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Hey Iʼm Bennett Smith! I live in Birmingham, Alabama and have been kayaking for about two years. After my first kayaking trip down the Coosa River in Wetumpka, Alabama in August of 2010 I fell in love with kayaking and it has been an extremely large part of my life since then. I try to paddle as much as possible and improve in any way I can.

I first wanted to get into paddling after my friend told me about how he kayaked at camp. When he described to me what he did and how much fun it was I thought it sounded really cool! So I began researching it and it turned out to my surprise that there were many places in the state of Alabama where I could access a river with great whitewater. I was anxious to get started but didnʼt know exactly where the best first river to paddle was, or how to even sit the right way in a boat. Thats when I heard about Team Jackson member Jeremy Adkins. I signed up for his summer kayaking class where he taught me the basics of kayaking including how to roll and I have been going as much as I can since then.

After that first class I would go with Jeremy almost every weekend and run bigger and bigger rapids. Soon I started surfing in holes and learned a few basic playboating moves and realized how much fun playing in holes and waves is. Not only could I now have fun going down the rapids, but have fun surfing in the rapids too! Before kayaking, my main hobby was doing flips on the ground (Parkour, Freerunning,Tricking) so once I found out about tricks like loops, cartwheels, space godzillas,and mcnastys (which are similar to flips on the ground) I tried them every time I went out kayaking. Now I mostly playboat on big rivers and try to learn new moves and combos, but I also enjoy little creeks and going off waterfalls. I love kayaking because you get to meet a ton of cool people, go to places you wouldnʼt get to go to without the sport, experience the challenge of trying to learn a new trick or do a bigger rapid, and just to have fun. I try to video every time I go paddling and post my videos on my youtube account http:// I plan to try and be the best kayaker I can and train hard so I can make the U.S. freestyle team for the 2012 worlds and the 2013 world championships! Kayaking is a big part of my life and I love to be in a boat as much as I can!

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