Level 1’s annual releases are the most established jib movies left in skiing, they represent the last of the major production companies still primarily focused on park and street. Habit continues in a similar vein to last year’s movie with a prominent role given to what I guess I’d call a theme and narration being a key part of the overall production.
And again, the narration is good. It definitely made me laugh on the first runthrough and that’s about all you can ask. Though I have to say that I think the script worked more in conjunction with the flow in Pleasure than it did here. This was more of a concept and a ski movie, where the two didn’t quite gel at all times. As Level 1 asked me to try to avoid giving away songs, tricks or segment orders - which made writing this somewhat tricky - I’m going to try and keep spoilers to a minimum.
The strength of any ski movie is ultimately in the riding and Habit has highlights aplenty. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Keegan Killbride is ‘the real deal’. He has it all, from one of the best styles to a deep bag of creative tricks. To me, he’s heading for that Wallisch, Hornbeck, Casabon tier and edit after edit, part after part, he impresses. Assuming he keeps it up, he’s going to be a legend like them too. His section is a classic Level 1 banger and it’s going to be remembered for some time. It’s certainly worth the price of admission on its own.
One from Noah Albaladejo on the streets of Moscow
Another standout was Sami Ortlieb and his genuinely out-there trick selection which pops up in a shared segment with Will Wesson. Taken in isolation, the segment is outstanding. But the elephant in the room is X Games Real Ski: the majority of Will’s shots were in that edit. For what it’s worth, I enjoyed them more edited in with Sami’s as a full video segment and Level 1 did a great job at making Khai and LJ’s stuff interesting to watch again too. But the fact does remain that they’re largely shots we’ve seen.
Trying to remain vague, there are three powder based segments, the standout of which is from Wiley Miller and Thayne Rich. Wiley is a staple of Level 1 and somehow seems to get better every year, while Thayne is just an animal. He kills it here, as he also does in Good Company’s Guest List. There’s also a banger from Tatum Monod, though at 4 minutes long and sandwiched between two predominantly street segments, the part did feel a bit out divorced from the rest of a the movie.
You may have seen on Instagram earlier this year that Level 1’s trip to Moscow didn’t go quite to plan. And I can’t finish this review without expressing my amazement that after trips to hospital for both Keegan and Laurent DeMartin, the latter for a pretty major head injury, they managed to get any shots on the trip at all, let alone of the caliber that they did.
Laurent DeMartin going massive at the park shoot
The final thing I want to talk about in Habit though, is the park shoot, which was one of the best I’ve seen in years. An appearance from Parker White left me wishing there was a park section in Lite Years, while Laurent plays a starring role, as does SuperUnknown winner Oliver Karlberg. There’s a candidate for the best cork 7 blunt of all time and one of the craziest doubles I’ve ever seen.
So should you buy Habit? Well if you’re a Level 1 fan, absolutely. It continues where Pleasure left off and there are certainly must see segments here, including at least a couple that’ll be on repeat for me for the rest of the season. But if you aren’t already a fan, particularly of Pleasure, I don’t think this is likely to be the one that converts you, for much the same reasons as fans will love it. It’s trademark Level 1.