The next installment of “people who’ve been on the radar for a while, but we’re doing an On The Radar interview with anyway” is Oliver Karlberg. After all, if winning the Level 1 Superunknown contest in 2017 and scoring the closing shot in Level 1's movie the same year doesn’t put you on the radar, I don’t know what does. Last year Oliver followed up with appearances in Level 1's Zig Zag and Color from the Bunch, and has been spending this spring on an extended road trip through the Alps with a gang of friends. I linked up with Oliver and the Suéde crew for a few days of freeride and park at Laax and to get caught up on the new project.
Born: 1996 in a small town in the south of Sweden called Falköping
Residing: Actually I don’t have a place atm, I’m on the road kind of!
Home resort: Kläppen I would say, that’s where I’ve been skiing the most the past years
Sponsors: Armada Skis, Tyrolia, Lead Fabrics and Spektrum
Film appearances: Airea, Armada Skis (2017); Habit, Level 1 Productions (2017); Zig Zag, Level 1 Productions (2018); Color, The Bunch (2018)
Oliver Karlberg - Level 1 Raw Cut
Hey Oliver, you’ve been on the road for a while this season. Tell me about your road trip!
We started on the 4th of February from my place, went by ISPO and down to Garmisch-Partenkirchen where we linked up with Leon Pucko, the guy behind Lead Fabrics. We stayed there for almost three weeks, after that we went to Verona and Venezia and then to Seiser Alm. We were there for a week, got to shred Obereggen for two days which was super good. Then we went to Innsbruck, checked out the city, partied a bit. We continued on to Laax and linked up with you, which was so good, and after that we went to Adelboden, which is my second favorite park from now on. Such a nice place. It’s got a super fast T-bar going only to the park. You can do super fast laps, the park is insanely good, and there’s a chill bar right in the middle of the park. Since then we’ve been heading out with Sampo Valloton and the bulldozlife guys. We were at Leysin park for two days, had a few days off, and after that we came to Morgins for the 7 Peaks Riverstyle this weekend.
Who’s in the crew?
It’s kind of a new crew we started called Suéde, consisting of me, Anton Lindèn, Vilmer Ivarsson, Benjamin Carlund, Joel Magnusson, Emil Larsson, Kalle Bogren and Måns Bertz Wågström.
How did the Suéde crew come together?
We’ve been shredding together for a couple years and we got to know each other in Kläppen Snowpark. We were shredding around but didn’t have a crew, and we thought it was time to do something and shoot a movie, because that’s what we all want to do. We just decided to start a crew and the plan is to keep on doing it for a while! We’re making a movie right now that we’re gonna drop this fall, hopefully premiere it at some big festivals and stuff. We’re just a bunch of homies who want to ski and have fun and shoot everything we do, and stay true.
Swedish style in Italy - Suede goes to Verona. Photo: Larsson
Based on the clip you showed me in Laax I’d say you guys are aiming for a different vibe with your videos.
We want to catch the vibe of the whole thing that we’re doing. Not only skiing but everything, the lifestyle that we’re living, and trying to make a movie that shows more besides the skiing and brings some enjoyment and creative inspiration for other people. We’re aiming to do it rather artistically and make it more like an art, rather than just trick after trick.
What’s your conveyance on the road?
We bought a Volkswagen Transporter for 4 thousand bucks in Sweden. We all split the cost. We were cruising down, and along the way we thought, “This vehicle is way too weak for the Alps!” We had to to put it in first gear at some steep places. But it’s still running — losing a bit of oil, but we refilled it yesterday so hopefully we’re good. We have a 27-hour drive from La Rosiere Freeski Playoffs to the Appertiff team battle in Bollnäs. We’re going to to try to do it in one push, otherwise we’ll be late. Two guys awake and one asleep, and just rolling.
Ahhh, the life: five dudes and their ski gear packed into a van. Can you smell those boots from here?
Any special memories from the trip so far?
There’s a lot of memories. We got stopped by customs for 40 minutes, that was interesting. We had a night out in Verona that I will never forget. The sunset shoot at Adelboden was also insanely nice — we were high on life right there. A lot of good memories, it’s hard to choose!
What’s one essential item to have with you on a road trip?
I want to say both Bluetooth speaker and camera, but if I have to choose I would take the speaker. It brings us good vibes every time we turn up!
Is it tough to make decisions on the road with a big crew?
Hahah Yes it is! Many strong wills!
What's the diet like? Big pasta meals?
There have been various haha. But the lunch wraps man.... wraps are key! Stay healthy!
Wrap attack in the Flims parking house.
Who’s got the dirtiest ski socks in the crew?
Joel for sure! It’s insane, you don’t want to be in the same house as those socks.
And the dirtiest tricks?
It depends on what you want to call dirty, but Anton and Vilmer definitely have some unusual shit!
Freeride day in Laax. Photos: Stone
You filmed a whole movie in 2017, Airea, within an hour of Älvdalen, Sweden. What are the possibilities in the Alps compared to back at home?
It’s a bit of the same thing actually. Its not those typical street spots at either of the places, so you have to get your brain working.
You’ve made a name for yourself on film already. Did you ever do any contest skiing?
Yeah I did way back, but my nerves didn’t really wanted to collaborate with me. Filming fits me and my skiing better. I would be really stoked to try out some big-air contests though!
Tell me something about Kim Boberg. How did you first link up with him?
Kim and I first met when I went to high school at the same place he’s from (Älvdalen). I needed a ride to Kläppen and he needed a shred buddy, and that’s where it all began. He’s a mentor and like a big brother to me. He’s helped me through my whole career, much love!
Oliver at Kimbo Sessions in 2018. Photo: Stone
What exactly is an Aioli Cashout and will it be happening again?
It’s a tricks for cash contest and a hangout at the same time. Yes I’m right in the planning of it now, and it looks like it’s going down week fifteen at Ramundberget.
One Instagram account people should follow?
Big film segment with a major company or low-key homie movie?
Ouu that’s a hard one. I’ve never been a part of a team project so that’s something that I really want to do, but otherwise I would say low-key homie movie.
What skis are you rocking?
Armada EDollo, the best ski on earth! Recently got a pair BDog edgeless which are so damn fun, watch out for that one next year!
What do you love about skiing?
That you can just be on your skis, and you don’t have to do much to have so much fun. You just have to take your skis and go out with your friends. You don’t need to do something crazy to have fun. That’s what I like the best. And freedom, of course. there is no one telling you what to do.