Sammy Carlson is something of an enigma. For the past few seasons, we wouldn't hear or see anything much from him at all, and then out of nowhere, he'd go and drop one of the heaviest shorts (or even full length movies) of the year. This year is no exception with the launch of his 'World Of X Games' episode today. It's straight up mind melting.
The release reminded me that other elusive members of Armada's stacked team have projects of their own coming out over the coming month, and that some pre-release hype might be in order. I watched Tanner, Phil and Kimbo/Oli Karlberg's movies and here's what you can expect.
Triumph: 8th November
https://www.newschoolers.com/videos/watch/874490/Tanner-Hall--TRIUMPH--TeaserThe first of a trio of banger mini-movies to drop will be Tanner Hall's Triumph. It's clear that last winter was a significant one for Tanner. As the movie opens, he talks about struggles with sponsors and substance but, as he discussed in an interview with Newschoolers earlier this year, last year he was skiing as well as he ever has. The comeback is on.
This short brings us a sense of his personal development while driving home the fact that at 34 years of age this skier is doing the opposite of slowing down. Much of that is thanks the work of Corey Stanton, a name you may not know, who has been behind much of Armada's legendary video output. At the centre of it all however, is the skiing of a man many are calling Skiboss, idol to a whole generation. When filming for Triumph, Tanner revisited a whole host of spots from his previous video parts, dating back to the beginning of his career and in most cases, ripped them a new one in defiance of the fact that he is 20 years older than he was on his first visit. And as, you well know, there's a much awaited Chad's Gap redemption in there.
Triumph is a great short film and talks of a Tanner comeback cannot be denied. There is a spark from him in Triumph that I'm not sure we've seen since Believe. He might not make it to the competition heights he once hit, but it seems like there is a whole ton of life in the old dog yet. Oh and he can double backie literally anything.
Tempo: 14th November
Have you been wondering what Phil was up to all of last winter? Because I was. Turns out he's been on the fucking rampage across the streets, parks and backcountry spots of the world and Tempo is the result. With editing reminiscent of some of B&E's earlier output (albeit less distracting than some of those projects) it's a Phil Casabon project through and through. Video games, psychedelics, washed out colouring, it's all here. Like it or lump it.
But like everything else he's appeared in, the skiing is frankly ridiculous. Through all the changing trends in film and skiing, Phil has remained true to his thing and the results speak for themselves. In Tempo he continues to demonstrate that he is one of, if not the, most stylish and creative skiers on the planet. He may have been injured, but he's picking up where he left off in BE Inspired and that should tell you all you need to know. If you're a B-Dog fan then this is going to be a treat and if not, then well, you're wrong. Frontslide to blind 4 safety. 5050 a narrow ass rail to handrag 270 to tranny. Backcountry switch cork 3s and impossibly smooth dubs. Writing some of those combos out hurt my brain almost as much as watching them, but they have to be seen to be understood and believed.
Airea: 28th November
Kim Boberg and Oliver Karlberg set themselves one hell of a challenge this year: Film a whole movie within one hour of their home in western Sweden. I've actually stayed at Kim's place and let me tell you, that is no small ask. For one thing, they are predominantly street skiers and the location in question is the quintessential middle of nowhere. Not a lot of handrails knocking about, there isn't even a big town in that radius. The 'mountains' aren't exactly massive either. But they've produced something that is both deeply relatable and pretty damn crazy as a result.
At north of 20 minutes, this is the longest of the three, and it's made up of four full sections. Airea opens with Oliver Karlberg's maiden full segment and it's all in the streets. This guy is going to go far in skiing. How many SuperUnknown winners have got the ender on their first appearance in a Level 1 film? I can't think of any, but Oliver managed it. His street stuff in Airea is no joke but arguably his best shots come in the Kimbo sessions segment, in which he does some NBDs of the most stylish kind. A dope powder segment filmed in the local woods comes before the aforementioned Kimbo sessions segment.
It all ends with Kim tearing up his local spots set to the screech of guitars, a combination that is certainly good for the soul. Another guy who has always done things his way, Kim is one of the most underrated skiers out there. More generally, it's getting rarer each year that street segments actually make me want to go out and hit the streets. But Airea actually does make you want to go wander round whatever snow-filled area you happen to find yourself in and build some random spots to ski. And skiing could certainly use a few more people doing that.