When Kai was 11 years old his segment for TGR went viral and racked up 6 million views. That year he also won the North American Junior Freeride Series. He was nominated for Rider of the Year at IF3 Film Festival at 14 years old, and again a year later. Now at age 17, Kai has been a mainstay in TGR’s last five films, and earned the right to be called a legitimate “prodigy”. 

Kai is leading the charge for the next generation of groms that jump off things, while also managing to be a favorite amongst the older guard. 

We caught up with Kai in between cork 7’s and massive cliff drops, to welcome him to the team and find out what makes him tick.





LB: Hey Kai, welcome to the Lé Bent pro team!!! How has your season been going so far?

My season has been good. Little slower than normal because of my injury. Super stoked to be back on snow and progressing.


So, you’re 17 years old — and probably sick of people mentioning how young you are — what are your goals for the next few years and where do you want to take your skiing?

I am super hyped to keep pushing my limits and bringing more freestyle into the big mountains.


You’ve been described as a “skiing prodigy”, “Mayor of Stomptown” and “grom pied piper” how’s that feel and what’s it like inspiring the next generation of groms your age and younger?

One of my biggest goals in skiing is to inspire people and it makes me so stoked to see the next generation taking inspo from me.



For those who don’t know, you sustained a season-ending injury, breaking both your tibia tubercle’s in March last year. We followed your rehab and were super impressed by how much work you were putting in to getting your body right. How was that recovery experience and how was your return to snow this season?

My recovery has been going super good. I spent the last 9 months training hard to get back to my sport. As I am writing this I still have work to go but every day I am getting closer and closer to being 100 percent.

You’ve been in 5 Teton Gravity Research Films already. Who are some of the skiers you grew up watching and looking up to?

Some skier's that I grew up watching are Tim D, Sammy C, Nick McNutt, Shane M, Eric Roner, Thall, Sage C, Ian Mac, Candied Thovex, Henrrik, and way more ahah!

Have you got a favourite movie part of theirs or a favourite TGR film that you always go back to?

My favorite movie part is Tim Durtschi's My Way of Life segment or Nick McNutts' Almost Ablaze segment.


A lot of young skiers and snowboarders start off in freestyle and transition into the backcountry after years of competition and events. What motivated you to make backcountry skiing your main focus from the get-go?

We dont have alot of parks back home so I grew up learning tricks and skiing in the backcountry. It was natural for me to move into freeride because of the mountain I grew up skiing on (JHMR).


Any interest in taking your skills to the Freeride World Tour — you’d probably have to forgo some powder days though!

Only time will tell...

We have both Cody Townsend and Sammy Carlson on the team holding it down in the BC, how would you compare your style of riding to these guys and have you followed their careers at all?

Cody and Sammy are some of my favorite skiers. My style is more similar to sammy but I love to get out in the big mountains like Cody and ski mountaineer.

So, are you reaching for the Cody Pro Series or the Sammy Pro Series in your sock drawer?

I personally like  Sammy's socks with their light padding which suits my riding.






What features would you include in your own Pro Series Snow Sock? Just in case we’re cooking something up over here ;)

I want to include padding to protect from shin bang - something I experience in my style of riding with big landings. Lé Bent already does such a good job innovating new technology in socks to help prevent issues like this, so i’m looking forward to providing my own feedback. 




What other Lé Bent gear have you been enjoying this season? 

I have been loving the  Pramecou Wool Insulated Hybrid Jacket!

What’s the plan for the rest of the season? 

I hope to keep skiing good snow in Jackson, go to AK, and ski mountaineer back home.

Well Kai, we look forward to following along and seeing all the incredible content you put out! Thanks for taking the time to chat and we’re stoked to have you on the team! Bring on the good times ahead. Yew!

Cheers guys, can’t wait!




Age:  17

Hometown:  Victor ID

Home Resort:  Jackson Hole

Nationality:  USA

Sponsors:  Red Bull, Dakine, Atomic, Teton Gravity Research, Lé Bent

Favourite Lé Bent gear:  Sammy Carlson Pro Series Snow Sock

Follow Kai here:  @kaijonesski


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