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Dear Grom Moms: THANK YOU

Awaiting Results: Wyatt Gentry and Mom Lisa Gentry. Photo by Luke Gentry

Thank You Grom Moms


In honor of Mother’s day, we caught up with a few of our favorite TGR Groms (and their moms) to get the inside scoop on all of the hard work that goes into parenting such successful and well-rounded kids.

As any mom can relate, parenting is not all rainbows and sparkles - it takes a vast amount of trust, commitment, support, and in our grom moms’ case, gas mileage, to raise such talented and dedicated young athletes.

For some of these young shredders, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Between two ex-Olympians and a handful of accomplished Freeskiers, our TGR moms will do anything to give their grom(s) the same opportunities they had growing up with a love for skiing.


What’s one thing you appreciate most about your mom?

Taryn Moe: I appreciate that my mom is always supportive and kind.

Riley Marley O’Grady: I appreciate my mom because she is always there for me and always wants to go on an adventure with me. She brings me to the beach every morning in the summer and she brings me to the mountain everyday in the winter. My mom loves to watch me snowboard, ski, surf, and skateboard.

Cooper Watson: She always supports what I want to do. She is willing to take me to ski comps, the skatepark, etc.

Rylee Watson: What I most appreciate about my mom is all the gear that she buys me.

Owen Smith: She will always look out for me and make sure I’m in check.

Wyatt Gentry: One thing I appreciate about my mom is her willingness to have fun no matter the situation.

Shred then school or school then shred?

Taryn Moe: School, then shred

Riley Marley O’Grady: It depends. If it’s a pow day or a good snow day then I am going to shred then do school. If it’s icy or windy in the morning and not going to be great on the mountain, then I will do school then go shred. Shredding is part of school.

Owen Smith: I would rather shred in the morning and do school later because the pow gets tracked.

Wyatt Gentry: It goes shred, then school... but most of the time it’s shred then shred.

We All Need a Little Push from Mom! Riley Marley O'Grady and Heidi O'Grady.

What do you think is your mom’s least favorite part of parenting you?

Taryn Moe: I think she doesn’t like that all the activities that me and my sister do cost a lot of money.

Riley Marley O’Grady: She knows when I get rad I can get hurt. She doesn’t like to see me hurt. She’s a physical therapist and helps me when I get hurt.

Cooper Watson: That I always want to go and do something and she has to take me places.

Rylee Watson: I think my moms least favorite part about parenting me is she worries about me getting hurt.

Owen Smith: I think her least favorite part about parenting is that I scare her when I jump off cliffs.

Wyatt Gentry: Her least favorite part about parenting me is the fact that I shred then shred. She is always having to tell me to do schoolwork.

Anything else you want your mom to know?

Riley Marley O’Grady: I am thankful for my mom and everything she does for me. My mom is the best.

Cooper Watson: That I always want to go and do something and she has to take me places.

Rylee Watson: I think my moms least favorite part about parenting me is she worries about me getting hurt.

Owen Smith: I think her least favorite part about parenting is that I scare her when I jump off cliffs.

Wyatt Gentry: Her least favorite part about parenting me is the fact that I shred then shred. She is always having to tell me to do schoolwork.

Rylee Watson Grabbing some Airtime. Photo by Zoe Leibovitch


What's your favorite part of being a mom of a grom?

Sue Smith: Skiing is freedom!

Lisa Gentry: I love it when my kids are happy and they are so in love with Jackson Hole and all that it offers - it’s so fulfilling to see them embracing this wild and wonderful place. I’m so proud of all they have accomplished!

Heidi O’Grady: My favorite part of being a grom mom is just watching Riley. She sets goals and keeps trying until she accomplished them. Her relentless attitude, her strength and determination, and just her fun loving nature give me great pride. After changing careers to facilitate her love and talent of skiing and snowboarding a few years ago, I have been able to be with her everyday. I don’t take that time for granted. It’s much different from when I was working 10 hours a day. The best part of being a Mom to a super grom is the gift of more time spent together and doing what we love!

Kit DesLauriers: Watching my daughters love skiing!

Kit DesLauriers and her Girls out for a Ski.

What's the most challenging part of being a mom of a grom?

Sue Smith: The lines can be very frightening! I can’t think about what he might be skiing during the course of the day.

Lisa Gentry: My kids are so accomplished that they are now going on adventures that scare me every day. I know they plan hard and make good decisions but it’s still tough to be the mom of these boys.

Heidi O’Grady: Raising a grom has a few challenges, the most obvious is keeping up with Riley on the mountain! Another challenge, which I struggle with a lot, is staying calm when she has hard falls when learning new tricks. I’d have to think the biggest challenge has been completely moving for the winter season from our home in Rhode Island to the condo we rent in Maine. When it became apparent that Riley’s talents were unique we realized it would require a higher level of commitment for her to reach her potential. For the last 3 ski seasons we have essentially devoted our lives to skiing and riding as much as possible. I’ve changed my career path to facilitate that commitment, allowing Riley to ski and ride well over 100 days each of the last 3 years. We also home school Riley, a challenge in itself, so that she can continue to do what she loves and does best everyday…ski and ride.

