Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia
USASA Ranking: 4th overall in grom snowboarding
Instagram : @JB2supergrom
Sponsors : Grom USA, Never Summer Industries, Aipa Surf, Buell Surf, Coastal Edge Surf Shop, Vans, Zero’s Subs Oceanfront, Chico’s Pizza, Moke America of Virginia Beach, S1 Helmets, Blackstrap, Mini-Rippers, Monster Army, Swell Motel, Black Rose and Dagger, Pit Vipers, Bobby Minghini Foundation, Tipsy Elves, Oakley, SunBum, Sticky Bumps, Wed Wax Works
October 2, 2023 / By jacquelinedavis
Before starting my interview with Virginia Beach supergrom JB2, and his mom Blair, I thought I’d ask the energetic 10-yr-old if he had any questions for me. He paused and thought about it for a minute.
“Yes, I have one question! Will you make me sound cool? (smile)
“Kid, I’ll make you famous!” (wink)
This set the tone for our interview over ZOOM, where I was given a window into the extraordinary life of the boardsport prodigy and the adventurous Bayer family of six, which includes JB2, parents Blair and Jacob, older sister Aydin, and younger bros Skylr and Jagger.
JB2 is how you would imagine him to be, high energy, full of smiles and jokes, an all around terrific kid. As the only grom currently competing in all six USASA snowboard disciplines, the co-host of a popular podcast ‘Grommet Vommit’ a team rider for the iconic snowboard brand Never Summer, a salaried employee for Grom USA, and one of the most naturally gifted wave riders in Virginia Beach, JB2 (aka Jacob Boyer Jr.) is already a household name in the world of action sports, and on his way to becoming a surf-skate-snow superstar on the international stage.
How was the experience of skating the very first JACKALOPE VB like for you? “It was so sick!! The base jumping off the hotel, the bouldering, the vert ramp on the beach! I taught Micah how to surf, and I interviewed him on my podcast. Micah came to our church and we prayed for good weather for JACKALOPE, and we got it!”
Can you tell me in your own words how all this got started? “So, my parents pushed me into the bay on a surfboard when I was two years old. One pushed me and the other one caught me. I did my first surfing competition when I was two. When I was three I was shot out of a barrel! Then I started skateboarding and dropped into a 13.5 very ramp within the first three months. My legs were too short so I just fell, but it wasn’t a bad fall because I fell into the transition (laughs)!”
“My dad taught me how to ski and I was really good but last year my mom said ‘you’re a surfer, we need to get you on a snowboard.’ The rental place traded my skis for a snowboard and I started shredding the mountain before my mom could even tell me how to do it. I asked my mom if there were competitions for snowboarding and the next weekend I competed in my first USASA snowboarding competition. I was invited to nationals in Colorado and now I’m ranked 4th overall snowboarder in the United States.”
Blair stepped in and explained to me that while most kids choose a discipline they just put JB2 in everything. He placed 2nd in USASA bordercross (which he admitted to me he likes ‘just a little bit more’ than the other disciplines). Last year he was first in the world for 9 and under because he’s the only grom competing in all disciplines. There were two companies looking at JB2 at nationals for sponsorship, including iconic brand Never Summer.
I asked JB2 a little more about his Never Summer sponsorship because I also ride a NS board. The company, started by the Canaday brothers nearly three decades ago, is as much driven by community as they are by stoke, and they continue to precisely hand craft all their boards in their facility in Denver. Not only did Never Summer give their new team rider the red carpet treatment, they set up all the Bayer kiddos with snowboards, and are creating an adaptive board for eldest daughter Aydin.
What is your home mountain for snowboarding? Where do you skate? Do you have specific goals that you’re trying to reach in each sport?
One of the most amazing things about JB2’s snowboard story is he lives a three hour drive away from the nearest ski resort in Virginia, Wintergreen.
“We snowboard at Wintergreen, it’s a three hour drive from here. There’s lots of amazing places to skate here in Virginia Beach including Woodstock Skatepark, WRV Skate Park, William’s Farm, Coastal Edge, and Mount Trashmore.
“Not only that I’m super lucky because I have a half pipe in my backyard. I want to go to the Olympics and compete for the United States in all three disciplines, surf, skate, and snowboard!”
What’s a day in the life of JB2 like, from school to friends and family to training?
“I wake up for dawn patrol to check the waves, around 6 a.m., then knock out some school work, skate, have lunch, more school work, and evening skate session with my friends. Before contests I carb up and have ‘shreddy spaghetti.’ Sometimes I have a V8, because I don’t like veggies, but I like to drink them!”
