Q&A Wednesday with Ahmet Dadali
Ever year Level 1 Productions is pushing the envelope, making some of the most exciting and enjoyable ski movies around. Many of the most stylish and progressive skiers in the sport make up the Level 1 crew and their skills are complemented by inspired sound tracks and cinematography. Ahmet Dadali, East Coast gangsta come Rocky Mountain backcountry bad boy, is right at the heart of all things Level 1. He took home the Canadian bacon at this years IF3 awards in Montreal, winning Best Male for his section in Eye Trip. Freeskier caught up with him to find out what this accolade meant to him and what the future has in store.
Name: Ahmet Dadali
Hometown: Residing in Colorado
Sponsors: Under Armour, Volkl Skis, Spy Optics, Full Tilt Boots, Qi Energy Tea, Tall T Productions
Congratulations on wining Best Male at IF3 for your performance in Eye Trip. What factors led to you winning this honor? Locations, conditions, the level 1 crew, etc? Everything. I ski with all my best friends the whole time and they all have such different styles, it makes me want to do different things. I had a really good year traveling around with Decker, this gave me the opportunity to get a lot of shots, and I was just feeling really good coming into the year.
How and when did you get involved with Level 1?
It started during the "Real Time" year, 2006-7. I got an e-mail from Berman to come out to the park shoots at the end of the year. Iâ€™d been filming with Decker and Rage Films for their movie "Enjoy", Decker had previously been an intern with Level 1 and was talking to the B-Man about me.
What is it like being part of the Level 1 crew?
Itâ€™s Awesome! I had bought every movie they had ever made, so I've always looked up to all the guys, Itâ€™s ill to just be a part of it.
You hurt yourself at the end of last season, how are you healing?
I tore my meniscus in April. It was pretty rough because I went to get it looked at and they dismissed it without an MRI, thinking it was probably a strain. So I kept skiing even thought it hurt, this is why I wasnâ€™t at the park shoots, other than a little bit at Mammoth, at the end of the season. 3 months later I got the MRI and it was the meniscus, from all the wear and tear a good portion of bone cartilage has gone missing.
Has it been hard work to get fit over the summer?
It has a bit just because I got the surgery later in the summer, but gotta get the swoll on so been working out the legs at the gym everyday, Leg muscle goes quickly and doesnâ€™t like to come back quickly.
I see you were at A-Basin on opening day, does this mean you are fully fit and good to go for the season?
Well, I still have some time until filming and Iâ€™ve still got a little work to do, but this isn't going to affect my skiing, I'm definitely going to be coming out with the intention to top last years segment.
What are you most looking forward to this winter and where will we be seeing you?
A few things, we are going out of the country again to hit urban, and not Finland again, so that'll bring some new things to the table. I'm actually doing A comp this year, haha. Iâ€™ve been invited to the Red Bull Playstreets, so Iâ€™m going to Austria. There are also a few more things in the works, hopefully they come out.
You, Casabon and Wallisch are undoubtedly urban slayers. Do you put this down to your East Coast roots?
Thanks for putting me up with those guys. I completely put it down to my East coast roots. Not only that but it all goes back to the guys I grew up with. Our mountain was not down with the Freeskiing movement, so we resorted to going out into the cities to hit urban, instead of shredding our home mountain. I had a super good crew to do it with, thatâ€™s really important in skiing, having fun with your friends. Check out Pterodactyl Blood teaser from IHNY, teaser from back in the day with a lot of urban.
How many seasons have you been living out West now?
Itâ€™s my 5th season now, been out here for a while.
How does it compared to back East?
There is no comparison. Coming out West was the best decision I ever made. I came out with the intention of just being a ski bum. The first year I moved to Utah and was shredding chest deep on thanksgiving weekend, my mountain back home isn't even open by that time.
What aspect of your skiing has progressed the most since making the move? And what are you looking to develop the most this season?
Everything has got a lot better, in every aspect. I skied a lot of powder before last season, but Eye Trip was the first season I actually started hitting BC jumps. So this year I want some real big jumps going down.
What advice would you give to kids who want to make it big in freeskiing?
I've always tried to stress this, just have fun skiing, donâ€™t worry about the outcome. To me the only training that there is in skiing is the time you spend in the gym. When you are skiing, you are skiing, youâ€™re not training, it annoys how that word is thrown around these days when people are shredding the park. So enjoy yourself out there.
In Fill in the Blanks you told us Candide Thovex is your inspiration. Have you ever had the chance to shred with him?
Na, never have. Havenâ€™t even met him yet, would definitely be pretty star struck. [laughs]
Do you have aspirations to become one of the best freeskiers around?
I just want to be really good in every aspect of freeskiing. I want to really impress people with my segments. This last year has been amazing because I had people coming up to me telling me they liked what I was doing, or reading it somewhere. It given me way more motivation to impress again next year!
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