Eleven years old and already doing kickflips, late shoves, and inverts?

Eleven years old and already skated an official XGames park?

Eleven years old and already competed in dozens of regional and national events?

Eleven years old and ten thousand Instagram followers?

Eleven years old and receiving support from legendary skate companies like Vans, Independent and Santa Cruz?

Eleven years old and already appeared in several national media publications and stories?

Lists like the above seem to invoke that word “phenom” in a just way. Phenoms are both exceptional and rare, and don’t just grow on trees. They challenge the norms of veteran talents, tried and true. Phenoms only come along once in awhile, and are therefore special.

So how does a phenom get to be that way? What’s the recipe for success? Where does the secret sauce come into play? What makes a kid like this so darned good at skateboarding!?

Maybe it’s actually not so complicated.

“I have loved skateboarding since the first time that I tried it,” says Minna.

“If I’m sad, skateboarding will make me happy. And if I’m happy, skateboarding makes me even more happy."

“So yeah, I skate nearly every day and always feel rewarded for learning a new trick and knowing that I’m getting better.”

In it for the right reasons. Minna Stess. Age 11.

Career Highlights