The World's Next Great Skier is a 12-Year-Old Named Kai Jones

It’s late March 2018 and Kai Jones, a pint-sized skier from Victor, Idaho, is in the middle of his spring break from sixth grade. But unlike his peers, Kai isn’t spending his week off from school playing video games or visiting a theme park. Instead, he’s in the backcountry surrounding Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, in Wyoming, filming a segment for Teton Gravity Research’s fall 2018 film, Far Out. (The trailer for that new film debuted online today and the movie will premiere September 15 in Jackson Hole, before beginning its global tour.)

Kai and the TGR film crew are at Smart Bastard, a classic and notoriously bold line outside the gates of Jackson Hole that requires skiing above an exposed cliff, then launching a mandatory 35-foot air into an apron of snow. Kai is standing at the top, waiting for his cue to go. “You see the edge of the cliff and it’s super intimidating,” he said later. “At one point, I was like, I don’t know about this.” But then his friend and mentor Tim Durtschi, a pro skier and longtime TGR athlete, gave him a pep talk. “You’re Kai Jones,” Durtschi said to him. “You go bigger than Tim Durtschi.”

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