beach Pier. Not only did he have the talent, he had the style and charisma.

He was that little kid that the old salty guys wanted to be friends up. Everyone knew he was going places.

It wasn’t long after Chas got the Pier Bowl wired and started making waves in NSSA comps that his family decided to move to the North Shore.

His old man was a grit-smoking hammer swinger, who relished surfing 15-foot Sunset on a Brewer gun with no leash.

Chas, as well as his brother Peyton, dutifully followed suit. “Surf like a man,” was a family creedo of sorts.

They moved into an old, green house on Ke Nui Road, not far from Rocky Point. Chas got sponsored. He ripped alongside today’s luminaries like John John Florence and Mason Ho.

He was the underground cat, always on the verge of making it. From Pipe to Sunset, he went as hard as anyone, but he loved spots like Lani’s and other secret nooks and crannies where he could just go out and have fun.

Chas won the Under 18 division of the Surfing America U.S. Championships in 2006, beating eventual World Pro Junior champ Kai Barger in the final. In 2008 he finished 13th at the Lowers Pro. But just as his career appeared to be on the up and up, demons crept in.

Like hundreds of thousands in the US alone, the evil of opiate addiction shook Chas to the core, but he battled valiantly. 

Chas struggled with the cycle of abuse and getting clean. His sponsors dropped him. His profile waned. His rap sheet grew. But his heart never strayed. Chas had a heart of gold.

On the North Shore last December, he was back in the water, pulling in deep at Backdoor, bagging clips with his pals Mason Ho and Sheldon Paishon (see above), and reconnecting with a lot of old friends. By all accounts he was healthy and happy.

But it’s been said that every man has his cross to bear, and for Chas, today the weight of addiction finally became too all-encompassing. The details of Chas’s death remain unclear, but what is clear is how profoundly he touched so many lives, and the heartbreak he leaves behind.

Chas was a talented surfer, great friend and loving son and brother. His life won’t be defined by the darkness, but rather by his light. He’ll forever be that little grom on the inside wedge at Seal Beach, or that guy at Rocky Point that just blew your mind.

Chas will be missed, but he was larger than life and he certainly won’t be forgotten anytime soon.




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