Who are your action sports heroes?
“Shaun White. He’s the most like me because he started really young and he rips in snowboarding and skateboarding. Filipe Toledo is one of my favorite surfers. He does big air tricks on the waves and I like to do those too, and Collin Graham, he’s a local skateboarder from VB and we sometimes skate together.”
Tell me about your podcast ‘Grommet Vomit’
“My dad came up with the name. We tried all these names and my dad said ‘Grommet Vomit’ and I thought ‘perfect!’ I host the podcast with my homie Duke, he’s nine. We had Rob Marchado on the first podcast. And had Ryan Sheckler on the podcast.”
I could tell JB2 was wanting to get outside for a skate sesh with his buds, it was Friday night after all, so I asked him one last question before switching gears to talk with Blair.
What do you love most about your life right now? “I get to surf, skate, and snowboard, and be homeschooled, and I get to have fun!”
Can’t argue with that.
Blair Morgan Bayer is a momma to be reckoned with. In addition to managing JB2’s career, including his social media pages, and podcast, she is a busy mom of four. I was immensely impressed with how she handles everything. We talked a lot about a shared interest in the law of attraction and the law of assumption, the belief that if you trust in the universe and live in the end result you will be rewarded in dividends, an approach to living life to its fullest that is clearly working for Blair and her family.
When did you first realize that JB2 had a special gift? How has your life changed with JB2’s rise in action sports? “JB is wise beyond his years. By the time he was a year old he would have full conversations. He’s very sympathetic. He would talk for his sister, Aydin (who was injured at birth and has had nine brain surgeries). The first two years with Aydin were just keeping her alive, and it was scary. I wanted to block the world out, but then surfing and the water has always been healing for me.”
“Aydin loves to sing and she loves the water as well. She’s the ‘singing surfer’ and she doesn’t forget anything that she hears (smiles). We need to surf, we’re in the water everyday, we live everyday to the fullest and no one is left behind. When JB did one of his first big surfing competitions he came out of the water and said ‘that’s for you Aydin.’ The boys are Aydin’s little army.”
“All my kids are different. JB wants to be the best in the world. Skylr, he surfs and skates too and he just does it for fun, but the little guy, Jagger, he’s three, he’s competitive. Jagger wants to be better than his big brother” (laughs).
“JB2 is a great kid, he is so kind. That’s what tells me I’m winning as a parent.”
Being a mom to young kids is a busy life in itself without the added responsibilities of managing an athlete. How do you do it? What kind of support do you receive from the community in VB, and the action sports community at large? “Jackalope, and Micah, everyone has been amazing. They did a documentary on us when they were here, before the festival started. We’re just living. We watched the Shaun White documentary and there were so many similarities with his early days and our life now. My husband works a lot so it’s me and my four kids, driving to competitions, living from suitcase to suitcase. Skylr is learning from his brother. All my kids are happy, thriving, and loving life, and that is what keeps me going. What I remember the most about being a kid in school where the adventures outside the classroom, so I started home schooling my kids by the time JB was in third grade and our life is an adventure.”
What do you enjoy doing as a family outside the world of boardsports? How do you stay grounded? “Music is a big part of our life. We’ve always traveled, going to concerts because of Aydin’s love for music. She loves Taylor Swift. We live close to the boardwalk in Virginia Beach, and we have a golf cart for cruising up and down the strip, listening to live music.”
“We love travelling to new places. Whenever we travel for a competition we do something different that’s a memory to keep, and fun for everyone. I’m from here, and I’ve always surfed. My husband is from Ohio and when we met I taught him to surf. Coming from the northeast he did all the two-footed sports, hockey, rollerblading, skiing, and now JB has taught him how to skateboard.”
“Our life is like a diary for our kids, and hopefully we’re inspiring other families. Jagger did his first surf competition when he was only 8 months old. His story is just beginning. We don’t know where we’re headed, but we know that its going to be great!”
Any wise words for other parents who might find themselves in a similar situation with a young child who is also an exceptionally gifted athlete? “Keep the groms stoked when they are following their passions, and stay stoked with them. Hang on and have fun, enjoy the ride. It’s awesome!”
As we wrapped up our conversation Blair promised me and my daughters a surf lesson at JACKALOPE next summer. See you in Virginia Beach in 2024, Bayer family. We can’t wait to see what JB2 accomplishes between now and then, in the surf, on the vert, and in the snow. Clearly the sky is the limit!