Words by Milo McSenderson & Gaz Vogan
It’s back baby! And this time we’re doing it sideways. That’s right. It’s the goddamn 20 Under 20 Ones to Watch: Snowboarder edition. Hold onto your toestraps it’s gonna be a sick one. With a selection of youthful riders hand picked by the judicious judge extraordinaire, Gaz Vogan. You know these names are going to be dropping banger footy and crushing the comp scene all over - maybe a little more the comp scene given Gaz’s position in snowsports... Regardless of what this little thing called a pandemic has to say about it. Plug these names into your handheld send-observing machines and keep your eyes peeled. The snow is falling and these cats and dogs are gonna be getting after it.
Annika Morgan - @annika.overtomorrow - GER - 18, younger brother of rail wizard Ethan Morgan, is holding it down for ze Germans in this edition. Annika claimed 4th at the Laax Open this year and bagged silver in the 2020 YOG Big Air too. Morgan’s ‘gram grid has recently been firing with some summer shreds. She even tore AJs favourite summer park a new one amidst the ‘rona season. Strong on both jumps and rails and with a real nice style, Annika is one to be watching for sure!
Dusty Henricksen - @dustyhenricksen - USA - 17, has everything we love about snowboarding; a snappy, butterlicious style with some mad sends from every corner of his locker. Dusty made his mark on the 2020 Laax Open with this ridiculous dub fronty, I’m not sure how he managed to superman both flips and get a hand drag in… kids these days eh. He also became the first rider to EVER land a quad in a slopestyle run (in a t-shirt no less) at the Burton US open. He’s dropped clips like this and this; and so many more. The front lip tail block melon frontflip (it’s a mouthful) is everything I love about snowboarding in one clip. Dusty grabbed the W in the YOG at Lausanne while driving between there and Laax as the Open Finals clashed. He’s also not half bad on a skateboard... Follow his insta, stalk his feed, have your mind blown and feel out of breath just watching.
Fun bonus fact: His dad is a Mammoth taxi driver! That’s taxis in Mammoth, CA... not taxi rides on the extinct furry beast.
Eli Bouchard - @eli.bouchard - CAN - 12, JUST LANDED A TRIPLE!... Eli takes the biscuit for being the youngest, most jaw droppingest snowboarder on this list. I’m a little lost for words. He’s been killing it for a long time, dropping a few head turning edits back in 2016, at the age of 8. And has world records for being the youngest snowboarder to double backflip (8y/o), the youngest snowboarder to FS double 1080 (10y/o), and now the youngest to land a FS triple 1440 (12y/o). It’s a bit mad, keep your eyes peeled on this one. Who knows where he’ll end up, but you’re gonna want to find out!
Gabe Adams - @gabe.adams_ - GBR - 17, is one of our British rippers making their mark. He’s got some huge tricks and is starting to get some results on the comp scene for Team GB. I came across his edit from 2018 which absolutely bangs. Some serious steeze, trick variety and creativity in this one. Smooth rotations from the 180s to the triples. That’s what we like. Keep an eye out for this name when the comp circuit begins turning again this winter.
Hiraoki Kunitake - @hiroaki_kunitake JPN - 18, has been starting to make a name for himself by stacking up a few World Cup podiums on the slopestyle course. He’s got that tech style we’ve come to know and love from loads of Japanese riders on the scene at the moment. He’s gone pretty big over the last couple of years and he’s dropped some mad shit in the comp scene, I have a lot of love for the 4 on continuing 4 on in this Seiser Alm slope run. Check out Hiraoki’s 2019 Become A Nine edit for a full display of his capabilities.
Hollie Smith - @holliesmim - GBR - 17, is a Glaswegian super shredder recently signed by AfterJam. Hollie learned her craft in the Scottish domes but now holds it down in Austria over winter. She is no stranger to the comp scene racking up some serious competitive experience while stacking banger shots. She’s also one for making the summer pilgrimage to L2A. Catch her filming bangers year round between comp efforts!
