It’s quite easy to get annoyed by the current crop of young talent in Australian snowboarding especially when I look back to my youth and at a time when I spent my days riding into the front pannel of the only flat box in the country.
Nowadays, backed by a great support network of parents, coaches and sponsors combined with amazing snowboard facilities and their genuine love for riding, there’s a whole generation of snowboarders 18 years and under who are destined for the bright lights. It’s a prosperous time for snowboarding in this country as the talent pool is seemingly endless. While many other riders could have been mentioned amongst those who sit in the top 10 up and comers the following riders are without doubt the most prominent grommets in the country, some even the world.
This week, The Transfer Hit List calls out Australian Snowboarding’s top ten up-and-comers, in no particular order. Who will be crowned the greatest grom of them all? only time will tell.
It seems strange to still be labelling Josh as an up-and-comer because he’s been on a path of destruction since he was 12. In fact Josh has already climbed the ranks, popped his head up – won a few things, ducked back in and is currently continuing his climb onto the international scene. He’s the most consistent slope rider in the country right now and confirmation of his Back Triple attempts at The Stomping Ground Park in Saas Fee, Switzerland further confirms that he’s not content with his achievements just yet.
Alex is the by-product of his environment. A Jindabyne native who’s become the token grommet of front valley. Copping it from the older crew who like all others that’ve seen his riding, vouch for Alex’s talent. To describe Alex’s riding would be like describing his personality. He’s fast, full of energy and annoyingly talented. For a kid that’s barely hit puberty, he’s got the nuts of a bison.
Val’s no doubt a heart breaker already at age 11, he’s also doing a pretty good job at shutting down the older crew of riders at Perisher’s Front Valley Park and he’s one of Australia’s most successful snowboarding exports right now. From pipe sessions with Danny Davis to photo’s in Snowboarder Mag. Val is doing an outstanding job putting Australian snowboarding on the international radar.
Zahra Kell could almost be labelled as a legend of the groms. It feels as if she’s been making waves forever, and she has been. At 13 years old, yes 13 Zahra has become an indomitable force in junior halfpipe and slope competitions. Her riding is freakishly consistent and comparable to the likes of Jamie Anderson. Zahra also lives a double life as a professional wakeboarder. Watch out world.
Tess is one of the most stylish and solid riders in Australia, period. After spending time over in Austria with Jess Rich, she’s come back with this incredible skill set in the park. Her riding is super powerful and she’s proper in the execution of her tricks. Huge Nosepresses, highback-cranking tweaks and pace of riding puts her well and truly in the ranks as rider to be reckoned with.
THE PARKINSON BROTHERS (JYE AND JESSE)
No matter what they turn their hand at they’ll always be very gifted dudes. After all they have the bloodline of a World Surfing Champion in them. Both Jesse and Jye Parkinson are extremely talented surfers and snowboarders. Though bound by blood, 14-year-old Jye has taken a more naturalistic approach to snowboarding seeking a freeriding path while younger brother Jesse (10) is hell bent on big tricks and is set to make a name for himself in the world of snowboarding.
Luke pretty much wins anything he enters, which is lucky for his fellow competitors ‘cause he doesn’t enter all that many competitions. Instead Luke can be found doing his own thing in his own time. Whether it’s filming in the streets with the Odd Folks crew or soul searching in the Japanese Backcountry. His fluid style and eclectic outerwear choice combined with his down-to-earth persona makes him a rider who’s gifted with skills well beyond his age.
14-year-old Buller rider Hudson Ayoubi has been holding things down for the Victorian contingent for quite some time. There’s certainly undertones of the Buller influence in Hudson’s riding with some Robbie-Walker-Esk style cue’s coming through. Hud’s huge flatspins and recent riding at the Stomping Grounds park proved that he’s one of this country’s most promising riders.
Luke’s yet another part of the extremely talented Stavely clan. His Older brother Cam and sister Lauren has both set the standard for the kid to come up through. Luke is far from an unknown entity taking out placing’s around the world in slopestyle competitions as well as putting in stellar performances at the Cattleman’s rail jam year after year. He’s represented Australian on a global scale at the World’s largest street snowboarding completion – Tokyo Rail Days (RIP). In short the world needs to see more of Luke Staveley’s snowboarding.
The Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in the Cowley clan. Tamara Cowley is the daughter of the Australian Snowboard legend – Mark Cowley, who like her father has fast become one of the quickest snowboarders in the country. Tamara’s talented was quickly realised by one of the world’s fastest snowboarders – Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin during her stay at the Chumpy’s Boarding House camp at Mt Hotham. If you happen to come across Tamara on the slopes and she challenges you to a race, don’t do it – she’s simply to fast for you hotshot.