Kyle Smaine: 5 Things To Know About The Pro Skier, 31, Killed In An Avalanche

Professional skier Kyle Smaine was found dead after being caught in an avalanche in Japan. Here's what you need to know about Kyle.

Reading Time: 2 minute
Kyle Smaine
View gallery
Image Credit: Shutterstock

  • Kyle Smaine was a professional skier
  • He died in an avalanche in Japan on January 29, at the age of 31.
  • He’s survived by his wife, Jenna Dramise.

Professional US skier Kyle Smaine was one of two people who died in an avalanche in Japan on January 29. Kyle, age 31, was skiing in Japan on a marketing trip, according to Mountain Gazette, when he was caught in the avalanche with four other people. Grant Gunderson, a photographer who was present for the avalanche, called it the “absolute worse nightmare scenario” on Instagram. Grant revealed that Kyle “was thrown 50 meters by the air blast and buried and killed.”

Kyle’s family, friends, and fellow skiers are mourning his death. His wife, Jenna Dramise, shared a heartbreaking tribute to the late athlete on Instagram. Here’s everything you need to know about Kyle.

Kyle Smaine
Kyle Smaine at the Winter X Games in Norway in Feb. 2016 (Photo: Shutterstock)

Kyle was a freestyle skier.

Kyle started skiing when he was 2 years old. As a professional, he competed in many big skiing competitions on behalf of the U.S., such as the 2016 Winter X Games in Oslo, Norway and the Austria Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championship.

He won a gold medal.

Kyle came in first place, winning a gold medal, in the men’s halfpipe at the 2016 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships. He beat Joffery Pollet-Villard from France and Yannic Lerjen from Switzerland.

Kyle Smaine
Kyle Smaine at the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championship (Photo: Darko Bandic/AP/Shutterstock)

He was active on Instagram before his death.

Kyle shared a video of himself skiing in Japan earlier on the day that he died. He said that he returned to Japan because of the “unbelievable snow quality, non-stop storms, and really fun terrain that seems to get better the more exploring you do.”

He was married.

Jenna Dramise honored Kyle on Instagram after his death, sharing a plethora of photos with a heartbreaking message where she revealed they got married in secret in November 2022. “I picked you up hitchhiking in New Zealand 2010 and who would have thought we would be married 13 years later,” Jenna wrote. She also said, “I do wish I could tell you that one secret I always had, that I loved you. It never really was a secret because I said it at least 10 times a day to you. I can’t wait to see you again. Tonight I hope to ride some pow or bikes with you in my dreams. Love your Wife.”

Famous skiers honored Kyle after the tragedy.

Pro skiers/snowboarders Jamie Anderson, Chloe Kim, Elena Hight, Brita Sigourney, David Wise, and Emily Arthur were all heartbroken over Kyle’s death. They all commented on Jenna’s post with supportive messages about Kyle’s passing.

More From Our Partners