Peyton Chitty, new screener for the 2017 Carolina Surf Film Festival

Each year, we like to bring in new screeners to help us decide on the film awards that we present to the winning films.

This year we’re really stoked to bring Peyton Chitty on the 2017 CSFF Screening Board.

Please take a minute to check out Peyton’s bio.

My name is Peyton Chitty and I am a lifelong surfer of thirty five years. I grew up in Virginia Beach and made my way south, spending most of my adult life in the Outer Banks before settling in Wilmington, NC thirteen years ago. I like to ride anything I can so shortboards, longboards, fins, and handplanes are all loads of fun for me! I used to frequently compete in ESA and other events, but nowadays I’m pretty much just a free surfer who may hit up the old man divisions every once and a while. Much thanks to CB Surf Shop for keeping me on their team!

For a day job, I’m a high school counselor and assistant cross country coach at Ashley High School, so I get to see the local surf rats and stay on them about their grades and such.

So now that my surfing and work resume is done, I’ll tell you all something else about me that you wouldn’t know unless I told you. In 2011 I received a total spinal discectomy that resulted in a titanium cage, plates, and screws in my C-6/7 area of my spine.  As part of my several month rehab I was only allowed to walk. Eventually, after logging so many miles walking I began jogging a little bit and then running. I entered a few races and started placing in my age group. My race distances got longer and I ended up doing a few half marathons and marathons. Well, during one of my races I suffered a cardiac event that was a result of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. To make a long story short, I received a pacemaker in December 2015. I did not feel sorry for myself for one second. Instead, I made the decision that I would surf and run again.  Within a month I was running again and within a few months I was surfing again. Eleven months after my pacemaker I ran a personal record in the Outer Banks Marathon. Now I’m mere minutes from qualifying for Boston.

The reason I’m telling you all this is because I want to use any platform I can to reach people and tell them they do not need to be defined by circumstances or a diagnosis. I refuse to walk through life like a zombie waiting for a headshot to end a miserable existence. I’m going to live life as it’s meant to be lived. For me, surfing and running are the ultimate measures of living life to the fullest. Squeeze the juice out of every day then eat the rind!

I want to thank Chad and Carolina Surf Brand, as he has been such a great support and cheerleader for my journey and cause over the past few years. I’m super stoked to be a part of this film festival and blessed to be above ground!

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