Q: Coming off of your Eye Trip seg the pressure was definitely on this year- how did you approach this season? Come out swinging from day 1 and start bagging shots? Take it one day at a time? What are we gonna see from you in After Dark?
A: Just came in knowing the kinda stuff i wanted and just had to find the right things to hit. It was kind of hard in the beginning of the year because we didnt have a winch working for us. I didnt want to hit a bunch of rails but some different Jibbing type of stuff like last year. So it took a little bit to get into it but once we got stuff poppin’ it was all good. As for After Dark, not as many big drops as last year, but some pretty cool creative hits.
Q: What were your goals for the season? Which did you accomplish, and which are still on the list for future seasons?
A: Man, i wanted to get into a lot more backcountry stuff, I have a lot of ideas out there to do that i havent really seen yet. Got a few shots back there but my knee decided to blow up in early April which killed the momentum. Next Year myself and Hornbeck are living out in Utah- we both are looking to change our skiing up a bit.
Q: What was your favorite/best trip? Who was it with?
A: Going to Russia was pretty damn cool. It was with Hornbeck, Wallisch, Decker, and O’Connell. The Russian locals were cool as hell and had real good style, they were so stoked on urban stuff that they would bring their skis in ski bags through the trains and walk all over just to get to the spots we were at. Got to party with them a little bit and just see how different it was out there. It was super cold and traffic was insane which didnt make it amazingly productive, but the shots we got were real cool.
Q: I know you’ve had some ongoing knee issues- where you at with that? Did it affect your season much?
A: Well now im a roommate at the Level 1 house for a week recovering from another surgery. This one is probably the most time consuming of all. Last year i tore my meniscus which created a hole in my femur bone cartilage. I didn’t get surgery last year to fix that and now its about double the size so just had the clean it up, poke a few holes in the bone and letting it fill up with scar tissue. It was a bit painful this season riding with that problem. I would feel the bone grinding, I wouldnt say it stopped me from hitting anything- still down for whatever, but it definitely got me agitated at times.
Q: But why would anyone wanna go skiing in Moscow?
A: Guess i already tapped into that one, but can always say a little more. Theres definitely some pros and cons to Moscow. It is real cold so the snow has nowhere to go. On a downside, dogs love to roam around pissing all over every piece of snow they can find, and the snow is super crystalized so the amount of water we had to go through to build stuff was insane. The skiers are dedicated as hell, and the other people around the streets didnt seem to like us too much, could’ve been the baggy clothes or the American accent, but we were far from guests of honor haha.
Q: Crash any snowmobiles this year?
A: Shit man, what would a year be without crashing into some trees. I just got a new sled. First day out, somehow i ran into a tree that was so easy to get by, but the ole girl messed her grill up. Just as i thought it could get any worse, i go sidehilling and hit a spot where the powder had been blown off the snow and bam, Flew about 15 feet down the hill with the sled rolling over me. Wasn’t Cool.
Q: You also went heli skiing with Under Armour in BC- I’m guessing that opened your eyes a bit to a new aspect of skiing? Learn anything from T-Rains (Rainville)?
A: Man T-Rains is the craziest guy to ride with. I’ve ridden beside him in park for years, but holy shit when we got out in the Back country he is nuts. There was times where we had some free runs through some pillows that we hadnt scoped at all, and i’d see him just flying by me off one pillow to another, somehow perfectly, without know anything below him. He’s a mad man. But the trip with Under Armour was insane, flying around some HUGE mountains, its scary as hell to look at them peaks and think about skiing them haha, Utah will be a good stepping stone to break into that aspect.
Q: You made some comments about Jon Olsson’s clothing a few weeks back that stirred the pot- anything you want to add or clarify?
A: Its easy to be misunderstood, but i guess when you make a bold statement you get a reaction. I truly believe that J Lindeburgh clothing is pretty “gay”. I am not against the gay community or am “Homophobic” or anything else people called me, its just simply my opinion that the clothing he was wearing was what a gay man would probably wear to go skiing haha. There was no hate on his skiing in that post. I just think if i’m on my fan page i should be able to speak what i truly think about things in skiing, i shouldnt be put up on a pedestal. I would think people would like to truly know what a “pro skier” really thinks about stuff, and my fan page is a spot where you can find that out. People are getting so sensitive and less outspoken in skiing it seems.
Q: Any thoughts on the direction that the sport of skiing is going? Anyone doing it right? Doing it wrong?
A: Well its definitely breaking off into different aspects which is real good. I really like the kind of skiing B Dog and E Dollo are on. all their edits are super entertaining and their skiing is all their own thoughts they arent out there to copy anyone’s tricks but are coming up with their own- its ill. As for people doing it wrong, gotta keep those to myself for now haha. But i dont think the Olympics is the answer for skiing, I hate the thought of people having to follow all these strict rules and the judging system and the whole drug testing junk, I dont need Olympic guys to accept Freeskiing as being qualified enough for their events.
Q: What IS skiing, in your mind?
A: To me theres a big difference between Skiing and Freeskiing. Skiing is what was broken away from nearly 20 years now. Skiing is what old people do. But i think freeskiing is just the idea of putting your mind on skis, you come up with ideas you want to do and have the freedom to them on skis, unlike bumps and racing where you stick to a regiment and go to “training.” In freeskiing you do exactly what you want to do and you get to have your own individual style.
Q: Seems like everyone this year was getting after really large bomb drops, urban gaps, and super-high consequence rails- at least in part inspired by your exploits from the 2010 season. I also heard about a lot of people making hospital visits. Any comments?
A: I think its going in the right direction. Some Gnarly stuff. Not just tricks on rails. I like it.
Q: So, how mean are the streets? I know a lot of people laugh at the whole “thug life” thing, but you’ve actually gotten into a few sketch situations filming urban. Decker got his camera gear stolen in MN, what went down there? Any other sketch stuff? In the US? Russia?
A: The streets are real mean, cameras being takin by hillbillys coming through parking lots, pretty crazy stuff.. We were hitting this upledge to tranny and next thing we know some guy comes flying through and just grabs the camera+tripod right through the passenger window… Other than that been pretty lucky with crazy stuff happening in the city, most people find it pretty damn cool. Hornbeck, Decker, and myself were in Cleveland near where Bone Thugs are from, we were about to hit a quad kink and Decker was digging out a flat for his dolly. Then we here him yellin some stuff like get down, there was a dead pitbull buried in the snow, obviously had been in a dog fight, all cut up around the face. That was pretty crazy to find haha. Russia, we had Police with semi auto assault rifles kicking us out, and didnt know any english. Obviously they werent going to shoot us but damn they ante up in those streets.
A: In a way for some people i guess, but i think the whole thing about being an extreme sport just as with skateboarding or surfing, A role model doesnt not have to be perfect grade A student. He can be a wild, take shit from no one, speak his mind type of person. I like the Idea of freeskiing being created off a rebelious attitude, and i’d like to keep it that way. Call me crazy but i dont want the next generation to be good rule following kids, I’d rather them be Little punks that get wild and dont listen the shit that the Yellow coats on their mountains would yell at em.
Q: Is anyone YOUR role model?
A: If i had to pick one person it would be 2pac man, said and did what he wanted, didnt let media shift his views or let people change him. Still up in the Grimiest house party getting wild with all the people.
So what was Ahmet gettin’ into over the past couple years? Check this bonus edit from Eye Trip if you haven’t already- all cutting-room-floor content that didn’t make the movie. Stay tuned for the teaser and more info about this past year’s flick, After Dark and watch Ahmet “up the ante in those streets” (and mountains).