Pat is an adventurer from the east to the west coast.  Grew up in Cocoa Beach, FL. and Hermosa Beach, CA; where surfing and sailing was a daily part of life. He moved out the the Hawaiian islands at 19 years old where he became a sea captain, tour guide, and professional musician. Now he calls Hermosa his home, and spends his days living the dream on the beach. 


Annika Gilboy is a South Bay native who grew up in and around the water. She was a Junior Lifeguard Ocean Cadet and a captain of the Mira Costa High School swim team. Already an experienced and competitive prone paddler, SUP was a natural progression for Annika--she loves training in the Harbor and paddling out with her coworkers! 


Originally from the Gulf Coast of Florida, Bailey has been paddling and racing since 2011, competing all over the US and beyond in the most challenging and prestigious SUP events as a team rider for Quickblade. Now attending UCLA to study Environmental Systems, Bailey is stoked to be at TARSAN, pursuing lessons, kids camps, and her own training.


Kevin is one of the younger employees at TARSAN, but he is accustomed to the beaches and has lived locally for most of his life. He attends South Torrance High School, and competing on the swim team gives him a greater advantage in developing his water skills. Although he is relatively new to the SUP world, Kevin has thrown himself into his work, intent on improvement. When he is not vigorously working in the shop, he can be found skim-boarding, surfing, or going for a run.


Thomas recently moved to LA from Rio de Janeiro. He has been swimming, surfing and doing anything that involved being in the water for as long as he can remember and considers the ocean to be his home. He began paddleboarding in Florida while he worked at Jupiter Outdoor Center as a tour guide/instructor and has been doing it ever since.  


Keoni DeFries is a 16-year-old who loves spending time in and on the water. He competitively paddles outrigger with the Lanakila Canoe Club as well as surfs and stand up paddles. He is stoked to be spending his time with the TARSAN team!!


Mira Laing 

Mira loves having a blast working at TARSAN and paddling for a workout!  When she is not doing either of those things, you will probably still find her on the beach with her GoPro in hand.  Mira attends San Francisco State University during most of the year, but is back at TARSAN during any break. She hopes to remain in California after college and will never lose her passion for paddling!

eric sundquist, instructor  

We are thankful Eric decided to leave Seattle and come hang in SoCal!  This guy loves life to the fullest. Eric travels every chance he gets. He began Stand Up Paddling in 2011, and has done it ever since. Eric is also an avid surfer.  Prior to moving here, his horizons included professional snowboarding, BMX, and downhill mountain bike racing. Eric is available for lessons or just great conversation. 

Meet Our Crew

jason gordon, Instructor

Jason is a south bay local who comes from a surfing background. He fell in love with SUP surfing when he moved back to the area in the summer of 2013. When there is no surf, Jason enjoys the tranquility SUP has to offer and loves to share the zen experience with others.  

Gene "Tarsan" Smith - Owner

Gene "TARSAN" Smith was introduced to the sport by Laird Hamilton who suggested SUPing could allow him the opportunity to get back into working out while recovering from a concussion.  Once Gene tried the sport, there was no turning back.  He makes stand-up a priority in his daily life, competes as often as possible and loves to introduce and teach the sport to newcomers.  Gene has been seen on many podiums at a variety of races.  He has raced for Team Quickblade since the start of his racing career and currently signed on to ride for Team Laird.  

TARSAN operates the first exclusive SUP shop in the South Bay which was started in 2011 in Hermosa Beach (across from the Comedy Magic Club).  Three years later, the 2nd location "superstore" was opened.  TARSAN offers sales, rentals and lessons of stand-up paddle boards along with merchandise associated with the sport.  Some of Gene's recent race podiums include: Hano Hano, Lanakila, Paddle Me Malibu 2 Marina, Adler Paddler, SurfTech Shoot Out and, The Carolina Cup.


15-year-old Ryland Hart has been outrigger paddling since he was 6 years old, and naturally took to SUP paddling at 10. Ryland is a highly accomplished paddler with a Junior Division Battle of the Paddle win under his belt as well as a huge result in the 2016 OC1 Solo Molokai to Oahu World Championship, winning the junior division and placing 16th overall. 


Andrew has been surfing since he was six years old and has recently moved to Hermosa Beach to continue to pursue a water-oriented lifestyle. He is stoked to add stand up paddling skills to his strong background in board sports from wakeboarding to snowboarding. 


TARSAN keep it in the family with young employee Brooke Smith. Brooke is 14 years old and has been paddling for over half of her life.  She is attending Mira Costa High School and is stoked to be helping out at the family business. She loves to be in the water, whether it is hanging out at the beach with friends or going on a family paddle.