The premise was simple – find unknown talent in the ski industry, bring them to Sun Valley for a week long park shoot, and have the athletes and filmers crown a champion at the end of it all. I was lucky enough to be part of the crew for that week in April, and during that time I got to know each of the invited riders, including the eventual winner, Magnus Granér. As anyone who was there will tell you, the week felt nothing like a competition. It was a park shoot through and through. Everyone had a say in each day’s plan, and the relaxed atmosphere made for successful shooting days.
At the end of the week, Magnus came out on top thanks not only to his undeniable talent, but also his humble demeanor and sincere kindness. I caught up with Magnus six months after the contest, here’s what he had to say.
Hey Magnus, how have you been?
I’m doing good. I’ve been chilling for quite some time. But now I’m pretty busy, skiing every day with the Bunch and filming and shit. All the other guys are out building features right now. I’m going to link up with them later on.
So you have a ton of snow right now?
Yeah. We’re in Kiruna, the northernmost city in Sweden. There’s a bunch of snow here. There’s not so much in the rest of Sweden, but we’re stacking it up here.
Have you been getting some shots?
Yeah, we’ve hit a few spots, not a bad start to the season. We have a big crew up here, so it’s good times.
Tell me about the Bunch.
For me, the Bunch is just the illest crew of people. They are my best friends, who I hang out with all the time. It’s where I get most of my skiing inspiration, and some of the best memories. We do a lot of stupid shit together. I feel like a lot of big production companies try to make movies that they can sell to as many people as possible. We just do what we think is ill. We think Far Out came out well, and the crew is definitely stoked on the next big project.
The Bunch, Far Out
Let’s bring it back for a second. Where are you from? How long have you been skiing?
I’m from Umeå, Sweden. It’s on the east coast. People in Stockholm would consider it far north. There aren’t any big mountains. It’s kind of like the American east coast, with small hills and stuff.
I snowboarded until I was like 12 or something, and then one day, my friend tried out my brother’s skis in my backyard. He did a 360, so of course I had to do it too. So I did it, and I never snowboarded again. That was kind of sick. I just skied in my backyard for about two years before I went to any of the hills.
How much time did you spend in the US last year?
I was in the States for almost five months. I was there from late January until mid May. I got to Colorado first, spent two months there, and then I bought a car with some of the guys from the Bunch. We just cruised around the US, not being too serious about filming. We were just enjoying being able to travel. It was so fun to have a car and drive around, seeing new places everywhere you go.
Are you coming back to the States this year?
Yeah, I think so. Maybe a little later. It’s so much easier for us to do urban in Sweden, because we have places to live and don’t get busted. My first day skiing urban in the States, we were at Will Berman’s house in Denver, and we got kicked out of three spots in one day. I think we’ve gotten kicked out once in five years of skiing here in Kiruna. We’ve probably skied 100 spots or something like that. Especially up north, people just don’t really bother to care.
Magnus Granér, Superunknown X winner
Tell me about Superunknown.
It was really sick. The concept is, for me, the best ski competition concept I can think of. Level 1 had the same video qualifications as it always does, but this year they took 11 of the finalists to Sun Valley for a week of shooting. For me, it was so much fun getting to know all the other skiers. I didn’t know too many of the guys when I got there, but I ended up making a lot of new friends.
Everyone killed it really hard. It didn’t feel like a competition. I didn’t feel the same stress that I normally do at competitions, it was more like a film shoot. I’m pretty sure that everyone had a really good time.
How did it feel to come out on top?
Great. It’s the sickest competition, and it’s almost every skier’s dream to be a part of Level 1. I couldn’t believe it at first. Now it feels real, and I couldn’t be more thankful for it.
What was the best part of winning? Has anything changed for you?
I got a lot of recognition for winning, I really appreciate that. It’s always nice to get some recognition for what you’re doing.
I think it has helped me out a lot. Last year I had to borrow skis from my friends. I think I used seven different pairs of skis to film my Bunch segment. They were old skis that my homies wouldn’t use, because they were already too trashed. Having some support makes things easier.
What’s your plan for the winter?
I’m filming a ton right now. I’ll just be filming and living with the Bunch crew until March. We’ll be filming mostly around Scandinavia, and maybe go east somewhere. I just want to film for The Bunch and Level 1 as much as possible.
Yeah, all my sponsors – Monster, Tall T Productions, ON3P, Digit Poles. The Bunch crew, the Level 1 crew, all my friends and family.