Growing up in the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Ian Thorley’s parents put him into his first pair of skis before he could walk. With a hill only five miles from his house, Thorley spent most of his winters there and soon convinced his dad to let him switch to a snowboard. Now he splits time between Michigan and Tahoe.
He learned from the local talent in his hometown of Marquette and soon started traveling to USASA contests. He eventually moved to New Hampshire to attend Waterville Valley Academy for his senior year of high school. Thorley honed his skills at WVA for a year and then packed up and moved again, this time to shred at Northstar along with fellow up-and-comers Sam Hulbert and Brandon Reis.
Thorley mostly flew under the radar until 2010, despite winning the Paul Mitchell Progression Session in 2007 and earning solid finishes at the Grand Prix with fourth in ‘08 and ’09. In 2010 he earned sixth place at the Aspen Open and third at the final stop of the Winter Dew Tour, finishing the season in 11th place overall in the slopestyle standings.