Cape Town surfboard shaper found dead in apartment

14 January 2020 - 18:38 By aron hyman
Ryan Smith was found dead in his apartment over the weekend.
Ryan Smith was found dead in his apartment over the weekend.

Cape Town police are investigating the death of 40-year-old Kommetjie surfer and "surfboard shaper" Ryan Smith, who was found in his apartment over the weekend.

Surfing website Wavescape reported that friends and family were trying to piece together the "mysterious events" leading up to his death.

It quoted a Facebook post by his brother Donovan, who said Ryan was last seen coming home on Friday night, allegedly from a bar in Kommetjie.

Rather than riding home on his motorcycle, he caught an Uber home and a neighbour saw him entering his flat. He was found dead the following day.

The police said investigators did not suspect foul play and an inquest docket had been opened.

Smith was the founder of the African Surfriders Foundation, which according to his website is an NPO running ocean clean-ups and community upliftment projects in Masiphumelele and Ocean View.

"Ryan started shaping surfboards at school. He won the Fair Lady Liberty Life Business Start-Up Award and went on to building a successful surf fashion brand. His passion for the ocean developed at an early age and came of age as he travelled the world surfing and learning from some of the finest surfboard shapers in the world," reads a biography of him on the website. 

"Hawaii, Australia and Bali are some of his favourite surfing destinations, but he can still be seen surfing the local waves when he’s not cleaning litter or shaping surfboards."