Sinjin Smith

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Sinjin Smith
Personal information
BornChristopher St. John Smith
May 7, 1957 (1957-05-07) (age 66)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
College / UniversityUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Volleyball information
Number22 (UCLA)
Medal record
Men's beach volleyball
Representing the  United States
Goodwill Games
Bronze medal – third place 1994 St. Petersburg Beach

Christopher St. John "Sinjin" Smith (born May 7, 1957, in Santa Monica, California) is an American former professional beach volleyball player.[1] He was the first player to win 100 career tournaments, and won numerous Manhattan Open titles with Karch Kiraly and Randy Stoklos as partners.[2][3]


Smith went to college at UCLA, where he was a setter.[4] UCLA won the National Championship in Smith's freshman year.[5] In his junior year, the team again reached the finals before losing to Pepperdine, and Smith was selected to the All-Tournament Team.[5] In his senior year in 1979, the Bruins defeated cross-town rival USC to win the National Championship.[5] Smith was again selected to the All-Tournament Team, and was voted the Championship's Most Outstanding Player.[5] Smith was selected as an All-American in both his junior and senior years.[4]

Smith was inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame in 1991.[6]

Beach volleyball[edit]

Smith began to compete as a professional in the two-man beach volleyball tournaments of Southern California at age fifteen.[2] He won his first beach tournament with former UCLA teammate "Stormin" Mike Normand.[1] His first Manhattan Open was won in 1979 teaming with another UCLA alum, Jim Menges.[7] In the early 1980s, he made a successful beach team pairing with former UCLA teammate Kiraly.[7][2] They split up when Kiraly committed full-time to the U.S. national team.[8]

Smith moved on to partner with Stoklos, and the two became the most dominant pair in men's beach volleyball.[3][7] Smith was selected as the Best Defensive Player by the AVP in 1990, 1991, and 1992.[1] He won a bronze medal in beach volleyball at the 1994 Goodwill Games in Saint Petersburg, Russia.[7]

By the time Smith announced his retirement in 2001, he had won 139 career tournaments.[3] He had also amassed $1,700,000 in career prize money.[1] As a primary force behind the growth of beach volleyball as a sport,[3] he was inducted into the California Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2002 and the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2003.[4][2]

Popular culture[edit]

The pair of Smith and Stoklos was featured in the video game Kings of the Beach released by Electronic Arts for MS-DOS in 1988 and Commodore 64 in 1989, and in 1990 it was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System.[9] The pair also appeared in the 1990 film Side Out as the nemesis team of Rollo Vincent (Stoklos) and Billy Cross (Smith).[10][1]

Smith had a brief career as a television actor, appearing most notably on an episode of Magnum, P.I. as Magnum's volleyball partner who winds up dead under suspicious circumstances.[1]

In 1990, Smith was selected as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" by People.[6]


  • Two-time All-American 1978, 1979
  • Two-time NCAA Champion 1976, 1979
  • NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player 1979
  • AVP Best Defensive Player 1990, 1991, 1992
  • UCLA Hall of Fame 1991
  • Goodwill Games beach volleyball bronze medal 1994
  • CBVA Hall of Fame 2002
  • International Volleyball Hall of Fame 2003


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Christopher 'Sinjin' Smith". Beach Volleyball Database. Archived from the original on May 18, 2023. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d "Sinjin Smith". International Volleyball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on July 23, 2023. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d Bresnahan, Mike (August 11, 2001). "At Age 44, Smith Draws Line in Sand". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 24, 2023. (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b c "Sinjin Smith". Archived from the original on July 25, 2023. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  5. ^ a b c d "National Collegiate Men's (Volleyball)" (PDF). NCAA. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 24, 2023. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  6. ^ a b "Sinjin Smith". Archived from the original on October 14, 2022. Retrieved September 4, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d "Sinjin Smith". Olympedia. Archived from the original on June 5, 2021. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  8. ^ "Charles Frederick Kiraly". Archived from the original on August 19, 2022. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  9. ^ Manu (May 28, 2018). "Kings of the Beach". Games Nostalgia. Archived from the original on August 1, 2023. Retrieved August 1, 2023.
  10. ^ "Side Out (1990)". IMDb. Archived from the original on August 15, 2022. Retrieved July 24, 2023.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Men's FIVB Beach Volley World Tour Winner
alongside United States Randy Stoklos

Succeeded by