A 12-year-old extreme skier from Victor, Idaho says snow is the most precious thing in the world and, in addition to grabbing attention from the extreme sports world, he rallies for folks to be more aware of pollution and consider the impact it has on the climate.
Kai Jones, winner of the 2018 International Free skiers and Snowboarders Association National Championship, says he usually tries to see how much he can get away with on skis before scaring his mom too much. Such action involves hiking up remote peaks to drop in from an elevation that would terrify most adults. For that, he's this week's talent on That Kid's Got Game.
“When he was six, he started doing 360s and other things uncommon for his age,” said Todd Jones, Kai’s dad.
Let’s be clear on what extreme skiing is. If a skier hits 30 mph while aggressively going down a mountain, what they are doing could surely be described as extreme. However, the kind of skiing Kai does involves going down tremendously steep, often forbidden slopes that offer at least 45-degree descents.
In short: Extreme skier’s kind of make it up as they go along. And the do so in conditions far different than your properly groomed “blue square” run at a resort in Lake Tahoe.
Jones said Kai’s game really took off when he was around nine years old. That’s when he started hitting some big runs. He won a junior free ride competition that year and the following season he competed in a full circuit, where he won 5 of 6 events and was ranked number two in North America for his age group, his dad said.
“There’s just not a lot of kids willing to put in this grind,” Jones said. “And also love it while doing it. He works hard. He’s always training.”
And while skiing is a major component of his life, it has not overshadowed his education. Kai missed 30 days of school last year because skiing and sponsorship required more time. When asked if he wanted to do school online or at home, he said no, because he wanted to serve on Student Council and do school events with his friends.
Kai says that he explores potential scenarios in his head – both good and bad – before dropping into a potentially dangerous run. That helps him formulate the best approach.
“He just keeps going, going and going,” Jones said. “He loves skiing as much as anyone else in the world.”
That Kid’s Got Game was created as a fun way to display kids with standout sports skills. If you have game, or you want know someone with game, we want to see it. Visit here for information on how to submit.