Kevin Soller, the ultimate ski town kid |

Kevin Soller, the ultimate ski town kid

SUMMIT COUNTY – Kevin Soller, 14, is the poster child of Summit County’s ageless outdoor lifestyle.

His focused athletic career began with a bike crash when he was 7 years old. The crash was something of a metaphor. He was riding up and down his street when his training wheels came off and he fell into a ditch, then went home shaken and “all bloody.”

Not only did he get back on the bike, but the training wheels were off for good.

“It took me a little bit to get back on the bike, but after I did, I’ve been riding ever since,” he said.

Soller turns 15 in July and has already put more miles and vertical feet under his tires and skis than most 30-year-olds.

A ninth-grader at Summit High School, Soller helped the SHS Nordic team win the state championship this season, won last year’s Summit Mountain Challenge mountain bike race series in his age class and finished top 15 in the United States Telemark Association’s slopestyle contest against the best tele skiers in the country last February. He also has landed several sponsors over the past two years – A Racer’s Edge, Rudy Project, Garmont and Karhu.

“I’ve had a lot of help,” he said with a modest sigh. “I’m usually pretty active.”

Not a day goes by all year that Soller isn’t outside doing something or other, and his activities are certainly not limited to riding up and down his street anymore.

When he took 13th in the slopestyle contest in Crested Butte, he impressed the judges with “some 180s and some big 3s (360s).”

“Landing switch is pretty tough on tele skis,” he said. “So they (ranked) it pretty high.”

He began tele skiing three years ago, after alpine skiing virtually since he was able to walk. After the training wheels incident when he was 7, Soller’s family began taking regular trips to Moab, Utah, and his skills have progressed from there, as he also developed an aptitude for

road biking.

“My family’s pretty bike-oriented,” he said. “We’ve been to Moab a lot. We always go on spring breaks and go at least twice a year.”

Soller has also been very competitive in the Great Adventure Sports time trial series this summer, finishing faster than many of the cyclists twice his age.

Soller can do wheelies on his mountain bike and is practicing his trials skills. He said he wants to begin downhill racing but will wait until his parents allow it, when he turns 18.

“I want to start doing bigger (mountain bike) events as I get older and maybe go pro one day,” he said.

Soller also plans to add kayaking to his repertoire of athletic endeavors and doesn’t picture himself anywhere besides the mountains.

“I know a lot of people say they want to get out of here, and I can sort of see where they’re coming from,” he said. “But, ski towns in general are pretty awesome. I think I’m going to be living in ski towns my whole life.”

Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at

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