FEATURE – Skimboarding originated in Sacramento, Calif. in the mid-1970s and eventually took hold in Utah in the 1990s. Today, skimboarding is considered a cult sport with large populations of skimboarders in the southwestern United States, Australia and Canada. The largest competition, Skim Fest, has been held annually since 1998 in Sacramento and continues to grow each year.
Recently, St. George teen Tysen Kirby took first place in his age division at Skim Fest after winning the local Virgin River Classic in 2012. At that competition, he created a new trick named “The Hustler;” anyone who knows this kid would say the name fits both him and his trick perfectly.
Kirby not only skimboards, but is a skateboarder, snowboarder, surfer and wakeboarder. He learned to skimboard only three days before his first competition at age 8 and came home with first place in his division. Since then, he has built a relationship with the owner and founder of J-Gordon Skimboards who found out this past summer that he had been struggling with cancer, which has set him back in his ability to produce skimboards.
Kirby felt compassion for his situation and wanted to be a part of J-Gordon on some level. After placing at Skim Fest, he contacted J-Gordon and received a sponsorship due to his skills and passion for the sport. He has been promoting J-Gordon’s products since and feels they are the best boards on the market.
Currently, Kirby and his brothers are working on designing an all-ages clothing line for outdoor sports. The vision they have for their line is an affordable, durable and comfortable product that is also different from what other companies are designing. As young entrepreneurs, their plan is to help kids in sports by raising money to build safe places for them to frequent and educate them on being physically safe while having fun. They see the importance of starting now and learning entrepreneurial skills that will help them in their careers in the future.
Though Kirby is the “cool kid” everyone loves to hang out with, he is also extremely witty and mature in conversation with adults. There isn’t much you can get past him and his willingness to learn is beyond his years, along with a compassion for people that is rare for a young teenager.
Keep an eye on Kirby. He is an up-and-coming professional making the very best out of life.
Written by St. George Health and Wellness Staff for St. George Health and Wellness magazine and St. George News.
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