Up Next: The Bunchnull
Skiing is a sport that is constantly evolving. With winter quickly approaching, XGames.com is taking a look at seven skiers who will likely shape the future of skiing in the years to come. From an up-and-coming photographer and videographer to two skiers who are reinventing what's possible in the backcountry, these skiers are new on the scene and here to stay. Third in the series is urban Swedish crew The Bunch.
At 22, Lucas Stål Madison, or LSM, has been making noise in the scene a few years. With the eye of a skateboarder, LSM skis differently from the rest of the crop, dissecting street terrain in a way that's uniquely his. His 2012 SuperUnknown part -- Level 1 Productions' annual online video contest -- was the most unconventional entry in a decade, and he won the competition. In 2013, his good friend Magnus Granér, member of The Bunch crew -- a street skiing crew from various parts of Sweden -- took home the same prize. Another member, Pär Hägglund, also filmed with Level 1 this year.
The Bunch's first film, "Far Out," offered an insightful look into the nuances of style often missed by the untrained eye. A life raft in a flood of average ski web edits, with the release of their highly anticipated sophomore film, "Finess," The Bunch is poised to make an impact on how kids see and ski in the streets for years to come. De facto ringleader LSM, with his authentic outlook, is here to stay.
"He is the future," fellow SuperUnknown winner Logan Imlach said. "Every skier up to this point in our history, even the greats, have been doing tricks with skis on their feet. For him, his skis are truly an extension of himself, a real connection like I've never seen before."
Here is LSM in his words.
We don't have any mountains here. I'm based on the south side of Stockholm, Sweden. I used to ski further north on Christmas vacations when I was younger. When I was 13, I somehow got the idea I wanted to race. I did a ski school thing, raced for two years, then I got into freeski stuff.
Two particular movies got me into skiing: "Teddy Bear Crisis" and "Long Story Short." It was all new to me, and there were a couple segments that really stuck with me -- a couple styles that influenced me. Sean Decker, Liam Downey, Stefon Thomas, Alex Balson, obviously Tanner's part ... There were a couple Swedish kids in there that were cool to me too.
I did the SuperUnknown contest, ended up winning and went on a park shoot in Breckenridge for [Level 1's] "Sunny." The next year I ended up filming a full segment with them for "Partly Cloudy."
You know when you write your signature on a receipt? I always write my initials. During my ski career, I don't think anyone has spelled my name right a single time. It's kind of weird. So I started going by LSM.
[Within] The Bunch, we all have similar views on style ... but they're also mad different. We're not trying to control each other's style too much -- we let everyone develop their own thing. Everyone does their part.
And we're not just hanging out. We're always trying to get stuff done together and pushing what we can do to ski more and spend more time together.
Our main concern and goal is skiing: We are mad into skiing. We are very focused on [that] part, and not too involved with everything [else] around it. We want to become the best skiers we can be.
None of us grew up in a mountain town, which is why we all ski street. You have to take what you can get. Street is what I've had the most potential to put time into.
We've been a crew for a while, but last year was our first movie -- the first time all of us had a segment or put a big project together. This year, we came in with a little more knowledge toward how to make a movie. "Finess" is 26 minutes. We tried to keep it short. It's pretty intense. It will available online for free.
I've done two full street parts over the past two years with The Bunch and Level 1. Now I'm trying to move into something new -- more backcountry type of things. I skied with Parker [White] and C-Lo [Chris Logan] in France last year. That kind of opened my eyes to that stuff, but I've always been on that path a little bit.