Pat is an adventurer from the east to the west coast.  He grew up in Cocoa Beach and Hermosa Beach, 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. 


Max is 16 years old, and is a student attending Mira Costa High School. He grew up in the South Bay and has been surfing and stand up paddling his whole life. He's very keen on ocean safety, having been a part of the LA Junior Lifegaurd program for nine years.


Ralph is 18 years old, and as a student at Redondo Union High School is stoked to be at TARSAN. He joined the team this past April and is a great addition to the TARSAN team. He is very technical aside from being in the water. He is good with a handful of programs on the computer and is very handy with a camera.

Elijah williams

Elijah is 19 years old, born and raised in the South Bay. Currently attending El Camino College, he’s been on the track team as a pole vaulter since high school. Recently discovering a love for surfing, he overcame his fear of the ocean and now loves nothing more than to be in the water. In his free time he enjoys spending time with friends, rock climbing, listening to music, working with computers, and being outdoors.


TARSAN is keeping it in the family with young employee Brooke Smith. Brooke is 15 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. 

Alejandra Brito

Alejandra Brito is a professional SUP racer and surfer. Originally from El Paso, TX Alejandra followed her passion for sport and adventure to the Mexican National SUP team. A few international competitions later Alejandra now calls Redondo Beach home where she trains with the 404 team and enjoys the beach life.  When not competing Alejandra loves taking kids of all ages out to the ocean to surf and paddle. 


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 competed in the 2017 Kaiwi Channel Solo, an outrigger canoe race from Moloka'i to O'ahu. This summer he and his team travel to Tahiti to compete in the World Distance Championships. When he isn't traveling around to compete you can find him at the Tarsan shop, he is more than happy to talk story with you, or help anyone who wants to learn.

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!

Gene "Tarsan" Smith, Owner

Gene "TARSAN" Smith was introduced to the sport by Laird Hamilton who suggested that SUPing could allow him the opportunity to get back into exercising 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.



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.


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! 


16-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. 

eric sundquist, instructor  

We are thankful Eric decided to leave Seattle and come hang in SoCal! This guy lives 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 SUP surfer.



Cody is a senior at South High, and has grown up around the beach all her life. She has enjoyed playing soccer for the last ten years, and is excited to join the Chico State Women’s soccer team in the fall of 2018. When she isn’t on the soccer field, you can find her hanging out at the beach with friends, stand-up paddle boarding, and listening to music. 


Colter grew up paddling and fishing the cold mountain lakes of southern and central Idaho. Born and raised in Pocatello, ID, he is an avid mountaineer, river rafter, snowboarder, longboarder, and enjoys all the extreme sports he can get his hands on. Colter began working at Tarsan in May of 2017, when he moved to Redondo Beach to pursue his newfound love of surfing. He's always good for a story or a laugh and looks forward to sharing the stoke with you all summer before he returns to finish his Bachelor's degree at BYU this fall.