Let the experiment be made: Inspired by their grandfather's own invention from the late 1960s, The Smith Brothers, Nick and Billy, together with a team of close friends and adventuring supporters, designed, developed, field-tested, and manufactured the Sporting-Sail to "reinvent the descent" on snow, water, and cement. The Sporting-Sail elevates an already beloved experience from a rushed downward dash to a weightless, flight-like glide, allowing deployers of all kind to explore the use of wind and air resistance to control speed and stability at will. After all, "slowing down is a lifelong pursuit, anyone can go fast."
Reinvent the Descent: In Spring 2006, The Smith Brothers, Nick and Billy, 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 their 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.
"Keep hands and feet off the street." - Billy
The Dafoe Brothers of The Deploy Team join forces with The Smith Brothers for a test run of "Sporting-Sail" prototypes in the Santa Yenz Mountains off the coast of California in 2008
Billy Smith, harnesses apparent wind to control his speed in Hawai'i
Sewing & Skateboarding: As brother Billy would be sewing wind and drag modifications to their grandfather's "Ski-Klipper," using old kite-surfing kites and parachute fabric scraps, Nick would be shaping and testing new and old skateboard designs. This pursuit for discovery and innovation resulted in many skateboard and SPORTING-SAIL variations used during the early stages of research and development.
Team Skateboards: These decks are all hand-made by Nick Smith utilizing feedback and designs from The Deploy Team.
Deploy & Enjoy: Shifting their attention from snow to street, high on top of Mt. Tamalpais and the Marin Headlands, nestled in the Redwood groves surrounding Muir Woods, The Smith Brothers began toying with their grandfather’s concept on skateboards. Managing speed, increasing stability and being seen for safety never seemed so simple. Their goal was never to reinvent the descent, however, that was exactly what they 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" (their grandfather) was never in any hurry to grow up, he was having too much fun to worry about things like that.
"Just deploy and simply enjoy what wind and air has to offer." - Nick
Brothers, Nick & Billy Smith, getting down on Mt. Shasta in Northern California in 2007Jack Duysen of The Deploy Team seeking shade from the Summer heat in the Redwood Groves of Mt. Tamalpais around Marin and San Francisco, California
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, The Smith Brothers began sewing their 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, they 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 them to carve bigger and longer hills on smaller more playful set-ups, and in the process, draw 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 SPORTING-SAIL worldwide, they began dialing in the design by working closely with friends at Patagonia, FCD Surfboards, & Long Treks On Skate Decks. From there on out, they have coined their our own version of a "clean descent." Never again will they have to wear through gloves and shoes by dragging hands and feet on the street to control speed and stability.
Visionary Partners & Projects
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!