The TGR co-founder talks about raising his kids two right in the world of extreme skiing, mountain biking, and family road trips during COVID-19.
Todd Jones, the co-founder of Teton Gravity Research, and his sons Kai, 14, and Cam, 10, might not have your typical father-son relationship, with their hectic travel schedule to film shoots and freeride comps. (Kai, who starred in this year’s “Winterland” release and 2019’s “Far Out,” already has 40,000 Instagram followers). While that might create some conflict between a proud pops and his prodigy, not so for this freeriding family. We caught up with during a mountain biking road trip to Red Lodge, Big Sky and Bozeman to see what’s on the docket for this Father’s Day.
EO: Where have you and Kai traveled together recently?
Todd: A year ago in April we both went to Alaska for some big mountain skiing and filming. Then we went to Japan in January, which was epic, and luckily returned before the COVID outbreak. Then we just went around to various Junior Freeride comps around the West. We were in Snowbird when all the virus stuff came crashing down.
EO: What do you like about Father’s Day?
Todd:For the kids, I think it’s just that one day when they really go out of their way treat me well. They’re not going to go do something without me. I just like knowing that I’ll be able to hang out with them. I battle for as much time as I can get with them locally, so it’s nice to have a day dedicated for that.
EO: What are your plans for this Father’s Day?
Todd: We’ll probably go camping, wake surfing and mountain biking with a couple other families somewhere within an hour and a half of Jackson. We’re looking forward to spending some time together.
EO: Do you think they’ll get you anything for it?
Todd: Just being with them both is enough. I did ask for an electric guitar, but I don’t think I’ll get it. We learned to play together this spring.
EO: And advice to other fathers?
Todd: Who am I to be giving advice? But I would say just spend as much time with your kids as you can. For me, it’s being outdoors and showing them the things we love. And being friends with them. We definitely had a few Covid moments this spring, but we’re very rarely saying, ‘We need to get away from these guys.’ We’re pretty fortunate to have a great family team.
EO: How would you define your relationship with one another?
Todd: We’re friends, which is great. We hang out and do things we love together, whether it’s camping or grabbing our skis or our bikes. For us, it’s pretty easy to have fun together.
EO: Anything you each do that annoys the other?
Todd: As with most kids these days, it’s a constant battle regarding social media and being online and on their phones. That’s the one thing I’m a pain-in-the-ass about and our main point of contention. But Kai has so many followers that it’s sometimes tough.
EO: What’s next?
Todd: We have a new mountain bike flick “Accomplice,” whose trailer was just released this week and whose tour starts July 8. We were slated to do 150 or so showings, but that’s changed with Covid regulations differing from state to state. But we’ve booked a bunch of drive-in theater premieres for it. Then we have our 2021 release “Make Believe” coming out in mid-September, and are working on a four film series with HBO. But we’ll have to wait and see what the travel scene looks like for us and the kids next winter.