Kelly Sildaru is a name we’ve gotten to know quite well over the past few years in women’s skiing. Despite being 14-years-old, the Estonian is arguably years ahead of the rest of her competition. However, since she started competing, it seems that everyone else has been forced to step up their game.
Just two years ago, Kelly SIldaru didn't even weigh enough to clear the jumps and compete in the X Games. Since 2013, she has competed in 22 AFP slopestyle events- and podiumed at every single one of them.
Kelly Sildaru is putting down rail section that could legitimately compete with the men. Her bag of tricks in competitions include switch 450 on, pretzel 2's, and going for difficult rails that a majority of the men barely touch.
I remember hearing people complain about women’s slopestyle in the past saying things like, “They don’t even have to try and progress because there’s no competition to push them”. Does having a threat like Kelly enter the competition scene motivate everyone else to progress? I suppose we can’t know for sure but if there’s a bar at all, she’s the one who’s raising it- and here's proof.
Kelly Sildaru In Her Early Days
Here's Kelly's season edit from 2007-2008 when she was 5 years old. She has clearly been a natural on her skis since the very beginning. Her love for jumping is very prevalent in this edit especially as she's this tiny person hucking spins off small kickers in the park.
Again in 2011, she's again absolutely tiny, yet could still compete (and probably podium) at that skill and style level today- at 8 YEARS OLD. It's not even the tricks she's throwing but her style that was so well established at such a young age.
Dew Tour Breckenridge 2016
This past December at the Breckenridge Dew Tour, Kelly completely destroyed the competition in the jumps section- coming in a full 16.67 points ahead of Kaya Turski, who took second place. (If you're unfamiliar with the new Dew Tour competition format, read the press release here). When the jib section came around she had such a good lead, that taking 4th place didn't hinder her ability to win gold overall.
Aspen X Games 2017
"Superfed up top, switch 2 up on to the rainbow followed by a b-fed on the first down rail, and then blind swap on the cannon rail to down tube that even the men largely opted not to hit followed by right 7, left 9 blunt, left switch 10 mute" - a quick summary from our X Games Slopestyle Recap. I'd be genuinely interested to see what her score looks like on the men's judging standards- the less technical jump section might hurt her, but overall I could see her putting up a competitive score within the next couple of years.
Get Kelly a Halfpipe Invite
"One day I will do it", Kelly Sildaru said in a post at X Games Aspen 2017, referring to competing in halfpipe. Someone get this girl an invite because there's video proof from her first place win at Cardona Games 2016 that she's the best thing to happen to women's pipe skiing since Sarah Burke.