Brad killing it at Lake Ronix
Brad Smeele, 27, hails from Auckland, New Zealand, and is internationally recognised as one of the top professional wakeboarders in the world. Born on the 5th February 1987 to Linda and Erik Smeele, Brad is the middle of three children. He has an older sister Monique, 29, and a younger brother Alex, 23.
Brad took to the water from an early age. I guess you could say it was in his blood, as his mother Linda was a New Zealand champion waterskier. They would reguarly head out on the water during family holidays, but Brad found his passion at twelve years old when a family friend suggested he try wakeboarding. He never looked back.
He devoted his life to the sport, training any chance he got. It was not long before he found success with wins at the 2004 IWSF Wakeboard World Championships in Sevilla, Spain and the 2005 WWA Wakeboard World Championships in Australia, claiming the Junior Mens World Champion title. He was the 2005 recipient of the Mark Kenny Award, an honour awarded to the standout rider of the year, it is dedicated to the memory of the late Mark Kenny, one of Brad’s early mentors.
He was 2007 New Zealand National Champion and UK Wakestock Champion. In 2008, Brad made history as the first wakeboarder to land a regular-stance 1080, capturing him the prestigious “Trick of the Year” award. Brad has been featured on the cover of some of wakeboarding’s biggest international publications including Wake Magazine and was featured in the opening section of the internationally acclaimed ‘Canvas’.
He has always been an innovator in the sport, developing and landing numerous tricks before anyone else. In 2009 he was the first ever wakeboarder to successfully land a water-to-water step-up with an elevation of 22ft. In 2012, Brad made history once again as the first wakeboarder from New Zealand to land a double flip, an extremely challenging and technical manoeuvre.
In 2013, Brad finished third at Wakefest in Tennessee and took his expertise to the announcing booth when he was awarded 2013 “Announcer of the Year.” Brad is a member of the US Pro Wakeboard Tour, the largest and most storied professional wakeboarding circuit in the world, currently ranked twentieth. Earlier this year he made took the double flip even further, becoming the first person in the world to land a double tantrum to blind (double backflip to blind 180).
Brad has always been a gentle giant. His positivity is unmatched, even in the face of failure. He attitude towards life is a fine balance between work, play, generosity, kindness, and a stubborn determination. You could always rely on him to get the job done. Outside of the sport he has worked as a model and actor, and was featured in New Zealand’s Cleo Bachelor of the Year.
Having chased the seasons for the past ten years, Orlando, Florida is his home away from home. He recently started managing Lake Ronix, the world's largest private wake park, and training ground of some of the sport's top athletes. It was at this location where the unfortunate accident occurred.
Brad truly was living his dream. Let’s help him get back there.
100% of the proceeds from your purchases will go directly to the Brad Smeele Foundation to ensure he receives the best possible treatment and care. Brad has touched so many thousands of people around the world in a positive way. Now its your turn. All funds generated will go directly to help support Brad on his long road to recovery.
Thank you all for your support.