Ahmet Dadali has been on top since taking home the Breakthrough Performer and Best Jib honors at the 2011 POWDER Awards. Before that, however, he was another rag tag East Coast kid trying to ski all year long. Along with the now legendary I Hate NY crew, they turned Western New York from a hot summer spot to a backyard factory that churned out some of today’s best street skiers. Here, Dadali looks back and offers advice on how, with a little ingenuity and nose for mischief, you can ski all year long.
POWDER: Back in Rochester, what made you guys want to build these janky rail contraptions?
Ahmet Dadali: We used to build backyard setups because the summer and spring are one season in New York and they combine to be a hell of a long time without snow. Oh, and summer camps are too damn expensive.
Who was at the core of the I Hate NY backyard crews?
I built my parks with my brother Giray, Will Wesson, Andy Parry, Erik Olson, Ross Imburgia. Together, we made magic happen.
How does one get started? What tools do you need?
To build a summer setup, you’ll need a car to go dumpster diving, some PVC from construction sites, a screwdriver and a half-workin’ brain.
How much do the supplies cost?
You can come out with a decent setup for under $50 as long as your doing it right… Or wrong depending on how you look at it.
How often would you be out there, hitting rails and hiking the setup?
We’d ski on the setup most weekends when we can get all the homies together for a session, sometimes with ice rink snow, sometimes with just plain old carpet. And in the beginning, we used construction fence on top of plywood as a run-in.
What was the most impressive trick you saw back then?
Will [Wesson] had a bunch of switch-up transfer stuff from double kink to rail that were pretty far ahead of the times.
When was the above video shot and edited?
That video is from the summer of 2006. That was the last summer I was in New York along with the I Hate NY crew. Good times.
Where do you build these things? How do you choose whose house to build it?
You can go about building a summer setup two ways. The less painstaking way is to have a naturally steep slope you can start on. I recommend this option. Or you find a relatively flat area that you can build a sturdy, tall drop-in on and hopefully have a good enough slope after to maintain speed, and, boom, you have a good location.
What would your parents think?
I would just say to my parents, “Ma, we skiing, see ya later.”
Did you always film the sessions?
We filmed some of the sessions, other times we just sessioned. We did try to film as much of it as we could though for something to look back at. Man I miss the backyard setups good spot to learn all your tricks
What are the top five reasons to build the backyard setup?
1. Summers are too damn long.
2. Summer camps are too damn expensive.
3. You can create whatever kind of setup you want.
4. Good way to do hood rat shit with all your friends.
5. Skiing is fun.