How to Find the Best Videos of Young, Extreme Athletes
I recently discovered the website, Kids Who Rip. Not sure how I missed this one, but it's rad little video library of kids killing it on bikes, skis, kiteboards, surfboards, skateboards, balance beams, and pretty much every other conveyance and game known to childhood.
You can submit clips of your kid's first black diamond mogul run or gawk at other people's offspring hucking big air on their mountain bikes. In a bind, it'll double as a motivational tool ("that boy can ride across a log without whining"), and it's an excellent bribery/diversion tactic when your wild child is bouncing off the walls and you need some peace and quiet (like right this minute). What's more riveting than watching a grom catch and carve waves—especially when the surfer is six years old and not even four feet tall? Not a rhetorical question.
Documentary filmmaker Rod Parmenter launched Kids Who Rip in 2010. Back in the day, he was a teen action sports star himself; his stunts landed him on the cover of Ski Magazine and a role in Warren Miller's movie "Steep and Deep." He went on to become an unofficial talent scout for baby shredders, shooting classic footy of up-and-comers like pro surfer T.J. Baron and Olympic champion snowboarder Shaun White, at the ripe old age of 10. Like this one:
But it's not all action sports all the time on Kids Who Rip; dancers, gymnasts, basketball players, and musicians get equal opportunity air time. Some clips are freakishly professional. Check out the self-proclaimed Youngest Fitness Instructor in the world—he's 10. "For the most part, the kids and their families that submit videos are incredible, probably some of the best in the country," says Parmenter. "You can tell right away when the kid has the support of their family. Someone needs to be filming and taking the kid to the beach or mountain."
But others are scrappier, backyard productions, probably a lot like yours and mine. Because let's face it—no matter how fearless, game, and singleminded they are, or how tricked out their clips—most kids probably won't end up on the Olympic podium. But it sure is fun to watch them along the way.