As a sponsored athlete, he travels the world for ski competitions, is starring in two ski movies, and even gets to skip school.
“It’s been a very whirlwind year for him,” said Kenworthy’s father, Pete. It started just last winter when Kenworthy and some friends made a ski video in Telluride’s terrain park. Soon after posting the video on YouTube, Kenworthy was contacted by the French ski company CoreUPT, with whom he signed a deal in May.
Since then, Kenworthy has competed in park and pipe and big air contests around the world.
At the New Zealand Open in August, Kenworthy finished ninth in halfpipe and sixth in slopestyle. In September, he skied in front of a crowd of thousands at a nighttime big air event in Zurich, Switzerland. October found Kenworthy winning a berth to compete in the King of Style big air competition in Sweden, this time thanks to a one-minute video submission. He qualified in second place – against some of the sport’s biggest names – and ended up finishing eighth.
On top of all that, Smith Optics contacted him in November about signing on as a sponsored athlete and ski moviemakers came calling. Rage Films wanted Kenworthy for their newest film, Such Is Life, and Stept had a spot for him in their film Road to Nowhere.
At the beginning of the ski season, Kenworthy qualified for the Winter Dew tour, becoming one of only 14 to qualify out of a field of nearly 600. Last week he placed ninth in the Aspen Open.
“He’s living the dream,” said his dad, who agreed with Kenworthy’s mother, Pip, that the chance to travel the world as a sponsored ski athlete was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and therefore allowed him to drop out of school. He will pursue a GED.
“This has been a wonderful exercise in maturation for him,” said his dad.
You can watch some of Kenworthy’s video clips at www.zapiks.com or on YouTube.