Grommet (sportsperson)

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Young grommet on a board with his dad watching.

A grommet (grom) is a young participant in extreme sports. Originally, a grommet was a surfer under the age of 16. In recent years, this has expanded to include other extreme sports, most notably skateboarding and snowboarding.[1]

Etymology[edit]

The first contextual use of the word appears in a 1964 article by the journalist, Nicholas Tomalin, who on a visit to Newquay in Cornwall noted that: "A surfer who is no good or just beginning is a 'gremmie'."[2]

The word "Gremmie", which was used in the United States in the 1940s and 1950s, was derived from the word "Gremlin".[3]

The term "grommet" was used in Lockie Leonard, Legend by Tim Winton: "Things are never as simple as they seem, not even for grommets".

The word was originally a derogatory term for an inexperienced surfer, but has become an accepted term for all young participants. For example, the British Surfing Association offers a Grommet Surf Club for young surfers.[4]

Notes[edit]

Term first made popular on the South Coast of NSW in the 1970s

References[edit]

  1. ^ Definition of grommet on About.com
  2. ^ "Sun, surf and sexuality – it's a whole new cult" August 16, 1964
  3. ^ "5/9/06 Kew's Corner: The Definition of 'Grommet'"
  4. ^ "British Surfing Association Grommet Club gets into gear"