Close to home

In 2009, compelled by the mental and physical challenges, beautiful destinations, and year-round adventure, Ian Smith grew passionate about the pursuit and progression of standup paddleboarding  (SUP) and, specifically, whitewater SUP.  Along with paddling partner and SurfSUP guide Rob Mazzetti, they pioneered descents on rivers throughout PA, WV, and MD while exploring the vast opportunities for standup paddleboarding in the Pittsburgh area.  In 2011, Ian founded SurfSUP Adventures and brought paddleboarding to Pittsburgh.  He explains, “Sharing these experiences and helping others discover the endless SUPing potential in Pittsburgh is my passion.”

Additionally, in 2011, Ian and Rob began work with Werner Paddles and ULI Boards as  team athletes, providing input on the development of paddles and boards specifically for use in whitewater.

In 2013, Ian and Rob were featured in a 3-part video series with SUP the Mag and Morgan Hoesterey, a leading surf videographer.  Their films were featured on MSN, MSN Canada, and Outside Television.  These videos and other films produced by Ian and Rob’s video production company, Zombie Toenail Productions, can be viewed at

In addition, Ian recently authored a 3-part series about whitewater SUP in The Paddler, an international publication.  Ian and Rob’s photos appear throughout a multitude of Paddler editions as well as editions of The Standup Journal.