If there’s one thing that action sports is damn good at proving, it’s that almost anything is possible if you really put your mind to it.
We’re not just talking about the big stunts either – the triple backflips and triple corks – but the accomplishments of everyday riders too, the ones who have overcome mental and personal barriers to get on a bike or a board, the ones who have defied the odds to follow their passion because of their love for the sport.
Take the athletes below for example. These men and women prove that age is just a number, and that often, the only thing that stops you from following your dreams is yourself.
From a 97 year old skier to an 82 year old skydiver and a man who conquered Mt. Everest at 80 years old – these people may be just the inspiration you need to live your life exactly how you want it.
1) The 77 Year Old Kite Surfer
After the tragic loss of his wife 16 and a half years ago, David Cummings changed his view on life. He decided to make the most of however many years he had left on planet Earth, and on the back of a longtime love for windsurfing, decided to take up kitesurfing.
He’s now been kitesurfing for seven to eight years, and says it gives him the freedom, peace and thrill he needs. It’s an amazing story, and one told brilliantly in the feature above.
2) The 80 Year Old Who Conquered Everest
Yuichiro Miura is somewhat of an adventure wonder. A legend in the world of enthralment. The Japanese mountaineer became the first person to ever ski down Mt Everest at the age of 38 years old, and has since made plenty of history on the mountain.
He has previously scaled Everest when he was both 70 and 75 years old, and although we can’t 100 percent confirm it, we’re going to say with some confidence that Miura is the first ever 80 year old to scale Everest having undergone heart surgery… four times.
3) The 97 Year Old Skier
George Jedenoff will make you fall in love with skiing all over again. He only learned how to ski when he was 43 years old, but he’s not missed a ski season ever since – that’s 53 years in a row.
“We’re on this Earth only a short while, and there’s no use trading in your chips too early,” he says.
He exercises every day, stays in shape, and gets out on the snow every day he can. When you see the smile it puts on his face, you’ll feel one appear on yours almost immediately after.
4) The 85 Year Old Surfer
Barry “Magoo” McGuigan sadly passed away last year, but the surfing legend was much loved and still shredding right till the very end. He had been surfing since 1944. “At that time we were riding boards that were 50 to 60lbs in weight,” he remembers in the feature above.
He took on some big waves in his time, surfed in some big competitions, and lived the surf lifestyle throughout. Even at 85, he was still an inspiration to many, so RIP Magoo. The surfing world loves you!
5) The 75 Year Old Cyclist
Mick Ives has barely taken his feet off the pedals since 1956. He’s been the UCI World Masters Cycling Champion five times and British national cycling champion 81 times in various disciplines, winning more national titles than anyone else in the country.
Previously the manager of the GB cycling team and national coach, he’s won over 1000 races in his time. His story is enough to inspire anyone to get back on their bike.
6) The 60 Year Old Skateboarder
Skateboarding isn’t something that you see many people doing over the age of even 25 these days. It’s certainly not something you see many 60 year olds getting involved in.
Neal Unger, though, bucked that trend when he took up the sport a few years ago. “There’s something about it that quiets the brain,” he says.
“I apply what I learn about the mind [through skateboarding] to other areas of my life; my friendships, my family, my bad habits. One of the reasons I wanted to skate was to show people that it’s possible and continue to be creative.”
7) The 82 Year Old Skydiver
Dylis Price is 82 years old, and she describes skydiving as being “better than sex”. What more do we have to tell you? Watch the damn clip! Hero!
8) The 60 Year Old Snowboard Pro
Donna Vano is the oldest professional snowboarder who regularly still competes at national competitions. She’s an absolute badass.
The short film above is from back in 2010, and it tells you a bit about her story. What you should take away is that Donna has also been a pro skier, inline skater, and holds the world record for being the oldest pro female vert skater of all time. Not bad eh?
9) The 70 Year Old Surfer
Many of the awesome athletes in this list only learnt their sporting passion when they were over 40. Not Gwyn Haslock. She started surfing as a child, became the first female surf champ of the UK, and these days? She’s still at it.
“I’m a surfer, and if I feel like I want to try it, I go out and try it,” she says. “I may not be here much longer, so I just go out and enjoy it.”
10) The Something’s-Not-Quite-Right-Here
Okay, so these last two videos are more just for your viewing pleasure than anything else – but they are on topic, so you can’t blame us for chucking them in.
This is what happens when professional action sports stars get their makeup and masks on, head out to do some shredding dressed as elderly beginners, and then leave the onlookers stunned.
Enjoy Danny Leon dressed as a skateboarding granddad and Jack Mitrani killing it as a 56 year old snowboarder. Both videos will leave you in stitches of laughter.
On that note, it’s time for us to leave you, but remember, when it comes to action sports or most other things in life, you’re never too young and you’re never too old to make your dreams come true!
The Indestructibles, a new TV show sponsored by G-Shock, is coming soon to Dave.