Level 1 Productions’ Superunknown competition has been catapulting “amateur” freeskiers to the mainstream of our sport for years upon years. Previous winners of the coveted competition include household names such as Tom Wallisch, Lucas Stål-Madison, Michael Clarke, Magnus Gráner, Corey Vanular and many more. This year, the competition provided a rider list and a private park setup at Mt. Snow, Vermont for the ages—however, there could only be one winner.
Today, we introduce you to the newest member of the Superunknown legends: Jonah Williams. We recently got the chance to sit down with the twenty-year-old out of Utah, now known for his buttery-smooth style and infectious personality. Check out the Q&A below and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for much more out of this rising ski stud.
Name? Age? Home Mountain? Favorite ski movie?
Congrats on the victory, Jonah. How are you feeling right about now?
Thanks, Thach. I feel awesome. Life is good! I couldn’t be happier with how I get to spend my time, and the people I get to shred with. Not to mention the slight confidence boost that comes along with winning Superunknown, but, it’s important to me to stay humble.
Now that Superunknown has wrapped up, where are you?
The day after I got back from Vermont, I went up to Brighton, Utah to film a park shoot with Level 1. After that finished up, I drove out here to Mt. Hood for The West Coast Sessions. So I’m currently in my favorite tree-filled state [Oregon]. I’ll be living here for most of the summer.
Can you tell us three random facts that our readers may not know about you?
First off, I love Mangoes. Fresh mangoes, smoothies with mango, tea, dried, you name it. Secondly, I didn’t actually get swallowed by a whale—that was a different Jonah. And finally, I write down my dreams almost every morning.
What’s your weapon (ski) of choice?
Well I currently ride for Salomon. I love the Rocker 100s. They are smooth and buttery, but tear through chunder, crud and slush.
What or who inspired you to enter this year’s Superunknown competition?
Sandy Boville and Mitchell Brower. I’ve always been inspired by Level 1 and the Superunknown contest, but Sandy sent me an encouraging photo on Facebook two days before the video deadline, so I made one the next day. Mitchell also kept the motivation high, as always.
The event went down at Mt. Snow in West Dover, Vermont. How was the setup?
All of the features were so fun. All of the riders had a say in what got built. Basically, the cat drivers had their ideas and we had ours, so we all worked together to create different features that fit everyone’s style one way or another. Then we [the riders] did most of the hand work, setting rails and shaping everything up. We hit big jumps, creative rail plazas, gap rails, step ups, whale tail tap features, etc. It was such a great time and everyone went about each feature in their own way.
What was your favorite part of the weeklong session?
Other than the fact that we skied everyday, the social aspect was so dang fun. There were ten skiers from all over the world and an experienced film crew. Everybody became such good friends throughout the week, skiing, partying, eating lots and telling jokes. We even found like ten or more pairs of swim goggles, so we spent hours in the pool that day, which was awesome. It was sad knowing that the same crew might not ever be together in one place again. Love all of those dudes.
The level of riding at Superunknown is always off the charts. What’s it like to be a part of the comp, in the limelight, shredding a private park setup?
It was one of the most fun weeks I’ve ever had on my skis. The vibes couldn’t have been better. We were making lifelong friends, shredding a private park, learning new tricks, and staying in a nice lodge. It was an awesome week for everyone. Being Superunknown finalists, we all felt like winners anyway, so there was no pressure at all. It was truly an epic week.
As far as the riding, who (aside from yourself) was killing it?
You said it right before, the level of riding was insane. I’d say the killers were Alec Nelson and Ben Smith. But, Ethan Swadburg was the style master all week long, while Gabe Taube was the creative genius. That’s only because the other five dudes had injuries.
Geoff [Lovelace] zero spun everything despite his knee hurting him, and Veg [Vegard Hokstad] broke his back doing the illest bio 1080 stale. Martin’s [Solhaugen] knee was bugging him even though he was thuggin’ around all over the place, and Bendik [Øye] would randomly launch stylish switch 10’s on mini jumps after hurting his calf and ankle. Not to mention the legend Dylan Siggers. [pause] That kid broke records, sending backflips on everything one-footed, and landing a cork 540 on the step up. That was unreal.
You’ve got some silky smooth style. Who or what do you look toward for inspiration in your skiing?
Thanks, boss. I’m inspired by anyone that has buttery smooth style and does things a little differently than the rest of us. Nicky Keefer is always intellectually vibing around with unique style. Or Candide Thovex, who always skis harder and with more passion than most people can comprehend. So, really anybody that skis for the love of the sport is inspirational to me.