On a sunny day in Georgia, a nine-month-old snowboarder and snowshoer is waiting for her teacher to take her outside for a run. Eleven-month-old Evie Angelini is not familiar with the sound of snowshoes. She might look for a perfect surface to ride on, but she will not feel the thrill of riding the powdery white stuff. “Nope, a no,” Evie sighs.
The girl’s parents, Jen and Brandon, were not too proud to admit their daughter has not yet mastered all the basics of riding a bike. They set her straight when she started playing in a fenced-in backyard.
“She just put her hands in the snow and snuck in and took off,” said Brandon. So one year later when they took their daughter for a ride on a sled of baby snow shoes, they were surprised to see her standing on the mountain, holding on to her first snowboard, ready to take a run.
For an only child, who has come to understand the concept of eating, moving and being held is the best way of accomplishing these things, Evie has shown her skills as an exceptional learner. She now has her own private YouTube channel, aptly named Leafy, that features the young snowboarder and her professional father, who has helped her learn how to ride the slippery material. “Just right now she wants to try to ride the chains on it. Her dad is like, ‘Not cool. I like one that has different parts.’” Brandon laughs. “I had no idea she could do that.”
There are hundreds of parents who have taken to YouTube to share their adventures with the tiny snowboarders, whose plastic skis and bottles can get twisted by the wind. The videos have made quite an impact on parents in the south. “If you send us a video that’s 10 to 15 minutes long, we can watch them from beginning to end,” said Evie’s mother.
When Evie didn’t seem interested in learning how to snowboard, Brandon began to create an app called “Boofyr” that provides instructions with each video. The app teaches her how to hold the board and interact with a snowshoe. The little girl will start with a push and move along by steering with her feet. She is still a baby, so she’s struggling with balance. She can’t quite get on her board until Brandon puts it in her hand. “She shakes it like crazy,” Brandon says. “The other day she even picked it up on her own, just with her little arms, and held it up. That’s pretty impressive.”
As the videos get more popular, Evie’s parents have no plans of slowing down. They believe if they prepare her now, it will help her in the future. “They’re thinking about taking her on a ski trip next year, and we’re thinking we need a school or something to help us train her. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but we’re ready for whatever.”