Nominated for the 2022 Standout Rider of the Year at just 15 years old, Kai Jones is a rare human. He is a ski prodigy who grew up in the Tetons, a perfect place to shred the slopes at a young age. Filmmaker Todd Jones, the co-founder of Teton Gravity Research (TGR), is Kai’s father, and legendary snowboarder Jeremy Jones is his uncle. With this support and Kai's natural talent, Kai is on a trajectory to become one of the best skiers in the sport.
The Perfect Storm
Kai was born into the perfect environment to pursue and excel at his passion. He was born at the right time, place, and location–all amplified by an undeniable skill and dedication to practicing his passion. This is how prodigies are made and become more than anyone could anticipate. Jackson Hole is the perfect playground to be introduced into snowsports. Kai reached the slopes at the early age of two.
Safety seems to fully encompass the adventures he embarks on. With how dangerous freeskiing can be due to avalanches and other environmental conditions, his father Todd is very aware of the risks being taken and does not push beyond what they know are perfect conditions. There are fine lines between safety and risks in adventure sports, but with experience such as Todd's and others that surround Kai, he is in good hands.
Videography and photography in adventure sports has expanded to epic proportions, which allows global front-row access to the experience. The world is now able to watch, outside of the Olympic Games, a talented young person reach unimaginable heights from across the globe. After videos of him were rolled out through the power of media, it didn't take long before the sponsorships began to line up. Sponsored by his father's network within Teton Gravity Research, Red Bull, Quicksilver, Smith Optics, GoPro, Mammut, and many more, Kai has grown his notoriety to become a popular, in-demand skier.
The 2022 TRG film "Magic Hour," being shown at this year's Coast Film & Music Festival, puts Kai in the center of the lens; without a doubt, he is the star. Others that join him in front of the camera and on the snow are his uncle Jeremy Jones, Nick McNutt, Michelle Parker, Parkin Costain, and Tim Durtschi. They all surpass him in experience, yet are challenged to surpass his skill. Some people are born for what they do, and with the right people surrounding them, they have no bounds; here is Kai Jones.
For the past four years, Kia has given us a slope-shredding show in multiple TRG films, including "Far Out," which was presented by REI. To be at this skill level so young, we can have no expectation of where he will be taking the skiing game in his lifetime.
Off The Snow
Kai not only has a zest for skiing but also takes pride in his soccer team. Second to skiing, he says soccer is his favorite sport. Competitive mountain biking, rock climbing, and lake surfing are all hobbies he enjoys when he's not on the slopes.
Being in high school, he has all of his future in front of him. There are endless possibilities he can embark on. Achieving such epic feats in the first 15 years of his life, it's a wonder if he will slow down or speed up. Fortunately, his adventures do not come at the cost of his education. His grades are high, and he has a promising educational future.
Being attached to a sport surrounded by the outdoors and growing up in a place as beautiful as Jackson Hole, he inevitably has a drive for environmental conservation and seeks a future where his hometown playground maintains its natural beauty.
None of us can wait to see where he takes his future. From epic ski lines in the backcountry to the soccer field and rock climbing, Kai Jones was born to hone his physical capabilities in a way to conquer any sport he finds interest in. With the lack of fear, we can do anything...well, he can for sure.
Attend the Coast Film & Music Festival screening of Magic HourThursday from 8:15 - 9:30 PM, followed by a Q&A with Kai, Todd Jones, and Tim Durtschi