Rick Civelli – Founder/President

Rick Civelli – Founder/President

As a kid, Rick Civelli spent his summers clamming, fishing, and of course surfing. Without realizing it, his appreciation for environmental conservation was ingrained before his teens. He graduated from UNC-Wilmington with his Bachelors in Environmental Studies. During college and after graduation he worked as a marine science educator at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. For three years he developed and facilitated programs while teaching thousands of adults and children about the wonders of our coastal ecosystems. During both his undergraduate and graduate studies, he was an assistant director for UNCW’s Marine Science Summer Camp Program.

To broaden his professional development he later worked as a permit and enforcement officer for the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management. Taking a different approach to environmental conservation, he reviewed and permitted coastal development projects, and issued fines for remediation of impacted coastal resources. Rick sat on the Board of Directors for the Society of Masonboro Island and is a member the Surfrider Foundation, and the NC Aquarium Society. He also spent 3 years pursuing a Masters Degree in Coastal Geology from UNC-Wilmington’s Center for Marine Science where he studied coastal processes.

In the winter of 1995, Rick developed a marine science educational learn to surf program for our local aquarium which he called “Surf’s Up”. Since then he has taught thousands of students of all ages the sport of surfing while enlightening them of the wonders of our coastal environment.

His travels have brought him to surf and study coastal processes and habitats all over the world. He has explored coral reefs in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Anegada, Antigua, Bermuda, Jost Van Dyke, St Lucia, St Thomas, St John, and St Martin. He has swam with sea turtles in, Tortola, Baja Mexico, Barbados, and Costa Rica, sharks in Looe Key national marine sanctuary, sting rays in the Bahamas, sea lions in Peru, and dolphins off Key West Florida.

He has surfed up and down the east coast from Nantucket to Block Island to Cape Hatteras to Sebastian inlet. He has also caught many epic swells on the West coast from Morro Bay to Tourmaline San Diego. On several occasions Rick has also ventured to the North Shore of Oahu, where he visited famous surf breaks including Waimea Bay, Pipeline, Sunset and Sandy Beach.

With his love for wellness, paddleboarding, and utmost respect for the ocean and it’s resources, Rick has developed the unparalleled SUP experience with Cape Fear SUP.

Chase O'Briant - Program Coordinator

Chase O’Briant – Program Coordinator

Chase was born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina.  At a young age he began boating, fishing, and surfing around Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach, which gave him a strong fundamental knowledge of the waterways and marine ecosystems found in Southeastern NC.  In his adult life Chase continues to spend his spare time in and around the water, but now with the addition of Stand-up Paddleboarding as a go-to activity.

Chase started as a SUP Tour Guide with Cape Fear Paddleboarding in 2016.  His favorite parts of being a SUP Tour Guide are the opportunities to connect with clients as well as sharing any and all knowledge he has about the plant and animal life seen during a tour.  He then led Surf, SUP, and Yoga Retreats and large group SUP tours, and is now the Program Coordinator for Cape Fear Paddleboarding.

While he no longer guides SUP tours as much as he would like, Chase can still be seen around Wrightsville Beach driving our board trailer, setting up equipment for group tours, training new guides, and going for a solo paddle to map out new routes for our tours.  If you see Chase around town or out on the water be sure to say hey!

Adam Stogdill - Activities Manager

Adam Stogdill- Activities Manager

Now entering my second season as a Surf/SUP Instructor and the new Activities Manager, I’m stoked to be on board with such a great company! I was born and raised in the Midwest, and have always wanted to surf. Growing up I enjoyed riding dirtbikes, skateboards, and snowboards but I always knew something was missing. I joined the Marine Corps in 2016 which sparked my surfing career. I was stationed right here in Eastern NC allowing me to surf some of the best breaks North Carolina has to offer. I am currently pursuing a Bachelors in Business through Penn State. My goal is to continue to develop my personal and professional career as a surfer, instructor, and husband. I strive to keep the stoke alive and always have fun!


Sinead Eksteen - Private SUP Instructor

Sinead Eksteen- Private SUP Instructor

Sinead was born in Pretoria, South Africa but grew up right outside Washington DC. Her childhood was spent swimming competitively, exploring the outdoors, and overall, just trying to be in the water as much as possible. She learned how to surf at the age of 10 on a trip to California and has loved it since. This passion for surfing has led her to traveling the world to surf at famous breaks, her favorite being back home in South Africa at Jeffrey’s Bay.

Sinead is currently in graduate school at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she is studying Coastal Management. She has a deep love for the ocean and the environment, and hopes to eventually pursue a career in conservation. In her free time, she loves surfing, hiking, painting, and sailing.


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