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Kai Lightner

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Kai Lightner

Kai Lightner

Kai Lightner officially began rock climbing in 2006 at the age of 6, in Fayetteville, NC. But before that, he was unofficially climbing everything in sight—Kai learned to climb before he could walk, and he counts baby gates among his earliest ascents. After just a year in the gym, Kai began competing in the USA Climbing events, and made it all the way to nationals. In 2010, he won his first sport climbing national championship, and in 2014, he took gold at the Youth World Championships, becoming the first American world champion in lead since 1995. All told, Kai has claimed 12 National Championship titles (10 in youth categories and 2 in the adult circuit), and five Youth World Championship medals. In between competitions, he has also managed to tick a number of difficult sport routes outside, including Southern Smoke (5.14c/8c+) in the Red River Gorge and Era Vella (5.14d/9a) in Margalef, Spain.

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Top Achievements

2017 IFSC Lead World Cup, Edinburgh, Scotland - 11th place
2017 Adidas Rockstars - 10th Place in bouldering
Five-time Youth World Championship medalist (1 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze)
Four-time Youth PanAmerican Championship gold medalist
Two-time Open Lead National Champion
10-time Youth National Champion
Era Vella (5.14d/9a), Margalef, Spain
Southern Smoke (5.14c/8c+) in 2013 (first 5.14 at age 13)

Videos Ft. Kai

Welcome to the BD Team: Kai Lightner

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Kai Lightner
Kai Lightner
Kai Lightner
Kai Lightner

Kai's Top Gear Picks

"The Mondo Pad is definitely Kai-sized! I feel much safer bouldering with this mattress-sized pad beneath me to catch my fall."

  • Mondo Crash Pad

    Mondo Crash Pad

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  • LiveWire Quickdraw

    LiveWire Quickdraw

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  • Solution - Men's

    Solution - Men's

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    Mondo Crash Pad

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    • Mondo Crash Pad
    • Mondo Crash Pad
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    Our mega-sized highball pad with a super-durable construction and premium foam layup, the Mondo is a fixture under tall, scary problems from Bishop to Rocklands. Learn More
    Item# BD5508030000ALL1
    $349.95
    USD

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    Shipping available only to the lower 48 via FedEx Ground. A $70 over-sized shipping surcharge will apply.

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    Our mega-sized highball pad with a super-durable construction and premium foam layup, the Mondo is a fixture under tall, scary problems from Bishop to Rocklands. Learn More
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    LiveWire Quickdraw

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    • LiveWire Quickdraw
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    Our high-end sport climbing quickdraw equipped with a keylock Nitron biner on top and a LiveWire wiregate with HoodWire Technology on the bottom. Learn More
    Item# BD3810830000ALL1
    $25.95
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    Buy 6 or more, any Quickdraw, receive a 10% discount!

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    Our high-end sport climbing quickdraw equipped with a keylock Nitron biner on top and a LiveWire wiregate with HoodWire Technology on the bottom. Learn More
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    Solution - Men's

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    • Solution - Men's
    • Solution - Men's
    • Solution - Men's
    • Solution - Men's
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    Our purpose-built sport climber's harness, the Solution features Fusion Comfort Technology and a durable, contoured design for superior fit on redpoint burns and marathon belays.

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    Item# BD651082BKUBMD_1
    $69.95
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    Our purpose-built sport climber's harness, the Solution features Fusion Comfort Technology and a durable, contoured design for superior fit on redpoint burns and marathon belays.

    Learn More