Meet Joe Paddler: Dan Smith, Melbourne, Florida

Where you were born and where you live now?

Born in Melbourne, FL. Still loving life in Melbourne, FL

What is your occupation?

Head Board Schlepper (owner) at Paddling Paradise in Melbourne, FL. …Fin Box Lock….KUMO Board…

Where do you SUP the most?

The Eau Gallie River and Paradise Beach Park in Melbourne


Do you have a favorite local paddleboard shop?

Paddling Paradise, Melbourne, FL

What paddleboard, surfski or OC do you ride most?

The BIC Tracer 14′ World Series or the BIC Wave PRO for SUP Surfing

Do you own any other paddleboards, surfskis or OCs and what kind?

I play around on a lot of different boards. Mostly BIC products , but Jimmy Lewis and KM Hawaii are a lot of fun too.

What paddle do you use?

KeNalu Mana for all my paddling.

Have you changed boards/paddles/equipment since you started? If so, why?

I have started doing a lot more SUP surfing so trying out new SUP surf equipment has been great. I have surfed my whole life and SUP surfing has really been a great way to keep that going. I can go out and catch more surf now than anytime in my life.


If you could travel to anywhere in the world to paddle, where would you go?

I love the Caribbean and all the springs in Florida.

Best piece of SUP advice you’ve ever received?

Paddle Fast, Live Slow and pretty much anything Larry Cain has suggested I do.

Weirdest thing that’s happened to you while paddling?

Heading out for our TGIF Sunrise Session in the dark and getting knocked by a manatee.

Favorite SUP nutrition? (During races/ during a long haul)

Water, Cliff bars, Honey Stinger.

Goals for this next year?

Get better at SUP Surfing, do some longer distance paddles and a few destination races.

Favorite post-paddle nosh (snack/beer/recovery drink)

IPA’s and since doing the Key West Classic, Moscow Mules after a race.

Your favorite non-paddle thing to do.

The KUMO board inflatable Balance Trainer. Using rugged high-pressure inflatable technology and a patent-pending design we’ve created a friendly, versatile and portable balance board that adjusts to the skill level of the user and a wide variety of activities.

What piece of SUP gear do you wish someone would invent?

…………still working on a few things. I like the FIN BOX LOCK 🙂 and KUMO Board right now

What’s your biggest challenge with SUP?

Not enough time to paddle everywhere!

What is your proudest moment in a SUP race or event?

Being a race director and seeing the community come together all these events.


Tell us about the best friend(s) you made through paddling.

…..everyone in the Paddle community!


What was your best SUP travel trip?

The Keys or a very close second, the springs in Florida.