MGG x Tanner Hall | Official Sponsor
“Ski Boss” needs very little introduction and his accomplishments speak for themselves. The word ‘legend’ is all too easily thrown about these days, but for Tanner, we can’t think of a more appropriate description. With the second greatest number of ski medals in Winter X Games history and an unrivalled filmography stretching back to 1999, we don’t feel it’s any exaggeration to say that he’s quite possibly been the most influential freeskier of all time, since he moved to Utah in 1998 and burst onto the freestyle scene.
When we founded Mont Gele Gear®, Tanner was, quite simply, the first athlete we approached. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and his no-nonsense and at times positively disruptive approach within the industry seemed like a perfect match. He set out to do things differently, as did we, and the principles of transparency and sustainability on which we’ve based our brand resonated with Tanner from day one.
What’s more, as we’ve made abundantly clear to him, we’re also keen to avoid the kind of problematic sponsor exploitation which has plagued the extreme sports industry in recent years. To that end, he knows full well that we don’t care if he competes in this or that competition. Far more important to us is that he just continues to enjoy doing what he loves most.
Image © Freeskier Magazine
Vision & Obsession
Raised in Kalispell, Montana, Tanner first took to the snow aged three. Like many of his contemporaries, he grew up skiing bumps in his early teens but, unlike many of them, he had the vision to realise that freestyle skiing was destined to blow up in a way that nobody had ever expected.
Guided by his intuition and with the support of his parents Gerry and Darla, Tanner made a leap of faith into what at the time was a nascent scene. To put things in perspective, the inaugural Winter X Games only took place in 1997.
In his most recent movie Forever (2020), directed by his old friend Constantine Papanicolau, Tanner acknowledges that good timing played a significant role in his accomplishments. However, this humble observation belies the reality: his incredible success is the result of hard work, dedication, remarkable talent, and an almost superhuman ability to repeatedly overcome adversity.
Image © Frozen Ambrosia
Tanner’s first ever podium (2nd place) came in 1999 in the Jim Moran Benefit Slopestyle (day 1).
Over the following 14 years, he proceeded to master every different X Games Ski discipline, winning 7 gold medals and 4 silver medals across Big Air, Slopestyle and latterly SuperPipe, which he dominated between 2006 and 2008.
He also competed extensively in the Dew Tour, US Open and numerous other national and international competitions, winning more than 50 gold, silver and bronze medals in total.
In 2021, 12 years after his previous X Games success in 2009, Tanner took home the bronze medal for his X Games Real Ski 2021 edit, to bring his full X Games tally to an incredible 12 medals.
Image © Erik Seo
Image (below) © Powder.com
From Park to Pillows
What makes Tanner’s career particularly unusual, however, is that while competing and winning at the highest level, he’s also been able to consistently appear in an endless list of era-defining ski movies (we count 40+) and make an astonishingly seamless transition into the backcountry. With an early emphasis on park and urban segments which is clearly on show in movies such as Propaganda (2001) and Happy Dayz (2002), these quickly gave way to a whole new world of powder, pillows, big mountain and backcountry freestyle.
Many of the segments in the movies in which Tanner has appeared are now recognised as bonafide classics, such as those in Pop Yer Bottlez! (2005), Believe (2007) and Every Day is a Saturday (2009), in which he appeared alongside fellow phenom C.R. Johnson. In 2010, he and Eric Iberg founded the production company Inspired Media Concepts and, between 2010 and 2016, they released five movies. It was during this time that Tanner began to work closely with Henrik Harlaut and Phil Casabon, with the trio appearing together in Retallack: The Movie (2011), The Education of Style (2012) and Let it Flow (2013).
Since the release of Ring the Alarm (2016), Tanner has focused his efforts predominantly on solo projects, and his output during this period has been prolific, spanning the full gamut of park, urban and backcountry: Triumph (2019), Here After (2019), In the Meantime (2019), Forever (2020) and Eternal (2020).
Tanner has overcome misfortune over the years which if it were any other athlete, would likely have ended their career long ago. From the infamous Chad’s Gap (Utah) crash while filming in 2005 where he fractured both ankles and heels, to the appalling bilateral tibial plateau fractures, dual torn ACLs and micro knee fractures that he suffered while filming for TGR at Stevens Pass in 2009, his body has been to hell and back again, multiple times over.
Tanner has also had to overcome his own personal demons, with an addiction to painkillers and alcohol as a by-product of his injuries almost costing him his career, and the devastating loss of his closest friend C.R. Johnson to a terrible ski accident in 2010.
Nevertheless, despite everything that he’s gone through, his tireless love of skiing has remained undimmed, and it’s this passion for the sport which has helped him to relentlessly keep pushing forwards and cement his place at the highest table of freeskiing, now more than 23 years into an unstoppable career.
Freeride World Tour & Beyond
In 2019, to the great excitement of the freeskiing world, Tanner finally joined the Freeride World Tour. Finishing second in his first ever event in Hakuba, Japan, he proved that he was still able to compete at the very highest level, and there followed two seasons of impressive results, which crescendoed in 2020, only to be rudely cut-short by the cancellation of the Tour due to COVID-19.
While currently recovering from surgery on his achilles tendon due to an injury sustained during filming for X Games Real Ski 2021, Tanner is plotting his return for the 2022 Freeride World Tour, and we can’t wait to see him back doing what he loves best.
Image © Dom Daher / FWT
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