The Topanga Groms

These days, more often then not, I find myself thinking back to what I was doing when I was sixteen years old; riding bikes, building dirt jumps, breaking things. I’m ten years senior to that now, and sometimes I’m forced to remind myself that I’m not that spritely little “jump off of anything” firecracker I once was. Now, this is not to say that I’m griping about being old(er), because despite my twenty something double digits, the fact of the matter is that I’m still living it, just on a larger scale. The rhyme to my reason was meant to highlight the notion that as a twenty-six year old, you know more about keeping yourself not broken, then you do as a sixteen year old. However, with all of the junior / senior chatter set aside, you can’t help but tip your hat to the youth of today’s downhill scene. Going bigger, and getting bolder then you ever thought possible.

Ian McSherry with the steezy toeside slide through the dirt.

Ian McSherry with the steezy toeside slide through the dirt.

The teenagers I’m talking about specifically, are the raging groms of Topanga Canyon. You may have caught wind of little Corey Hirschman(16) in the Winter 2012 issue of SkateSlate, but wouldn’t you believe it, there are two more of these feisty, adolescent downhill devils. Ian McSherry(17) and Sam Hay(16) complete what I like to deem, the Topanga Trio of Terror. All three are beginning to develope facial hair, can rip harder then a grocery bag, and are looking for a skitch back up the mountain from you! (But not for long, because Sam got his permit to operate a motor vehicle… cough, cough).

With the elegance of a deity, Corey Hirschman blasts out a heelside of epic proportions.

With the elegance of a deity, Corey Hirschman blasts out a speedy heelside slide.

Sam Hay has got boost. Hittin' the driveway early grab over the trash cans.

Sam Hay has got boost. Rocketing the driveway early grab over the trash cans.

Ian McSherry, monster truckin' toeside stand-ups through the oak grove.

Ian McSherry, monster truckin’ toeside stand-ups through the oak grove.

Small, fast, and nimble, the trio’s skill lies in their innate ability to shred any road, just as hard as you can. Hanging with the big boys isn’t so much an effort as it is natural for these groms, as they’ve gained themselves quite a bit of respect amongst the older generation. Still not old enough to drink, but just enough gnar to make you think twice before handing them a beer.

Seventeen years old and pre-drifting toeside cleaner then most twice his age. Get'em Ian.


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Sam, Ian, and Corey, on the edge of grip and reaching into this descending left.

The Topanga Trio Of Terror

Hard Corey puttin' in work.

Hard Corey, puttin’ in work.

Ian, Sam, and Corey, crush souls. And wether you like it or not, you can’t help but acknowledge that these kids can shred. All of them doing their part to represent the youth of our downhill skateboarding domain and giving us pride to call them SoCal locals. It’s kids like these that you should keep an eye on. These youngsters, though awkward, small, and brash, are the next generation in downhill. Like those revered tadpoles with legs you caught when you were little. Not quite yet a frog, but still just as rad. Sure, the big boys go hard and go big, but it is within this youth that we’ll soon start to see the evolution of the next phase in downhill skateboarding. Their voices may crack, and they may still have to sneak into R-rated movies, but you can bet your buttons that they can put the heat on you when you’re bombing down the mountain, no doubt about that. Watch out world, the Topanga Groms are coming up.

Thanks for reading. 

Now go pick these kids up and make them earn those permit hours by shuttling you.



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  1. Destiny Renee London

    really enjoyed reading this article. well-written and great photos! you all make it look fun.

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