Smiles for Miles: In Spring 2006, Nick and Billy Smith were rummaging around the attic of their grandfather's Colorado home looking for fireworks and schnapps, when they discovered an old carton filled with what looked like colorful kites or capes. Not knowing what they were, they asked our grandfather, Bill Smith Jr. He replied, "Ski-Klippers. I made them. They'll slow you down and they're a lot of fun. Back in the day we lit up the slopes, 20 or more deploying at once. We put on a show and people would cheer from the chairlifts. Just weaving in and out of turns, carving lines in the snow and enjoying what the mountain air had to offer. The sun would shine through and illuminate us with various shades of color and light. Against a blue sky and a snowy white backdrop covered in Aspen trees, it was the most beautiful sight you’ll ever see. It’s easy, you boys should give 'em a try.” So we did, and immediately we were inspired. The feeling was as close to human flight as we had ever experienced on land.
Billy Smith, harnesses wind power to control his speed in Hawai'i
"Slowing things down is a life long pursuit. Anyone can go fast." - Billy Smith
The Original Ski-Klipper made in the U.S.A. by Bill Smith Jr., which later was discovered by grandsons Nick and Billy Smith in his attic 40+ years later
Bill Smith Jr. (second from right) having fun with his Ski-Klippers back in the early 1970s
Present-day packaging for the patented Sporting-Sail
[Patagonia ambassador Timmy O'Neill interviews Billy Smith and tries the Sporting-Sail for himself. Remember kids, always wear your helmet.]
Reinvent the Descent: Shifting our attention from snow to street, high on top of Mt. Tamalpais and the Marin Headlands, nestled in the Redwood groves surrounding Muir Woods, we began toying with our grandfather’s concept on skateboards. Managing speed, increasing stability and being seen for safety never seemed so simple. Our goal was never to reinvent the descent, however, that was exactly what we did. From that point on, it became only necessary in these fast times to slow down the experience and share it with the world. After all, the man behind the Ski-Klipper (our grandfather) was never in any hurry to grow up, he was having too much fun to worry about things like that.
Jack Duysen of Team SPORTING-SAILS Summer sailing in Marin on Mt. Tamalpais
"Just deploy and simply enjoy what wind and air has to offer." - Nick Smith
Nick Smith showing off the bright colors of the Sporting-Sail, which make it easy for drivers to see skaters coming down the hill from a distance
After several test runs on skis, snowboards, skateboards and surfboards with the Ski-Klipper, my brother and I began sewing our own prototypes in a Mill Valley, California garage -- giving the colorful kites a new name: "SPORTING-SAILS." With this new-found confidence discovered through air-resistance, we began tackling steeper terrain on smaller, quicker, slalom skateboards that yielded more responsive results than traditional "straight shooter bombing" longboards. Like tow-in surfing, the Sporting-Sail allowed us to carve bigger and longer hills on smaller more playful set-ups, and in the process, draw whole new lines on the land.
Ryan Dafoe sheds some speed as he makes his way down a fun run in Ventura, California.
After field-testing the the SPORTING-SAIL worldwide, we began dialing in the design by working closely with friends at Patagonia, FCD Surfboards and Long Treks On Skate Decks. From there on out, we have coined our own version of a "clean descent." Never again will we have to wear through gloves and shoes by dragging our hands and feet on the street to control our speed.
Long Distance Skateboarding - Downhill Skate, Ski, Snow Body Sails, Parachutes, Capes & Kites - Bird Man Longboarding Wing Suits, Longboard Wing Suits - Nick & Billy Smith - As Seen On LegalZoom TV Commercial!Original Artwork by Charlie Donalson
Downhill Skateboarding, Skiing & Snowboarding Wing Suits, Body Sails, Parachutes, Kites & Chutes - The Original Downhill SPORTING-SAIL - Skateboard, Ski, Snowboard Wingsuit, Body Sail, ParachuteSPORTING-SAILS is a member of 1% For The Planet © 2007-2013 Sukräfte, LLC (Surf + Skate = Sukrafte) - A California Company - All Rights Reserved - Patent No. US D613,316 S - Deploy & Enjoy!