Surf ATL Community Spotlight: Levi Dills
Every surfer has a story and this is the latest installment of our Surf ATL Community Spotlight series where we will feature surfers and those part of the surf culture in the Atlanta area. Check out our previous spotlights on Thomas Roginsky, Spencer Broome, Anthony Kennedy, Nick Bramwell, the Merlo Family, Mike Dobbs, Kristian Erik Bjerke, Jamie Eichler, Doug Paul, Brandon Spivia, Robert Hanson, Liam Spoon, Eric Ilustrisimo, Susan Bond, Jason Smith, Garrett Gilfillan, Silvia Saey, Scott Mennicke, Tammie Dalrymple, Wes Espinosa, Peter Gudbrandsen, Kelby Graham, Kayvon Nazarian, Abigail Pierce, Clark Campbell, Katy Harrison, Sam Burrafato, Maggie Maziarz, Erik Barron, Erin Keith, Jenny Serwitz, Adam Hunter, Joyce and Mack, Jackson Kearns, Jessica Luna, Tyler Urrutia, Mike Pappas, Scott Stone, Emily McLarty, Emilio Castro, Kurt Ehlers, Westry Whitaker, Santiago/Santi, and the Borton Family.
What’s up, crew! My name is Levi Dills, 38, from Acworth, Georgia. I was born in Brunswick, Georgia and I haven’t stayed far from the water since. I grew up skateboarding, snowboarding, as well as wakeboarding, wakeskating, and skiing here at home on Lake Allatoona.
I’ve been a graphic designer and marketing consultant since 2007 working in watersports, boardsports, retail, and outdoors. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing companies and people that work for them including Vans, Redbull, the WWA, BuyWake, Ambush Board Co, Slingshot Wake, Wake For Warriors, Hyperlite, and Nautique Boats
One of the biggest projects I’m currently working on and something I’m very passionate about sharing is a program called “Wake For Warriors”. Wake for Warriors is a 501c3 non-profit founded in 2012 by veterans to serve veterans. Our focus has, and always will be, on connecting with our riders. We share in their struggles and celebrate victories on and off the water. WFW is guided by combat veterans that understand the value of camaraderie.
Aside from that I currently reside at my home on Lake Allatoona with my family living the lake life. I stay heavily involved in my community and the wake world and always scoping for the next wave!
Do you ocean surf, wake surf, river surf, paddle surf? Any or all of the above?
I pretty much love to do it all. I’m blessed to have had the experiences in my life that keep me on some type of board. From retail to designing and shaping, I’ve had the opportunity to ride a lot of boards so I’m always eager to find that unicorn.
How did you get into surfing? In Atlanta or somewhere else?
Friends! Some of my biggest influencers/mentors inspired me to travel and shred anything. So along that journey, I got the chance to surf for the very first time on a wakeboard trip to the Outer Banks, circa 2001. I think that day I knew I would add surfing to my quiver.
What I didn’t know is how impactful surfing was going to be on my life, career, and other boardsports. From traveling to living in California, Florida, and Alabama (yes, they have waves!!!).
Where and how often do you surf?
Honestly, as much as I can, any opportunity I get to be in the water I take it. I spend just as much time in the ocean as I do behind the boat, and typically surf year round. I love the East Coast, Jacksonville, and Cocoa Beach. My family also has a beach house in Gulf Shores, Alabama so jetties and the cove are super fun waves, and from there I surf Pensacola, Florida to Grand Isle, Louisiana. The Gulf is kind of a hidden gem and produces some really nice nuggets. Follow Surf Alabama or Salty Humans on IG for more!
What is your favorite thing about surfing?
I love the feeling of freedom and the adventure that comes along with it. The water can be rehabilitating for all levels mentally, physically, and emotionally so sharing my passion for watersports, not just surfing is my biggest takeaway.
What are your hopes for the Atlanta surfing community in the future?
For all of us to work together to build a bigger community for us to share our passion for the water is my biggest goal. From that everything will fall into place. More events and hopefully a surf wave park would be pretty epic too.
Any surfers in the Atlanta or Georgia community who should be spotlighted/catch your eye?
Our Youth!… including my own children….They are the future of watersports, so pouring our energy into them is my focus as I continue to grow in the sport myself.
There are a lot of resources, including SURF ATL, that our youth can benefit from so it’s just about us as parents, mentors, pros, and coaches to provide those experiences for them.