This year has been crazy for up and coming talent. There's a new generation of riders coming through who are absolutely f*cking fearless and going in with amazing video parts and competition riding - to top it off, some of them aren't even in there teens yet!
What's ridiculous, is that these kids aren't just 'good for their age' any more. Many of them are on a similar level (if not better) than riders with twice as many years under their belt. If you're still under any delusion that your 'big break' is just round the corner, have a flick through these and see if it doesn't make you re-evaluate your chances...
[splitpost intro="true" order="reverse"]
[part title="14. Luke Winkelmann"]
North Carolina born Luke Winkelmann is pretty new on our radar. The 12 year old has been riding in NC and VT and it certainly looks like he's stomping everything possible. Kickers rails and comps, were looking forward to seeing more from him.
Grom Fact - Luke Winkelmann is about as old as the first Harry Potter Film.
[part title="13. Justin Phipps"]
Justin Phipps part started a bit of a debate here. On the one hand he's 9 and this part is amazing, but on the other we have to admit there's a bit of a zeach action going on here. I guess that's testament to the quality of riding we expect from these kids, but it does beg the question - when do you sit a grom down for the 'zeach' talk?
Grom Fact - When Justin was born Lance Armstrong was still legit and those yellow rubber bands were all the rage.
[part title="12. Luke Zajac"]
For a tiny resort, Trollhaugen, Wisconsin has spit out some pretty impressive jib talent in recent years. Burton's Ethan Deiss calls it home, and so does Luke Zajac apparently. This 12 year old has remarkably solid steeze!
Grom Fact - Luke is the same age as the very first iPod [part title="11. Fin Bremner"]
When there's a group of kids growing up in the mountains, you almost expect that they're going to get comfortable sliding around on the snow. And apparently the Scottish highlands are no exception! Fin Bremner is a Garthdee local who's been brought up on a diet of dry slope kickers, and recently he's really come into his own.
Grom Fact - Fin was born around the turn of the millenium, most people still can't remember where they buried their time capsule...
[part title="10. Max De Vries"]
Max De Vries has been popping up all summer in the Postland Theory edits and has an incredible knack for standing out. This winter the fourteen year old Dutch jibber will feature in their film Periscoping alongside the UK's Will Smith. The flick is currently premiering around Europe, which is not bad considering Max is legally still too young to watch a 15 rated movie...
Grom Fact - Periscoping is a reference to exploring beyond the Dutch borders - a lot the crew are from Holland which is mostly below sea level.
[part title="9. Reid Smith"]
Triple kinks and summer shred, Reid Smith's 2013 edit is a perfect example of how instrumental Windell's summer camps are in crafting the young minds of mini shredders. Heaps of them flock over to Mount Hood every year to ride with the best in the world and it's no surprise that they're learning a trick or two. Reid's definitely been paying attention, that's for sure.
Grom Fact - At 14, Reid is the same age as the Euro...
[part title="8. Graham Haley"]
Graham Haley is a 13 year old jibber riding out of Boreal, California. He's already representing for Volcom and Rome, and you could certainly be forgiven for thinking he's been on the planet a lot longer. We've seen him challenge older riders and win comfortably. I guess that's what can happen when you start shredding at age 6...
Grom Fact - Graham Haley is as old as the first X Men movie.
[part title="7. Toby Miller"]
If you can take a grom's pipe amplitude and divide it by their height, and still get a number larger that 3 you know you're dealing with something a bit out of the ordinary. Toby Miller looks like a big competitive snowboarder in the making, at 13 he already throws double corks in the pipe, and sends if off features that completely dwarf him in size.
Grom Fact - When Toby was born, George W. Bush was about to start his first term as President - arguably starting 8 years of the worst public speaking the world has ever seen.
[part title="6. Benni Fridbjornsson"]
We're super stoked about Benni Fridbjornsson, the 8 year old micro shredder from Iceland. A possible future Halldor Helgason dare we say it, he's already hucking doubles, landing rodeos and driving skidoos like a baws. They're definitely putting something in the water over there..
Grom Fact - You probably have a pair of socks that is older than Benni - feeling old yet?
[part title="5. Braedon Wheeler "]
Braedon Wheeler is the wildcard entry in this list. Allegedly, the 15 year old only quit skiing last year to take up snowboarding, meaning he's been shredding for less time than anyone else in here. Although we're slightly dubious about the truth behind that fact, Braedon's rail riding is so damn steezy we're inclined not to care.
Grom Fact - 15 isn't actually all that young but Braedon is still a few years younger than the original Toy Story
[part title="4. Katie Ormerod"]
British pro Katie Ormerod only just sneaks into the Grom category at 16, but as a big slopestyle hopeful and representing the girls, we had to fit her in. The double backflip throwing teen, came in 10th at the FIS world champs in Quebec, check her out in with the rest of the GB team in training.
Grom Fact - Katie's double backie made her the fifth woman ever to land one.
[part title="3. Marcus Kleveland"]
It's not just about spins and numbers, but credit where credit's due, Marcus Kleveland's achievements in that sense are phenomenal. Earlier this year, the Norwegian became the youngest to nail a backside triple cork 1440 and, as you can see from the video, a whole lot more...
Grom Fact - If degrees were years, Marcus' backside triple would be 110 times his age.
[part title="2. Red Gerrard"]
The younger brother of street section killer Brendan, Redmond Gerard has made a huge splash over the last two years. He first appeared in a Burton Youth Team edit, and we've been keeping an eye on Red's progress since, every time he releases a clip we're impressed! His full part earlier this year was bolts and well worthy of one of the top spots.
Grom Fact - Red has 10 years of riding under his belt and 10 sponsors at age 12, how many do you have?
[part title="1. Ayumu Hirano"]
If you can count him as a grom still, Ayumu Hirano has to be the top rider in this list. He's professionally hammering most of the pro pipe riders out there at the moment and this year he took 2nd at the Aspen X Games, despite only being 14!
We're hyped to see what he comes up with in this competition season as we get the impression there's a whole lot more to come from Ayumu. If you're ever even close to the same level as him, get in touch, we'll send you a t-shirt...
Grom Fact - As a 12 year old, Ayumu allegedly qualified for the final 10 at the US open before the judges realised he was a junior.
This is just a selection of groms and we're sure that there are a tonne that shred harder than half the adults on the hill. If you have suggestions, drop them in the comments below.