We made it up to Mammoth Mountain during Thanksgiving weekend and had an absolute blast. The early season conditions were phenomenal. The terrain features were plentiful and more than ready for some big hits. Mammoth is home to some of the most talented riders on the west coast and they were in full force thanks to the blue bird weather. While preparing to drop into the half-pipe we were descended upon by a group of fledgling shredders led by some of Mammoth’s Ski School Staff. While they may be pint-size riders, we watched as these lil groms made moves on the pipe that caused our jaws to drop. Its amazing to see such huge hucks coming from such small people, and leads you to speculate on the absurd riding levels these kids will be poised to achieve by the time they grow up.
It’s time to take a look at where all professional snowboarders and skiers out there get their head start — during their childhood. Shaun White was out there ripping it up as a little kid and now it’s time to scope out the next big thing (via YouTube, of course). Kids under the age of 14 are shredding and flipping up a storm, and destroying older and far more experienced riders as they whiz by. Technically speaking, younger children have a major advantage in the sport as they’re far more daring, lower to the ground, and generally more limber than elderly folks. The following Top 10 Mini Shredder countdown assures us all of one thing, the future is in the youth!
#10 – Kelly Sildaru, 6
Let’s start this countdown with a girl and one of the few skiers on this list. Estonia’s Sildaru hits a perfect 720 on her little kiddie skis right here:
# 9 – Darren Mack, 9
Darren “Big D” Mack is nine years old and pulls off tricks and jumps that are worthy of some pros shredding the slopes right now. This kid may have an adorable, goofy smile but it’s not just fun and games in his video.
#8 – Kyle Mack, 13
Darren’s older brother, Kyle Mack hits flip after flip at Loon Mountain without missing a beat. Not surprisingly, both brothers are part of Burton’s grom team. Here’s a clip of Kyle just straight up killing it.
#7 -Marcus Kleveland, 11
11-year-old Marcus hits a backside double cork 1080 in this raw footage while wearing flaming pink pants. Fashion icon well before his teens, he’s going to be making heads turn everywhere.
#6 – Dylan Heinstein, 6
At six years old, Heinstein does things on a board that some of us can’t even think about. He’s already picking up the gold as he won the USASA Nationals in slopestyle in the 7 and under Ruggie division. His video’s shot at home at Tahoe’s Northstar:
#5 – Tommy Golsby-Smith, 5
This next clip’s from 2008 where the then 5-year-old Goldsby-Smith got some huge air and sat down to talk about it with the camera. Far from camera shy, the little rosy-cheeked tyke shows off during a vacation with his dad and friends on vacation in Italy.
#4 – Alexis Roland, 11
Lexi Roland and her dad capture some professional footage of her acing every trick and maneuver like a true-bred professional. There’s a lot of fancy angle work here but overall the message is clear, this girl’s got game.
#3 Kaia, 17 months
But wait, what have we here?! This short footage is unreal since it’s a BABY cruising along on a mini snowboard, all smiles and giggles. Believe it or not, this baby was in the womb 17 months ago but will likely be shredding the big kid slopes by age 3.
#2 – Joshua, 15 months
They just keep getting younger and younger! Shot 2 years ago, this clip shows a 15-month-old Joshua actually snowboard all by himself down a mini bunny slope in Tahoe. At the bottom, he jiggles and giggles for a solid stretch of time while remaining perfectly balanced on his feet. Keep in mind, some kids can’t even walk at this age!
#1 – Bailey Duran, 5
First place goes to Bailey Duran for snowboarding OVER A CAR. Inspired by Blake Griffin slam dunk contest winning jump, this 5-year-old replicated the jump on snow. Putting in plenty of consideration and dedication, Duran successfully soars over a car that she won’t be driving for over a decade.