Brianna Smith, SUP/Snowboarder (UT)

May 26, 2017

Brianna Smith, SUP/Snowboarder (UT)



 Your Age: 21

Your Location (where do you ride mostly): Snowbasin in Huntsville, UT

Weapon(s) of choice: My snowboard is by far my favorite weapon because it creates an unbreakable connection between me and every curve of the mountains. When the snow isn’t falling, I use my paddle board to feel at home in nature. A weapon I always carry with me through every season (basically my best friend) is my camera.

What’s an average day for you like? Currently I am a full-time student and work part-time, which means I desperately need some type of excitement to look forward to everyday! I aim to have fun in the mornings and calm my adventurous side, then get back to reality in the afternoon by going to class or work. I often get to the mountain for first chair in the winter before going to class, and hit the lake or a hiking trailhead in the early morning during summer before going to work. Also, always trying to squeeze in a yoga session or a bottle of wine somewhere!

What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? The easiest? The most difficult part about beginning to snowboard is testing a person’s patience. With the cold weather and spending a lot of time on the rear-end, the learning process can quickly become irritating, causing a beginner to essentially give up. Nevertheless, the easiest part about snowboarding is progressing! Advancing to steeper slopes and mastering different moves is the fun, exciting (and addicting) part. On the other hand, the most difficult part about beginning to paddle board is balancing while pushing the limits of your muscles. Similar to snowboarding though, once the basic feel of the board is nailed down, it is rather easy to progress and move across the water faster.

What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? The worst thing about being a backcountry female snowboarder is the compliments that come from men being flabbergasted. When riding with someone new they are often surprised and compliment me on keeping up, as if it’s some type of magic. Furthermore, the best thing about being a female backcountry coinsure is that I am (hopefully) changing the way male riders assume us ladies can shred. Eventually the fact that I am a woman doesn’t matter and I don’t get extra praise every time I make it through where everyone else did.

Besides your ability and style factor as an athlete, how would you describe your personal style? My recent, crucial discovery for a balance between work and play in my life (obviously way more play to balance out) would describe me as a type of granola. My personal style melds experiences from daily adventures into enthusiasm for creating works of art (such as photography or graphic design – what I am going to school for). This enthusiasm also results in a desire and push for others to take on new adventures, by themselves or with me! I try to capture that sense of freedom we have in the woods in my personality and my art.

I bet in your experience you have seen some crazy crashes. Describe one. One night on the slopes in Utah, two of my competitive friends decided to race down the mountain on their skis. Two light posts were out that night and it created a dark spot at the bottom of a steep, icy section of the slope, which was their finish line. One friend gave in and slowed down to prevent slipping out but the other kept going! They ended up tangled in a rope fence, double ejecting out of both skis, and having a complete yard sale. Considering he did not get hurt, it was hilarious! He also claims winning that race and no one disagrees. Night skiing always creates good times and… lots of ice.

What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? Snowboarding creates a sense of freedom and every time that board is strapped on, it’s a complete escape from reality. For me, I can’t get enough of hauling butt through the trees in powder, but for others its nailing a new move in the terrain park that creates that unbeatable, indescribable sensation. Paddle boarding gets people hooked because there are so many ways to enjoy a day on the lake. Anything from relaxing and barely moving out away from the shore, to getting in a good workout is possible no matter the day.

Do you own any other toys? My camera! Photography is more than the click of a button to me, it is a powerful means of expression. Landscapes paint themselves and I put them on a canvas. It is not easy to capture the feeling enormous mountains impose on our small bodies while standing before them, but attempting to do so has become another one of my greatest addictions.

What gets you pumped up for the day? Planning an adventure that I can look forward to, or even looking at pictures from previous ones, gets me pumped up for a day of work or classes. I have to do this just about every day to keep me motivated and remind me why my busy days are worth it!

What are three things you could not live without? I could not live without my camera! Whenever I break a lens and have to wait for the new one, I feel lost and I’m not sure what to do with my hands. I could not live without music either. I find myself listening to music no matter what I am doing because the energy it gives me makes any experience more enjoyable. Another thing I could not live without is my mommy. She gives me motivation to keep being me when I lose my way. She makes my adventurous spirit grow! 

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not riding/shooting/competing? Aside from snowboarding, paddle boarding, and photography, I am an avid hiker, camper, hammock-er, and traveler. I find that the perfect spot for any of those activities is one with no cellular reception. I try to traveling more than possible and go somewhere new multiple times a year. In addition, I am also an aspiring artist, mostly practicing wood burning and graphic design. 

What competitions and other awards have you won? Include your non sports accomplishments also. Finalist in the Photographers Form Magazine 2015.

What’s your favorite “way” to ride? I love backcountry snowboarding more than words can express. There truly is nothing like carving through trees that are caked in snow and tipping into your trail, or gliding down a steep mountainside at a speed you otherwise wouldn't reach without a motor. Sometimes I head into the park when the conditions aren’t up to par. As for paddle boarding, I do not have a favorite way, it depends on the day! I’m split between the days when I accomplish a burning workout or the ones when I just lay there and let the current take me where it pleases.

Favorite conditions? Waist deep fluffy powder on a steep glade. Heaven on earth. As for the lake, calm days are appreciated and windy days are an exciting challenge.

Where would be your biggest dream place to ride and why? I would love to go snowboarding in Canada (or any other country really)! I am constantly hearing and seeing the copious amount of snow that fall in BC or the Alps. In addition to the all-time snow, the landscapes are unique, fascinating, and absolutely breath-taking. A big factor of the freedom I feel when snowboarding comes from the mountains that surround me and fill my soul with wonder. 

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done in your sport? The coolest thing I've ever done when snowboarding is probably cliff jumping. After watching so many people make the leap and hearing their hoots and hollers, I eventually built up the courage. Being airborne off a man-made jump is a vastly different feeling compared to flying off a cliff. It's amazing. 

How would you describe your riding style? I would call my riding style "easily distracted". I'm like a little kid looking for things to play with the whole run down. Groomers are fun but I rarely go straight down and instead cut off into the trees and find secret runs. I acquired this style from riding backcountry often one season and constantly moving from one fun looking feature to the next.

What do you want to be when you grow up? When I "grow up" I want to be happy. I know in order to be this my adventurous soul will need to be satisfied, my legs will need to be moving instead of sitting at a desk, and my camera will need to be in my hands. Currently I am going to school for graphic design, so with all these elements put together - I have no idea what I am going to be, but it's going to be fun!

Any of your own web pages or social media buttons you want links to? I use Instagram by far the most. Give me a follow @brithings!

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