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If you’ve seen Teton Gravity Research’s newest ski flick “Magic Hour,” then you won’t argue with us when we say that 15-year-old Kai Jones is the indisputable star of the film. And not just because he’s young and we’re giving him extra points for having less experience than other TGR athletes in this film, regulars like Nick McNutt, Michelle Parker, Jeremy Jones, Tim Durtschi, and Parkin Costain.
Since 2018 we’ve been watching Jones develop his riding skills via TGR’s annual movies, but after seeing this year’s film, it’s hard to imagine that he has anything left to prove—at 15, he’s already a fully-fledged big mountain pro.
In “Magic Hour,” we see Jones piece together wild lines that do not even look skiable at his home resort of Jackson Hole; we see him sled and ski the backcountry of B.C. like a boss; and perhaps most impressively, we see him tackle his first foray into Alaska’s big country. Not only does he ski massive Alaskan spines like a seasoned pro, he does something we rarely see skiers do in that kind of consequential terrain: he adds backies and spins off of cornices and natural features.
“This year a lot of aspects in skiing have [come] together for me,” says Jones in the film. “I’ve been getting better at natural takeoffs and getting better at skiing and envisioning lines. So coming up to Alaska this year, I really want to push myself, learn from the other athletes, and bring my own style of skiing into these bigger mountains here.”
Mission accomplished, young sir. Jones is up against a handful of extremely talented skiers in iF3’s Standout Male Rider of the Year award category, skiers like Craig Murray (Matchstick Productions – Anywhere From Here) and Sammy Carlson (Sammy Carlson – Yup). Still, if we were the betting type, our bets would be on Jones.