Kit DesLauriers: Watching them compete because I was once on the freeride circuit and know how challenging it is!

When did your kids start shredding?

Sue Smith: As soon as they could walk!

Lisa Gentry: Age 2 at the JH Kids Ranch.

Heidi O’Grady: From a young age, she loved standing in a storage bin with her plastic toy skis on and we would pull her around the house to work on her balance. She never crawled and starting walking around 9 months. Riley started skiing and riding on snow when she was around 14-18months on the bunny lift. When she was 2 she was skiing off the smaller lifts, and about 3 years old for snowboarding. She’s always just loved it.

Kit DesLauriers: They skied at 1.5 and shredded by 2!

Owen Smith and Mom Sue Smith.

What's a most memorable moment shredding with your grom?

Sue Smith: When Owen was very young I was following him one day and I thought to myself: wow—this child has amazing awareness and creativity in three dimensional space!

Lisa Gentry: Going snowmobiling with Luke and Wyatt up Beards mountain and filming the boys as they jumped off crazy stuff in the middle of nowhere. They guide me and now I’m the dependent. It’s so amazing how good they are and how much they know. So proud.

Heidi O’Grady: Wow that is a difficult one because there are so many memorable awesome days out there. I would say it’s the small moments, the giggles, the friendships, the love for winter sports. It’s the look of excitement when a trick is landed, or when teaching a friend to ride or ski, or when Riley drops into the park on her board and grinds a rail in front of a group of older kids full of confidence! As a parent I would have to say one of the most memorable moments is watching lasting friendships, from kids to adults, that Riley has developed over the years, because of a common respect and love for the mountains and an inherent feeling of community! Really it’s all the little moments that make every season special!

Kit DesLauriers: This winter when I skied side country nonstop lap at adult pace and she stayed one turn off my tails!

How would you define your role as a grom mom? Cheerleader, Coach, Chauffeur, Shred Buddy, Personal Assistant?

Sue Smith: Personal Assistant

Lisa Gentry: Cheerleader, Coach, Chauffeur, Shred Buddy, Personal Assistant

Heidi O’Grady: Cheerleader, Coach, Chauffeur, Shred Buddy, Personal Assistant

Kit DesLauriers: Cheerleader, Coach, Chauffeur, Shred Buddy, Personal Assistant

Supergrom Riley Marley O'Grady and Supermom, Heidi O'Grady.

What else would you like to share about being a mom of a grom?

Sue Smith: It is a special community of trust, mentorship, and friendship, and the sport is ever evolving. I love to see the social media posts that happen after the ski day is concluded! Amazing!

Lisa Gentry: Having two sons who are such great friends and ski partners who are willing to take their old mom on adventures is really incredible. They also have such great friends with incredible talent, the whole crew is a force of nature at such a young age. The future of skiing!

Heidi O’Grady: Being a mom of a grom is the best adventure ever! It’s full of love, joy, excitement, and happiness! I feel so lucky to be Riley’s mom and watch her overcome obstacles daily! I’m thankful for our journey so I try to stay grounded in every moment!

Tell us about a proud grom mom moment.

Sue Smith: So many podium finishes in IFSA Freeride comps!!

Lisa Gentry: Last January Wyatt qualifies for the Junior Freeride World Championship in Austria. The entire family - including grandparents - went to cheer him on. Wyatt was so confident and excited and his brother Luke and friend Tucker were so nervous and proud, it was amazing to have the whole ski family there. We were all over the moon when Wyatt put down a huge run and jumped over cliffs and glided through the powder making it look so beautiful - and he came in 3rd place!

Heidi O’Grady: When Riley won the Teton Gravity SuperGrom award this year was definitely one of the best moments! Seeing her reaction to winning the award. She was invited on the TGR Magic Hour New England movie tour and watching her excitement grow exponentially for each event, with all her friends by her side cheering her on was just unbelievable! To end the movie tour in Boston at the House Of Blues where Riley was welcomed with open arms by Todd, all the TGR athletes and staff was something we will never forget. Walking back to our car, watching her excitement, she was jumping off light poles, skipping and so full of joy and excitement for the upcoming winter season and the experience she had over those couple weeks going on the “Magic Hour” tour!

Kit DesLauriers: When each of my girls took 1st place in their age divisions at the Targhee comp!

Owen Smith Sending. Photo by TGR Supply

Shred then school or school then shred? Pick one.

Sue Smith: School first. Shred second.

Lisa Gentry: Shred first. School second.

Heidi O’Grady: Shred first. School second.

Kit DesLauriers: 50/50! If the kids get their work done well, then skiing is always available. It's not one or the other, it's both, because that is the balance they'll be looking toward forever. That's life.

To all of the groms out there: show your mom some extra love today… and every day. It won’t go unnoticed and you might just score an extra ride to the mountain.

To all the moms that work tirelessly to help their grom(s) grow and succeed, you’re doing great and don’t worry, Jackson Hole has fantastic healthcare professionals.

About The Author

stash member Teton Gravity Research

It all began with a dream and a little cash scraped together from fishing in Alaska... Since 1995, we've been an action sports media company committed to fueling progression through our ground-breaking films (37 and counting) and online content.