Age: 20
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 175 lbs.
Years kiting: 4
Favorite Spots: Cape Hatteras, NC, and reef breaks somewhere in Puerto Rico
Favorite Conditions: Butter flat water on my 9m in board shorts with some features to hit or a head high right point break with cross-shore 7m wind
Sponsors: BEST Kiteboarding, Lifethereal (LTR), REAL Watersports


Boards: 2011 BEST Profanity 142cm with 2011 Ronix Reliks, 6’0” Tokoro, 5’10” Xanadou
Kites: BEST Taboo 7, 9, and 12m


  • Do what feels best to you.
  • Kiting is about fun, no more no less.
  • Keep it low.

Brian Smith grew up in Arlington, VA, and used to work at a marina on the Potomac River where he would spend his summers working, sailing, kayaking, and wakeboarding. After learning to kiteboard on a family vacation to Cabarete, he was hooked.

Brian said, “I still had two years of high school left at the time so I only got to ride sporadically on vacation every six months or so. That made me progress quickly because I felt like I needed to learn as much as possible each session for fear I wouldn’t ride for another six months.”

After graduating, he moved to Cape Hatteras and currently teaches at REAL Kiteboarding.

How did you get started in kiteboarding?
I got into kiteboarding on a trip to Cabarete with my family. I had seen kiting beforehand and my mom surprised me with a three-day course she somehow scored for like a hundred bucks!

What do you think can be done to bring more young riders into the sport?
In order to get the young kids into the sport a couple things need to happen. We need to get kiting visible to the masses as a legitimate sport so it’s not just seen as “that sport that’s kind of like parasailing” or that is “way too dangerous for me.” This will happen by continuing to push the level of what’s possible under a kite. Additionally, the start-up costs need to drop to make it economical for more people. The hardest thing for me when I was in school after I learned to kite was the fact that I lived hours from the nearest kite spot, but this actually helped me progress in the end because I did so much mind-shredding in class!

What do you most appreciate about your current gear?
I love the fact that I can do anything with my Taboos. I can throw powered tricks on them, I can surf waves with them, and I can teach on them. As for the Profanity, this board absolutely dominates all things wakestyle. It’s super good for pressing on features, booting off kickers, or loading up in the flats.

Why do you use boots? Do you think all riders would like using them if they only tried?
Why do I ride boots? The answer is simple: physics. It just seems to me that if you want to be connected to your board with any level of control, boots get the job done much more effectively like with snowboarding and wakeboarding. This is not to say that all kiters should ride boots. Straps definitely have their place. However, if you have any background on the snow or behind the boat, you’ll probably feel right at home in a pair of boots. It couldn’t hurt to try it out.

Photo Bryan Elkus

What do you do off the water?
Off the water I like doing pretty much anything active like hiking, climbing, snowboarding, building – you name it.

What is something about you most people wouldn’t know?
I have an apartment that smells of rich mahogany. And I have many leather bound books.

What was your worst wipeout?
In the spring last year I was having a session on the JWCF slider behind a ski at REAL. I did a nose press on the flat section and buried the nose into a seam in the sliding surface, which sent me head first into the water (two feet deep) from eight feet up. I landed on my head and immediately thought I had broken my neck due to the crazy popping noises it made. I lucked out and was back on the water the next day.

Where is your favorite place to kite?
My favorite place to kite changes pretty much every time I ride. If the conditions are decent and I have a good crew to shred with, I’m happy as a clam anywhere.

What was your most memorable kiteboarding experience?
Last summer when I came off the water from one of my best sessions ever in the slick to find out that I had made it into the Triple-S.

What are your must-haves that you can’t live without?
As long as I have great friends, family, and things to do, I’m pretty much content. Oh, and Nutella too.

Any words of wisdom you want to share with our readers?
Negative ghost-rider, the pattern is full.

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