Little kids progress in sports at a pretty alarming rate. The bell curve can be pretty steep even in gravity sports, where rubber-band groms bounce back from falls with barely a scrape on 'em (after some crying), and haven't yet developed The Fear, blown ACLs, achy backs, or beer guts. This week, two freakishly talented young rippers who are barely big enough to get their hands around an iPhone have been blowing up the internet with some ridiculous video segments that you might expect to see in an X Games highlight reel.
Augusto Furnaletto's (above) torso is almost the same size at the 9x11 sheet of paper he whips out reading the list of adult tricks he's about to pull off. And pull them off he does... cue the Facebook shares, Mom–Red Bull's en route with a contract!
And then there's this Australian super-grom Quincy "The Flying Squirrel" Symonds. While on vacation, her Dad went out to surf at the legendary Snapper Rocks right, and after finding out where her dad went, said she was going to do the same the following day. Before long, the pint-sized shredder–who has to get three steroid injections a day to make up for her body's inability to produce cortisone–was pumping down the line and using what few grams of body weight she had to throw spray out the back... and blow minds. You can be sure no angry loc dogs are dropping in on this gal, even at Australia's most competitive spots. Just as deft on a skateboard, Quincy would make even a young Kelly Slater jealous.
But which pint-sized kid genius gets your vote? Is Augusto out in front with the bar spins, or Quincy with the cut backs? Will either set of parents be able to give their child phenom a real childhood before the video game contracts, energy drink deals, and contest schedules rob them of it?
Shaping surfboards is a special activity. Unlike the construction of so much of our gear, giving birth to one of those shiny obelisks of foam and fiberglass is very attainable—even for dirtbags. The materials are relatively straightforward. The tools are rudimentary. The feeling that comes with riding your own board—one you’ve sweated over or been burned over—is complex and enthralling. Though I’ve surfed since I was a kid, I probably would have never gotten into shaping if it
The speed is getting faster now as I head down Park City’s Spiro trail. The red snake of the trail whips in wild arcs ahead, requiring exacting concentration despite the fact that water is now streaming out the side of my eye sockets. I dip my bars into a sharp corner, trying to hang on to this giddy pace, and hear the machine gun-paced “Whap! Whap! Whap!” as leaves on the inside of the corner slap my hands. It’s an exposure to pure cheek-flapping trail speed that's only registered a
It is absolutely pouring rain. Dipping the bars into a tight corner, my shoulder slaps a fern the size of a small cow, and the splash of exploding water feels like I’ve been hit by a water balloon. The trail dipping and straightening, the speed picks up, and all I can see through my watering eyes is a thin strip of brown dirt cutting through a horizon of wet green. The image is one I’d imagine from Borneo–not Canada–but the locational confusion only adds to the sensory experience.