In this edition of our “Meet the Team” Series, we’d like to introduce you to Hunter and Jordan Smith, twin brothers from North Vancouver B.C. who are taking the wake scene by storm.
Name, age, and where you’re from?
J: Jordan Jonathan Smith. 15 years old (born December 31, 2001). I’m from North Vancouver British Columbia and ride out of Deep Cove, North Vancouver.
H: Hunter Riley Smith. Everything else is the same.
J: Air Jordan.
H: Hunter the Grunter.
Tell us about the first time you ever went wakeboarding.
J: So long ago. It was in Osoyoos, B.C. We’d go to a canal at the end of the lake because the lake was so busy. Short rope, slow speed, and a few tips from the Dad’s. It took me about seven tries as I recall. I was afraid to fall, and all I was thinking was “don’t move and stay standing up.” I was basically ignoring all of the tips the Dad’s were yelling at me.
H: It’s so long ago that I can’t even remember the first time. It seems like I’ve always been wakeboarding. But my first real memory is learning a wake-to-wake in the channel at Osoyoos Lake. I remember casing the wake way too many times!
What’s it like having a brother who is involved in the same sport as you?
J: It’s fun. I always have someone to ride with and we push each other. We’ve had many games of W.A.K.E. (or P.I.G. as some call it). I rarely beat him but it gives me something to work towards, and keeps him working hard to stay ahead of me.
H: It’s really nice because I always have someone to ride with, to help me learn tricks, and to give me feedback on style.
Do you compete with each other, or does it motivate you?
J: We compete with each other, but we also help coach each other. Hunter seems to beat me behind a boat, but we’re neck and neck on the cable which is fun.
H: I would say it’s friendly competition because we both want to win; but also want each other to do well. We help motivate each other to ride our best, and the rest is up to the judges.
J: Roll to Blind at the moment behind a boat. I also really love riding cable. If it’s cable my favourite trick at the moment would be a double-grab, toe back 360.
H: Indy Tantrum to Blind.
A trick you haven’t mastered yet, but hope to?
J: Working on a KGB — driving myself a bit crazy with that one. I’ve only landed one and that’s not enough for me.
H: Working on my Crow Mobe.
Boat or cable?
J: Cable. I have more fun; there’s more variety with all the different features. I can ride with more expression and style than in a boat run.
H: I like riding boat more. The stakes are higher — less room for error. I have a blast with cable too; but if I had to pick, it would be boat.
Favourite park to ride at?
J: Velocity Island Park, in Sacramento.
H: Wake Island, in Sacramento. And my favourite lake is Sproat Lake in B.C.
What set-up do you ride?
J: For boat it’s Ronix Timebomb 142 with Massi Piffia RXT bindings, and for cable it’s the same bindings with Ronix Press Play 141.
H: Ronix Timebomb 138 with Frank boots for boat, and Ronix Kinetic 138 Two Box with Frank bots for cable.
Tell us about your worst crash ever.
J: Orientation run during the Sproat Lake Provincials in 2016. I crashed on a heel-side, backside 540. Caught the back edge with my arm across my body while holding the rope. For 15 mintues I could only move my right foot and left toes; it was pretty scary.
H: I’ve been told I have no memory for pain, which is a good thing in this sport. But I did a Railey during orientation at the Long Lake tournament in Nanaimo in 2013 I think, and caught my front edge. I bruised my arm and didn’t ride again until the finals.
Have you ever considered quitting?
J: After that fall I was seriously thinking about it; but no, I want to keep riding.
H: I’ve considered quitting when I’m not having a good time riding — when I’m falling a lot on eas tricks — because I think that life might be a lot easier if I didn’t wakeboard. But it would also be a lot more boring; I really love what I do.
Favourite music to get you stoked?
J: Presently it’s rap music but my mom hopes that will change. Favourite artist right now is Russ.
H: I like rap. My favourite artists right now for riding are Future and Wintertime.
Who are your sponsors?
J: Ronix Wakeboards, The Boardroom, and Cove Water Sports.
H: Ronix Wakeboards, Ripcurl, The Boardroom, and Cove Water Sports.
Where have you been riding outside of Canada?
J: I’ve ridden in Florida, Valdosta in Georgia, Wake Island and VIP in Sacramento. We went to Thailand two years ago and rode in Bangkok and Phuket. I also rode last spring in the Dominican Republic at RAD Wake Park (where I beat Hunter in cable…hahah). I’m very fortunate to travel to other countries. Meeting the local riders in Thailand and seeing their style of riding was cool. Punta Cana was great because their local riders didn’t have much experience and they were super keen to learn and try new tricks with us.
H: I’ve wakeboarded in the USA, the Dominican Republic, and Thailand. It’s really cool to see and meet other riders from different countries because they have different styles that I can watch and learn from. I also like making connections with new riders and having a network of friends around the world.
Who is your biggest inspiration in life?
J: I love music, so Russ has been an inspiration for me; I admire his work ethic. My mom is also pretty cool and we have lots of good chats.
H: Sacha, my dog. She has battled cancer and is still fighting. She always has a great attitude and a smile on her face, even on Monday mornings. She makes the best of rainy days and learned to paddleboard with me this summer.
Who’s your favourite rider?
J: Rusty Malinowski. I like his riding style and how hard he trains.
H: Danny Harf. He’s an amazing rider and an all-around good guy.
J: My Mom and Dad. They are always willing to take me out, always willing to put gas in the boat, always letting me know that they have my back no matter how I’m feeling.
H: My Dad. He’s always pushing me to ride better.
What do you do all winter?
J: I play hockey and soccer and go to school. I work part-time and get a bunch of ski days. And hope to get to a warm place to wakeboard at least once.
H: Ski, play and ref hockey. Hopefully fly somewhere to wakeboard.
How would you explain the feeling you get when you’re wakeboarding, to someone who has never experienced it before?
J: I love the feeling of being able to propel myself upwards and across the water. It’s exhilarating.
H: It’s like snowboarding on water. I feel pretty happy when I’m wakeboarding. It feels free when I’m on my own, behind the boat doing whatever I like.
How does it feel to be called the “future” of Canada’s wakeboarding scene?
J: Feels pretty special. It’s kind of a milestone in a way. To be acknowledged for something that I’ve worked so hard at for so long is really gratifying.
H: It’s a really cool feeling. Not many people get this privilege. But it’s also a lot of pressure because you’re not just representing your home town — you’re representing your whole country.
What’s next for you guys in the coming year?
J: Keep progressing in the sport. Maybe a longer period of training in the winter, but that will have to be somewhere warm. More dryland training. I’ve got a few more years in this age group and I want to excel.
H: Same as always. I plan to ride as much as possible, learn new tricks and keep progressing. I’m two years into a 5-year age division. I’d like to take some extended time down south to ride more at some point.
Social media shoutouts?
J: My Instagram is @jordansmith.wake and our Youtube channel is Hunter and Jordan Smith.
H: Instagram is @wake_hunter and Facebook is Hunter Smith.
Hunter or Jordan?
Who’s taller? Jordan
Who’s better at cable? Jordan
Who’s better behind a boat? Hunter
Who would be more likely to pull a prank on the other? Hunter – but Jordan strongly disagrees.
Who gets up earlier to get on the water? Jordan
Who’s messier? Hunter
Who’s more serious? Hunter
Who’s more likely to tangle their rope? Jordan