There’s no doubt about it, pro skaters (especially in the TV-friendly disciplines of vert and big air) are getting younger and younger. It used to be that you needed a group of mates – or at least a cool older brother – to get you into skating.
It would then take years of honing your own skills in the school of hard knocks and learning by trial and (often painful) error to get to the level where you could conceivably “go pro”.
But these days, fuelled by the X Games and the increasing acceptance of skateboarding as a “proper” sport, kids seem to be getting into it (and turning pro)at a younger and younger age.
Take these five for example – none of them is a day over 18 and yet they’re all better at skating than we’ll ever be. Sigh.
1. Trey Wood – 13 Years Old
Trey Wood has apparently been skating since the age of three and we’ve gotta say, it shows.
He comes from Arizona and was invited to compete at the X Games for the first time when he was 11 – the same age Nyjah Huston made his debut.
I reckon I could still have him in a fight though.
2. Alana Smith – 13 Years Old
Alana Smith is now 13, but was 12 when she shot this video. If I could do backside lipslides like that when I was 12 I would’ve given my teacher the finger and never gone back to school again.
Shit if I could do backside lipslides like that now I’d be pretty chuffed…
3. Mitchie Brusco – 17 Years Old
Mitchie Brusco may be 17 but if anything he looks younger. And as he tells Conan O’Brien, he’s been skating since he was three.
Last year he landed the first ever 1080 in competition at the X Games in Munich, and he did pretty well in Austin this year too. But you know, I’m probably way better than him when it comes to smoking bongs and downing dirty pints…
4. Tom Schaar – 14 Years Old
Tom Schaar exploded onto the international scene when he became the first person ever to land a 1080. He was 12-years-old at the time. 12 FFS!
The video, filmed on a specially-made quarter-pipe at the Woodward camp, has now been watched over a million times on Youtube. This year he won his first X Games gold (in big air) beating the likes of Bob Burnquist with a casual 900. As you do.
5. Jagger Eaton – 13 Years Old
Like most of these super-groms, Jagger Eaton made his name by getting an invite to the X Games. They’re always keen to have young competitors because it makes for good TV.
But as he shows here, Jagger is way more than a big air machine. This street run got him third place at the Skatepark of Tampa Am Jam in 2012. He was 11 at the time. Kinda makes you wanna cry doesn’t it?