Atomic Youth


Dec 1, 2002
Outside Magazine

Gardner in Jackson, Wyoming

Left to right: Harding, Van Tuyl, and Endrizzi at Jimmy Slinger Headquaters, San Diego

Will Gardner [16]


Jackson, Wyoming
"Mom says it's good for us to stay busy," says Will Gardner. Chalk up another one to good parenting: While other Jackson teens kill time with their PlayStations, this aspiring Warren Miller already owns his own production company, School Bus Productions, and has two ski movies under his belt and a third coming out in a matter of weeks, as well as deals with corporate sponsors Cloudveil and Life-Link. La La Land, Gardner's latest entry in the digital-video, adrenaline genre, is classic ski-porn: Nine eye-popping segments of young guns sticking massive aerials, rail slides, and powder rides, along with a few token blowouts—all set to a skittering rock-and-rap soundtrack. What's next? "We would like to do some Matrix-type shots where the camera goes around the skier," says Gardner. "But that, for us at least, is pretty far off." If the reception for his last film, Mental Harmony, is any indicator—it filled the Jackson Hole Playhouse—Garder will get there sooner rather than later. "For being only 16, he's pretty impressive," says Teton Gravity Research cofounder Todd Jones. "The level of their riding has increased significantly, their filmwork and editing has increased significantly. I mean, they're real." —Christian DeBenedetti

Severn Cullis-Suzuki [23]


Vancouver, British Columbia
At the age of nine, Severn Cullis-Suzuki launched the Environmental Children's Organization—a kid-focused green group that organized beach cleanups. At 12, in a speech that brought the house down, she urged delegates at the 1992 Rio de Janiero Earth Summit to work on healing our ailing planet. A year later she published the book Tell The World and accepted the UN Environmental Program Global 500 Award for her precocious politicking. In high school, Cullis-Suzuki, daughter of renowned Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki, helped hammer out the UN Earth Charter with the likes of Mikhail Gorbachev and Jordan's Princess Basma. "Sev's not just a defender of life; she embraces life with boundless energy," says writer and anthropologist Wade Davis, 48, a family friend and mentor. "Her idea of a fun thing to do is ride her bike across North America."

These days the recent Yale graduate is promoting The Skyfish Project (, a group she cofounded last spring that is inviting people to sign a personal code of environmental ethics. In early 2003 she plans to trek the highlands of Nepal. Were it possible, she'd take her whole generation with her. "I worry that more and more kids my age are growing up without experiencing the outdoors, which means that fewer will care about the natural world," Cullis-Suzuki says. "Get outside! Go be in nature! Then you'll know why it's important." —B. B.
Ian Van Tuyl [23]
Elise Endrizzi [25]
Matt Harding [27]


San Diego, California
OK, so one of them is over 25, but we're bending the rules for this one because the young turks at Jimmy Slinger Skateboards are out to change the way the world thinks about commuting. "We're dedicated longboarders," says Matt Harding, an Orange County surfer who grew up rolling to the beach on five-foot-long skate decks. "It's a great way to get around, and people are using them more as transportation, whether it's going to the beach or six blocks to the supermarket."

Frustrated with the shortboard-dominated industry, Harding and fellow thrash-culture entrepreneurs Elise Endrizzi and Ian Van Tuyl formed Jimmy Slinger in May 2000. (The name's just a lark, says Harding: "There is no Jimmy Slinger.") They cut their first flats with a jigsaw and shaped them by hand. Now the San Diego startup's line ranges from 34-inch hybrids to its $165 signature product, the Big Duke, a five-foot-long maple glider strong enough to shoulder some serious beef. "We had a 300-pound guy buy one, and he just cruises on it," says Endrizzi. Swamped with orders, the Slinger crew works late nights filling requests. "When we put in these long hours, I think about a company like Sector Nine," says Van Tuyl, referring to the board maker that started in a La Jolla backyard and has since bloomed into a global powerhouse. "I'd love to do what they did, take an industry and make it into something." —B. B.

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Not Now

Open a World of Adventure

Our Dispatch email delivers the stories you can’t afford to miss.

Thank you!