The Best of BC: Rayz Boardshop

Curtis Cunningham's picture

THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY: what it takes to live and work in the north


Jason and Joscelyn Krauskopf at Rayz Boardshop in Smithers have been an invaluable help to me as I’ve gotten settled here in the community. There have been countless events that they have been a part of which I have been invited to come and be the official photographer for. It’s been a lot of fun whether it be at a Rail Jam in town or a fun race event up under the chairlift on the ski hill.

So it’s my pleasure to present this brief introduction to one of the most community-minded businesses I know.


What is the nature of your business?

RAYZ BOARDSHOP: We sell fun!! We also sell Snowboards and Skis, Wakeboards, Skateboards, and apparel.


RAYZ Boardshop, Smithers, BC


How long have you been established in Smithers?

RB: (My wife) Joscelyn and I have owned RAYZ for 11 years and going strong!


RAYZ Boardshop, Smithers, BC


What do you enjoy about living in the Bulkley Valley?

RB: Tough question...Everything!! I love the accessibility and affordability to everything I love to do. The people here are pretty nice too! Oh ... and it's the perfect place to raise a family.


RAYZ Boardshop, Smithers, BC


Smithers is a very community-minded town. How do you see your business fitting into that way of life?

RB: I'm from Smithers and I've always been proud to give back to the community that supported me while I was young. We support EVERYTHING that is community based and put on many local events throughout the year.


RAYZ Boardshop, Smithers, BC


What is the most fulfilling thing about the type of work that you do?

RB: The most fulfilling thing about my work is working with my wife everyday! Also ... watching people enjoy the product I sell. We also have the best staff we could ask for, working with them keeps me young and happy.


RAYZ Boardshop, Smithers, BC


How would you convince someone to either move to or start a business in Smithers?

RB: I would start by bringing them to Smithers for the first time. Once they're here they won't want to leave and they'll figure out a way to make things work and move here full time. Seriously, it happens all the time. Other than that there are several business support groups that offer great advice, such as Start Up Smithers, to name one.


RAYZ Boardshop, Smithers, BC


Is there anything else you’d like to share?

RB: I love my business and I love my town. Life is great !!


RAYZ Boardshop, Smithers, BC



Check out for the required outfitting of an adventure-filled life in the north.


So there you have it. A perspective on business and life here in Smithers. To pick up on something Jason said in his answer to question number 6, it's amazing how many people you talk to that say, "we came for a week, and 25 years later we're still here." My family has been here almost 7 years, and in many ways, it feels like we're just starting to get to know the area. I guess that's what it's like to put down roots.


More Best of BC:

The Best of BC: Two Sisters Cafe

The Best of BC: Blue Fin Sushi Bar

The Best of BC: Hetherington and Hooper



Curtis Cunningham, the Northern BC Editor for Wandering Educators, grew up around photographs and fondly remembers spending time with his maternal grandfather looking through his slides. Cameras always seemed to be a part of his life, a fact that can be attested to by the volumes of photograph albums his mother has.

Photography became more serious when his mom bought him a Canon Rebel SLR to take with him when he went to China in 1994 to teach English. After classes he enjoyed walking for hours; photographing all the while. It was good preparation for his current love of exploration.

He started his photography business in 2004 in Abbotsford, BC, and then relocated it to Smithers, BC when he and his family moved there in 2007. He does a wide range of photography, from commercial jobs and passports to family portraits and sport. He loves shooting from a helicopter when the opportunity presents itself, and is especially passionate about the abstract and artistic.

He is a firm believer in the notion that there is beauty everywhere if one takes the time to stop and look for it. The tagline for his business expresses that succinctly: turning ordinary life into extraordinary art.

Visit his website at