Have you been there, too? You’re enjoying practicing your favorite action sport which you’re more or less good at, a 10-year-old kid walks up, steals everyone’s show and you suddenly find yourself somewhere in between awe and desperation, because there is no way that you will ever be that good! If this situation and especially the subsequent feeling seems familiar to you, you better stop reading now, because these kids will make you want to cry.
Quincy Symonds aka. The Flying Squirrel
At six years old Quincy Symonds is already considered one of the brightest stars on the horizon of surfing. The Flying Squirrel, as she likes to be called, started surfing when she was four years old when she requested her dad one day to take her surfing with him. Since that day Quincy has not only progressed to become one of Australia’s surfing, but also skateboarding prodigies, mostly ripping in some for her size relatively big waves at and around her home spot Snapper.
Sky and Ocean
Watching Sky (6) and her younger brother Ocean (3) “play” is like watching two kids having the fun of their life in their favorite playground. It’s just that in their case the “playground” is a skate park and the “toys” are skateboards. I don’t know about you, but at three years old I wasn’t even able to ride a bike. Ocean on the other hand playfully takes apart a miniramp at this age while his older sister when not skating calls surfing her other favorite hobby.
Vali Höll is a thirteen year-old pro downhill mountain biker from Austria. Growing up in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, one of Austria’s top destinations when it comes to mountain biking, and calling DH professional Angie Hohenwarter her godmother it quickly became clear what she would spend her time doing. Lately much of this has included taking part in DH races and beating boys older than her.
Chloe made worldwide news when she won gold in this year’s Winter X Games’ Women’s snowboard SuperPipe contest and thus becoming the youngest X Games winner of all time. As her little video profile shows however, she had been scoring in quite a lot of contests before, among them a silver medal in the X Games a year before.
All of these kids being into extreme sports brings up some criticism as well, of course. A recent New York Times article asks the question of security and whether or not it is right to let kids take risks they themselves aren’t able to estimate. My opinion is that kids should primarily be allowed to have fun at what they’re doing and as far as supervision goes let them take risks they are up to and learn their own limits. As for myself I’ve decided to take these kids as inspiration to what is possible and not let my own lack of ability drag me down instead. What do you think, should kids be let into professional level extreme and action sports at an early age or should these things rather wait until their late teens or early tweens?