That guy pulling off the toughest tricks with style and ease is none other than 10-year-old Dover resident Griffin MacFadyen, With seven sponsors, three years of competitions under his belt, and a winter 2012-2013 edit that has gone viral, for this young boarder extraordinare, the sky is the limit.
MacFadyen started snowboarding when he was 5 years old, visiting Liberty Mountain in southern Pennsylvania with his family on the weekends. By the age of 6, he started doing tricks, and his father Don started a “look what Griffin can do” hobby of filming his son on the slopes.
That same year, Griffin’s natural talent for hitting the tough tricks at a young age led to competitive riding and the USASA Nationals where he placed eighth out of 18 in slopestyle for age group 7 and under, and ninth out of 19 in the half-pipe.
In 2010-2011 season competitions he earned a bronze medal in half-pipe, top rider recognition in vertical challenges, and third place at the Centre Fall Jam among approximately 40 (primarily college age) riders, this all before the age of 9. In 2012 he continued his dominance with a first-place finish in the Gatorade Free Flow Tour Junior Superpipe competition for age 13 and under.
The MacFadyen family relocated to East Dover last year from Maryland and since then Griffin has spent six days a week working on his craft, reaching new heights with age. If you ask him, his reason for loving snowboarding is pretty simple. “It’s cool to be on the snow, and ride something that doesn’t include walking.”
Don MacFadyen’s hobby of filming young Griffin has turned into a professional venture and has exposed the world to the 10-year-old shaggy-haired Vermont phenom.
This season’s edit, filmed by Scott Horwath of SnugLife Apparel, has been featured on both Snowboarder magazine and Transworld Snowboarding’s websites, and has been picked up by Ballystix magazine in Australia.
“Make sure you keep the name Griffin MacFadyen locked away because he is going to kill it,” said Ballystix. “Not only is he doing things that no 10-year-old should, he has got so much style.”
OnBoard European Snowboard noted that Griffin “already has more sponsors than some X Games winners.”
Griffin said that making the video is not as easy as pushing the record button, however. “I have an edit every season,” said Griffin. “We made this one over the whole season, and some tricks took six tries because the guy filming would fall and I’d hit the rail perfect, or sometimes I wouldn’t get the rail right.”
Snowboarding is not Griffin’s only sport, however. He is a pitcher and shortstop for his little league team, and other boards he has tackled include the wakeboard, skateboard, and surfboard.
With his mind set on the snow still months away from falling, Griffin knows what he wants to work on, and what he’s focused on tackling next.“I want to try some nines, and two and a half turns. I tried them this year, but I want to try them again.”
So when they start making snow this year look out for the boy in the orange and black snowsuit tearing up Carinthia, because you might just get schooled by a fifth-grader.