Bennett Smith (kayaker)

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Bennett Smith Freestyle Kayaking on the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, GA.

Bennett Smith is an American professional whitewater kayaker from Vestavia Hills, Alabama. He currently attends Auburn University[1]. Smith is sponsored by several outdoor equipment companies, including Jackson Kayak. [2]


Smith started his professional kayaking career in 2013 when he placed first in the junior division of the 2013 U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Team Trials. He went on to represent the United States of America at the 2013 International Canoe Federation Freestyle Kayaking World Championships on the Nantahala River in Bryson City, North Carolina where he finished fifth in the world in the junior division.[3] In 2015, Smith failed to make the U.S. team, but qualified for the team a second time in 2017. He placed third in the men's division of the 2017 U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Team Trials in Buena Vista, Colorado. He was the youngest kayaker to make the men's team.[4] Smith represented the United States of America at the 2017 International Canoe Federation Freestyle Kayaking World Championships in San Juan, Argentina where he placed nineteenth. [5] [6] Smith qualified for the U.S. Freestyle Kayaking team a third time in 2019, and will represent the United States of America in the World Championships in Sort, Lleida in July 2019.[7]

Public appearances

Smith appeared in a public service announcement that aired across the state of Alabama in 2014 and 2015 that aimed to raise awareness for non profit organization Black Warrior Riverkeeper's water protection efforts. [8] Upon making the 2017 U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Team, Smith appeared in a number of interviews that aired across the state of Alabama. [9] [10] Smith has also appeared on national and international television programs, including ABC's Right This Minute in 2019, when flipped over a dam in his kayak. [11]


  1. ^ Sharpless, Painter. "Auburn Junior to Participate in Kayaking World Championships",The Auburn Plainsman, September 1 2017.
  2. ^ Wray, Charyl. "Vestavia teen Bennett Smith places fifth in freestyle kayaking world championships",, September 11 2013.
  3. ^ Wray, Charyl. "Vestavia teen Bennett Smith wins freestyle kayaking team trials, moves on to world championships",, August 24 2013.
  4. ^ Chandler, Sam."King of the kayak', The Vestavia Voice, October 23 2017.
  5. ^ Kuper, Sarah."Paddling Against the Odds: Vestavia Man Headed to South America for Kayaking Championship", The Over the Mountain Journal, July 12 2017.
  6. ^ 2017 Freestyle Kayaking World Championship Results
  7. ^ Dorr, Bryon. 2019 "U.S. FREESTYLE TEAM TRIALS", Canoe and Kayak, March, 19 2019.
  8. ^ "Team USA Kayaker Bennett Smith Donates Public Service Announcement for Black Warrior Riverkeeper",
  9. ^ Gladney, Kayla."Vestavia man will compete in kayaking competition in Argentina", CBS42 News, August 1 2017.
  10. ^ Chambers, Christina."Vestavia kayaker named to Team USA", WBRC News, June 28 2017.
  11. ^ "Kayaking Down a Dam? No Big Deal",, May 21 2019 .
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