In a move that adds to its already formidable stable of talent, 4FRNT announced this weekend that 23-year-old phenom Kye Petersen has joined the company as an athlete and part owner.
"I feel really fortunate for 4FRNT to have this opportunity to start welcoming in this new era of talent," says co-founder Matt Sterbenz of the latest additions of two-time defending X Games gold medalist David Wise and now Petersen.
Epitomizing this new era, according to Sterbenz, Petersen offers assets of being young, yet mature in his thoughts and actions, and a skiing talent that crosses all segments. "Kye is going to bring a very unique mix of personality and character to our existing team," says Sterbenz.
"Initially, I knew it was a good fit," Petersen says. "I knew I could provide something they didn't have as far as team and ski design goes." Particularly, that something extra is a seamless blend and fluidity between freestyle, big mountain, and ski mountaineering. "Growing up in Whistler, I didn't really have the choice to do just one thing," he says. "I grew up with a big mountain skiing background and having some of the best backcountry access just off the ski hill. That pushed me to ski all aspects of the mountain."
Sponsored at 13 and filming at 16, Petersen has demonstrated an innate talent for skiing—something certainly handed down to him by his father, Trevor Petersen, who was killed in Chamonix when Kye was just 6 years old. Winning the 2009 Red Bull Cold Rush and then turning heads at the 2011 release of Sherpa Cinemas' All.I.Can., Petersen once more stunned audiences with his talents this year in both Sweetgrass Productions’ Valhalla and Sherpas’ newest film, Into The Mind.
In joining 4FRNT, Petersen leaves behind a Rossignol sponsorship that started for him at age 13. Rossignol helped aid Petersen through his initial pro years and has played a major part in his profession so far. However, Petersen is ready to begin a new chapter in his career. He says part of the decision was in having the opportunity to design his own signature ski, which will be forthcoming for the 2015-16 season. "I was looking for a brand that was going to allow my help with design and be close to development," he says.
This ski will be intended to deliver on Petersen's diverse riding style, falling between Wiley Miller's backcountry freestyle model (the YLE) and Eric Hjorleifson's big mountain ski (the HOJI). Now, with the ability to design and build his own ski, Petersen says, "I see myself being able to push it as hard as I can. Ski to my expectations. I've been held back… I feel this opportunity is going to allow me to ski at my full potential."