This morning was an odyssey into the etymology of a word wholly original to the extreme sports world. That word is grom. I was showing one of my customers the ins and outs of our junior snowboard package and mentioned that the package included the Burton Grom junior boot.
"What's a grom?"
"Oh, a grom is a little kid."
"A little kid that snowboards, or just a little kid in general? I mean, do I start calling all my kids groms now? Is that what's going on?"
"I'll get back to you on that."
So I hit wikipedia and dictionary.com hard. I found out what a grom was. It is both a special forces unit from Poland according to the wiki-world and absolutely nothing according to the dictionary. Since I wasn't about to tell a customer that I had just called their child a special operative from the former Soviet bloc, I had to dig deeper. The word grom originates from the surfing world. This solid defintion (actually 8 of them) was found on urban dictionary.com, the most astute and high-fidelity defintion source on the web today.
In all actuality, I stumbled upon an old article from Surfer Magazine that talked about the up-and-coming groms of the world. When I discovered the heavy usage of the word in California I realized I how sweet living in Ohio is-- one can re-discover something everyday.
Since the etymology of grom is rooted in surfing, is it fair to call young skiers groms? On top of that, what do we call young ski bladers? Duke it out on our Forums-- my job here is done.