Ian Matteoli - @ianmatteoli - ITA - 14, brings some signature Italian flair to proceedings. Ian drew inspiration from his father who snowboarded in the 80s and 90s. His Instagram feed has been pure drippin’ all winter and into summer sessions. This instabanger has it all, especially the flat-spin 1440(?) but the rail steeze is all there too. Ian has eyes on the comp scene and has an interest in all aspects of that side of the sport too.
Judd Henkes - @juddhenkes - USA - 19, has a serious sack of stunts, with backside and switch triple 14s on lock, and a backside triple 16 in the bag, this lad is a fierce contender. Just watch Hot Laps 2 from Mammoth where he rides with Lyon Farrell. Judd displays some serious tech on the rails and some big steeze in the air (he’s the one in the Red Bull lid getting the most screen time). Butter smooth rail tech on a single plank is something I love to see and this segment has plenty of that (as well as all the other good stuff). Riding from the age of 4 Judd also has the 2022 US Olympic team in his crosshairs. Watch this space!
Kokomo Murase - @cocomonsan - JPN - 16, is a young whippersnapper from Japan already filling her trophy case with a smattering of X-Games silverware - 1x Gold, 3x Silver, 1x Bronze. Which includes a Big Air Gold in Olso, 2018… at the age of 13, i.e the youngest ever snowboard big air competitor. Wow. Putting down a BS dub 10 Weddle* followed by the 12. Let’s not forget the sketchiness of those city big air towers either. Kokomo has some serious style and is going to be lacing up epic comp runs for a seriously long time. Big air and slopestyle are Kokomo’s current preferred comp formats but some there’s some insta footage of her practicing in the stunt ditch too so that’s also a one of many possibilities on the horizon for this young ripper.
Liam Brearly - @liam_brearley - CAN - 17, part of the Canadian contingent on this list as one of their Next Gen athletes. Liam slayed it at the 2020 Youth Winter Olympic Games, grabbing a podium in all 3 disciplines; silver in slopestyle and bronze in both big air and halfpipe. A multi-talented shredder on the list, a top class skate & wakeboarder too. Liam has the world at his fingertips when it comes to progress so expect plenty from this lad in the future!
Liam Tynan - @liamtynan15 - GBR - 16, is a young brit from Hemel Hempstead who’s got some dubs in his locker. Once coached by Mr Vogan himself before moving on to Team GB. He’s now working with some of the finest snowboarding minds the UK has to offer, Hamish McKnight and Ben Kinnear. Expect big things, this line is a year old and has some tech and steeze we love. From the fridge no less.
Maisie Hill - @_maisiehill - GBR - 19, has been putting in a big shift on the comp circuit for the last 4 years across the disciplines. Although focusing on big air and slopestyle Maisie has cut her teeth in the stunt ditch and boardercross as well. Maisie has some serious style and goes full send too. Gaz recalls a sketchy battle, in which she was the victor, to stomp a backflip to flatbox at a BRITS Rail Jam in Laax. Maisie’s ‘gram has some bangers in there, this opening week edit from Kaunertal is fire and she’s also been ripping the skateboard too, flow through the bowl like this is something we love to see. Keep ya eyes on the content and comp results this winter!
Mia Brookes - @mia_brookes - GBR - 13, is a young UK hopeful who is destined for big things for years to come as one of the members of the GB World Class programme. Starting snowboarding at 18 months, Mia travelled the country in the family motorhome riding all the UK has to offer. In more recent years she’s dominated comps abroad too, winning the World Rookie Tour 2020 and the 2018/19 Laax Junior Open Slopestyle Champion - as well as plenty others in the years prior. Mia Brookes is a name we’re going to be seeing a lot of in the World Cup Tour when she is of age and surely an Olympics for GBR, or more, too!
Mitsuki Ono - @mitsukiono - JPN - 16, halfpipe rider from the land of the rising sun is out there crushing it. Nailing the comp scene last season with a YOG halfpipe gold and 2 World Cup podiums. At 16, she may not be the biggest rider in the field but this doesn’t stop her getting some serious amplitude out of the ditch and keeping the style smooth as all hell. When it comes to riding style’s that are easy on the eye, she’s got it dialled.
