Surf ATL Community Spotlight: Jason Smith

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, and Susan Bond.

Introduce yourself!
Jason Smith. I provide private wake surf lessons for beginners through advanced riders, young and old alike, where Local Phase Five-sponsored riders do the coaching!

Do you ocean surf, wake surf, river surf, paddle surf? Any or all of the above?
Ocean surf, wake surf, paddle surf.

How did you get into surfing? In Atlanta or somewhere else?
I got started ocean surfing as a kid growing up on the Gulf Coast. I spent a good bit of my 20s and 30s taking surf trips to Central America and Puerto Rico, as well as taking up paddleboarding to change it up and surf smaller waves.

With two small kids, it got tough to make it to the seashore as much, so my wife and I got into wake surfing and it’s really taken off for us! The technology is amazing for making a great waist-high wave and getting better for every generation of surf boat.

What do you do to advance your surfing?
As a training pilot for airlines for almost two decades, I’ve got teaching in my blood, so my wife and I decided to start a wake surf instructional/charter business earlier this year. We’ve had some unexpected snags along the way but hope to expand into clinics and camps next summer.

What is your favorite thing about surfing?
The sensation of riding a wave is like no other and it’s no surprise that anything related to it is exploding in popularity.

What are your hopes for the Atlanta surfing community in the future?
I believe it’s only a matter of time for efforts to attract an artificial wave venue to be successful.