Kye Petersen signs with 4FRNT, to design signature ski for 2015/16
Big-mountain slayer Kye Petersen has made the switch from Rossignol, a company he had been riding for since the age of 13, to 4FRNT. Petersen joins a high profile stable of young athletes who represent the Utah-based brand, solidifying 4FRNT’s team as one of skiing’s most skilled and well-rounded.
“It’s been quite a pleasure to start working with this next generation of young athletes who are already decorated for what they’ve accomplished in their careers,” says 4FRNT founder, Matt Sterbenz. “It kind of kicked off with David Wise, being like, ‘You’re 21 years old?’ It’s incredible for where his skill set is, and then to now have the opportunity to start working with Kye, only at age 23, with what he’s been able to do in the big-mountain side of things in his career is pretty cool. My friends are getting younger.”
Despite a quiet demeanor, Petersen has made quite a name for himself in the past couple of years with standout segments in Sherpas Cinema’s All.I.Can and Into The Mind, as well as Sweetgrass Productions’ Valhalla.
“He brings a lot of class and reputable skill sets to the table for us in how we’re going to introduce the products for the company moving forward,” Sterbenz explains. “Obviously having a ski under his name and likeness has been a milestone that he’s sought out to reach in his career, and to make that possible for him, on a personal level, is quite rewarding.”
Petersen will be involved in designing a signature ski with 4FRNT, set to come out for the 2015/16 season. According to Sterbenz and 4FRNT, the ski will likely fall somewhere in between the YLE and Hoji skis, where the CRJ currently resides.
4FRNT introduces Kye Petersen as the newest member of its team
“When [Kye] started to entertain the notion to ski for us we threw a wide variety of skis at him, we sent up some Hojis, some Renegades, some CRJs and maybe a YLE,” says Sterbenz. “He just ran around on those, and eventually returned some feedback to us about what design elements he liked, and what things he would like to have for his own ski.” Petersen resides in Whistler, where a deep coastal snowpack, combined with steep, rugged terrain, changes the definition of an everyday ski. Petersen needs a ski that is plenty wide enough to stay on top of the deeper snow, but still stable enough to combat squirrely-ness on bigger lines.
“I think where he’s come out on it is that he really feels strongly about having an everyday ski. Granted, he’s in a bit of a spoiled scenario living in Whistler, having the snow that they get,” says Sterbenz. “We have come to the design table with the intent to build a ski that can be used as a privileged, west coast, everyday ski. It’s going to be generous in its width proportions, guaranteed; it’s going to be a combination of some camber and some rocker.”
4FRNT has already made initial drawings for the ski, and has started to determine an ideal waist width size and location, as well as a longer turn radius catering to Petersen’s style. 4FRNT is also entertaining the idea of introducing a ski that shares one shape but has several different flexes, in order to give the skier more options depending on the terrain they’re riding.
“I want a really well rounded ski with the ability to ski everything in the backcountry, while still being playful, and chargeable,” said Petersen in a statement issued by 4FRNT. “Designing my own ski will definitely help me accomplish my goals, especially with freeriding.”
Petersen had been riding for Rossignol since the age of 13, and is making the switch to 4FRNT during the prime of his career. Switching to a company like 4FRNT will give Petersen a louder voice in the design process, as well as with the direction of the brand moving forward.
“I think Kye feels a bit liberated. He’s always kept a pretty cool demeanor about everything, he’s very level headed, he’s very even keeled,” says Sterbenz. “And I actually saw a bit of a sparkle in his eye. Which coming from a friend’s point of view, that’s when you know your friends are most stoked, and you can just pick up on those little mannerisms.”
There is a high demand for the services of a skier of Petersen’s caliber, and to see 4FRNT add him to the team certainly drives home the fact that the brand boasts an increasingly formidable team. “At the end of the day he could’ve skied for anybody and he chose us because he knew we could build a ski to his desire without any compromise,” says Sterbenz. “It wasn’t so much a move about money, it was a move about camaraderie and a move to ensure that he could have his design influence implemented without any compromise.”
About the author:
Donny O'Neill hails from the mystical, faraway land of New Hartford, CT. When he's not in the mountains searching for Big Foot, he's the Associate Editor here at Freeskier.