SAND AND SEA
PEOPLE OF INTEREST
and skill replaces youth,” he says. “You believe in yourself
and you have done it many times. When you are young, you
go for it and you don’t care. You get smart and you pick the
best waves when everything is perfect with all green lights.
When a red light pops up you have to say no. When you get
old, it’s quality over quantity.
“You can’t panic and you have to remain calm under
pressure. Your mind is telling you to run, but you stay and
you paddle out. Passion is stronger than fear. Once you get
the adrenalin rush of being in a big barrel, you will die for
Once ranked 20th in the world, Williams finished second in
the Mexican Pipeline Masters and won an additional $1,000
for the best tube ride in the contest.
“I didn’t do it for the fame or the money and I was usually
20 years older than the other guys,” he says. “If you want
to be one of the best surfers in the world you have to surf
against them. The Australians told me I’d be dangerous if I
had a good board. I was always the only guy who made his
A friend of Williams who needed money once offered to sell
him a surfboard — one of five made by big wave rider Greg
Noll in homage to Duke Kahanamoku, the Hawaiian father
of big wave surfing. “Back then, we would cut down long
boards and make short boards from them,” Williams says.
When Noll heard about the board, he called and offered
$10,000. His wife later offered whatever he wanted to sell the
board for Noll’s birthday present. Signed by Noll with volcanic
ash (pumice) in the nose and tail blocks, it may be the
most valuable surfboard on the planet, William says.
“Greg Noll has always been my hero,” Williams says.
“That board is my soul base. I knew if I sold it, every surfboard
I made after that would be crooked. It would have
been bad mana. (Hawaiian karma). For whatever reason, I
was invited to a ceremony for Greg Noll at Waimea Bay in
Hawaii. I would have given the board to him if I had it with
me that night.”
The only pleasure Williams enjoys more than surfing is
making surfboards for newcomers to the sport.
“Shaping is the part I like the most,” he says. “I do the sanding,
the glass work, make my own blanks and do everything
from start to finish, which no one else does. It’s hands on. I like
working with people and it is a good feeling when they come
back to you and tell you much they love the boards.
“I like working with up-and-coming kids. You can buy
boards anywhere, but to have a board custom made for your
skill level and size makes a huge difference in your surfing
and enjoyment,” he says.
Williams describes Impact’s business as the repair, restoration
and production of surfboards.
“Surfing is his life,” Stuart chiropractor Todd Rissacher
says. “Chuck eats, breathes and sleeps surfing. He told me
what I could do to survive riding big waves. Not too many
people on this Earth can shape a board like he does. Shapers
are sculptors and he is an artist.
“He has reached out to so many surfers over the years,
teaching them the principles to live the surf life rather than
the street life,” Rissacher adds. “Some he took under his
wing and sponsored many up-and-coming surfers over the
years. He has been a mentor to so many including me. As he
has aged, his attitude and surfing have not changed. He is a
surfer through and through.
“When I first met them, I didn’t know there was another
Home: Fort Pierce
Education: Brevard Community
College; Seabreeze High
School, Ormond Beach
Occupation: Custom surfboard
Hobbies: “Surfing, surfing and surfing”
What inspires me: “The ocean has that certain draw, that energy,
that attraction. I like the untamed force, the challenge of
riding big waves. Most people run from the fire and we jump
into it. The ocean calls to you, but most people don’t hear it.
The ocean screams at me.”
What most people don’t know about me: “I spent the first 10
years of my life in the swamps of the Everglades. Being alone
in the woods at night is like paddling out by yourself on a
brother and they played those twin tricks on everyone. Both
of them surfed the pro circuit back in the ’80s. They are hard
chargers and have respect around the world. People know
who the Williams brothers are. They are leaders in the surfing
community,” Rissacher says.
“We have 100 percent the same genes,” Williams says of his
brother, George. “It’s the twin thing. We pushed each other so
hard. We were so competitive, it was insane. He has always
had my back on the big waves and I have always had his
back. And that was an advantage we had over other surfers.”