Øyvind Kirkhus - @oyvind.kirkhus - NOR - 18, comes flying into this list with this nbd Back Dub 12 send in a FUCKING DOME (I’m counting it). We love the Norse and what they do for snowsports and Øyvind is carrying that brightly burning torch. He won the World Rookie Tour in Livigno this year as well as being nominated in the Norwegian Snowboard Awards. Recently putting out rad extended edit from the winter. Go check out Since 2002 presented by JUNKYARD to see more action from a sick young snowboard crew.
Reira Iwabuchi - @leila_iwabuchi - JPN - 18, is another member of this lists Japanese contingent with a solid competition record. Reira is a bit of a jump specialist, dominating the World Cup big air circuit with 5 wins under her belt. Claiming the Crystal Globe trophy for overall big air points in both 2018 and 2019. 3 World Cup podiums in slopestyle prove that she is no one-trick-pony. Keep your eyes on the skies as Reira keeps putting down banger runs off the money booters.
Ryoma Kimata - @ryomakimata - JPN - 18, has a really promising career ahead of himself. Recently spending much of the summer in Saas Fee (which has got an absolute blasting in the “off” season this year) Ryoma has dropped some banger clips; like this FS Dub 1440 Tail which has all sorts of whirly bird steeze. Insta heaters are what keep us watching a young buck but what drives a lot of these athletes is their comp circuit. Bagging gold at YOG 2020 and this impressive World Cup Silver medal run at Mammoth 2020 finished off with a monster triple. These are the kinda moves we’ll be getting excited about for many winters to come.
Ty Schnorrbusch - @tyschnorrbusch - USA - 18, from Killington is part of Team USA’s slopestyle outfit. She rides for Nikita and Capita and is out there working hard on the comp scene. Keep your eyes peeled as she builds on her experience and dials in some new learns over the coming winters. Not one to miss out on!
Yuto Totsuka - @yuto_totsuka - JPN - 19, is a stunt ditch lord on the rise and rise. Yuto competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics - (at 16 no less). Sustaining a crash and injury in the final, he finished 11th. However, he’s since recovered and made his mark on the 19/20 World Cup halfpipe circuit claiming a podium spot at each: 1st in Mammoth, 2nd in Laax, Secret Garden and Copper. That’s going some. Yuto is an absolute psychopath in the pipe. Watch him put down one of the gnarlies back-to-back dubs combos there is (front 14, switch back 12, switch back 10) to win the Burton US Open halfpipe final. His control in the transition means he goes so much bigger than a lot of riders making him lethal on the comp stage. We all love seeing the youth keeping the hardcore arena of send that is the halfpipe alive and boy Yuto is doing just that!
Zoi Sadowski Synnott - @zoisynnott - NZL - 19, takes the spot as our steezy kiwi on this list. Zoi puts out some serious Instagram content and is set to appear in Burton’s film One World which has just dropped (and it’s awesome). Zoi shot onto the radars of many with an epic 2019 competition year. Zoi grabbed the bronze in PyeongChang, the WC Slopestyle champ as well as a Slopestyle Gold and Big Air Silver at the Aspen X-Games stop. The X-Games Slope run ruled. She has a big bag of tricks and can do it all. Keep your eyes on the ‘gram for the drip and the comp scene for the silverware!
Jeez! What a rundown that was… I've said it before and I’ll say it every time we do a 20 under 20 (there’s another one coming your way soon!)... Kids these days eh?! Absolutely mental sends, I remember days of rubber knees but I still couldn’t fathom half the GNAR the youth of today are getting up to. I digress, we’ve done our bit, pointing out the finest to follow, don’t miss out on what these cats and dogs are up to over whatever we get of winter this year! Much love to Gaz Vogan for all the wisdom on this piece and all the snowboarders out there keeping the sb steeze rocking as always.
Well that’s it for the sideways version see you on the flip side.