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[Krazy:]

The Dan Davidoff Interview

Published in the January 2011 Issue Published online: Jan 30, 2011 Sledheads
Viewed 101 time(s)

When it comes to backcountry snowmobiling, Dan Davidoff is an icon. He was a pioneer in the climbing world, going all the way back to Marc Fry's original Extreme Team film series.

The Krazy Canadian is the only two-time winner of the Xtremey Award for best performance in a snowmobile film for his segments in Thunderstruck 5 and 6. His ridiculous hillclimbs and countless first ascents have earned him a reputation as one of the top backcountry hillclimbers in the sport.

He swore off alcohol and drugs in his youth and has been living on a natural high ever since, at least if you consider a mixture of turbos and British Columbia's mountains a natural high. Anyone who has witnessed Davidoff celebrate after a successful climb knows that this guy has an unparalleled level of passion for what he does. As crazy as he is on a sled, he brings the same level of energy to everything he does. He sat down with us to answer a few questions about his love for the sport and what makes him go. 

 

When did you start snowmobiling?

I started riding almost 40 years ago with Mom and Dad. I wasn't even 2 years old and they would pack me around on the sled bundled up between the two of them. I've been driving myself for the past 30 years. In British Columbia the mountains are everywhere and it was a blast as a kid.

 

What was your first sled?

Dad was always a Yamaha man. We had 340 and 440 Yamahas from 1970 to `72 and a 340 STX from `76. My first purchase was a 540 SRV short track. We'd ride for five hours and only get five miles up the logging road . we got stuck so many times. Spring riding was when we'd get into the alpine.

 

What do you think about the advances in snowmobile technology over the last 20 years?

Amazing and so satisfying. The sport has changed so much in the last 20 years. It's hard to imagine what we used to go through just to get to the mountains. Nowadays, right out of the box, sleds can get you into the alpine, in any conditions and at any time of the season. We climb stupid stuff that we used to think was impossible without even trying.

 

How did you originally get into snowmobile films?

I grew up playing in our local mountains so I knew all the best places. In my mid 20s, I hooked up with the Extreme Team from Spokane, WA, and showed these Krazy guys from the states all my best honey holes. They all had mod sleds that kicked my butt.  I had the only Yamaha Mtn Max in the group and I tried and tried to highmark these guys. That's where the insanity started

 

What is your favorite film that you have appeared in? Favorite film that you weren't in?

The third movie I was in, Adrenaline Rush from Marc Fry's Extreme Team and this year's Krazy Canadian Adventures 3 both hold special places in my heart. I never rode in Thunderstruck 2, but I thought that was a great movie. 

 

On camera, you are a "crazy" guy.are you always like that or is that just for the camera?

As I get older, I'm less Krazy in my day-to-day life, but a few years ago I was nuts 12  months a year. It just depends how much sugar's in my belly.

 

Over the years, you've pulled some pretty intense hillclimbs. Is there one climb that you could point to and say was hands down the craziest line you've done? 

It's hard to name just one. The climb I did in Thunderstruck 5 where I screwed up and barely got the Turbo Vector over the cornice, the big chute in TS6, that since that day, I and no one  else has ever attempted.  Last year's Twisted Chute and the Finger Chute in Krazy Canadian 3 all make my belly quiver. There are probably 10 climbs that I wouldn't do again, the Irmen's Arm chute and Gibbs Gash all are really silly and really bad things could happen if you make a mistake.

 

You rode Yamahas for a long time. We even remember your signature line from the old Extreme Team videos, "YAMAHA BABY!!!" So what brought the switch to Arctic Cat a few years ago?

I loved the Mtn Max and I was diehard Yamaha, but the 4-strokes are a different style.  Big power, big torque and not as forgiving as a Mtn Max. My Arctic Cat dealer, Main Jet Motorsports in Nelson, BC, was thrilled that I was thinking about jumping and has treated me wonderfully since. The Arctic Cat M8 is the most fun sled I've ever ridden and I've tried Dragons, XPs and Nytros, all turboed up, but none of them compare to the M8 for me. And with a Twisted Turbo on it, I'm smiling all day long.

 

You aren't known as much of a jumper, but back in the Extreme Team films you hit some pretty nice cornice jumps. Was that just a fluke or do you jump all the time?

I also had some really bad crashes jumping in the Extreme Team days and if you remember my big jump from the TS5 film . I'm not such a good jumper. I like to stick with what I'm good at and that's not jumping. It's fun if they're small with soft landings, but 40 year olds shouldn't jump any way, eh?


How did you hook up with the guys from the Boondockers videos?

I've always enjoyed watching Gardiner in those Sledneck flicks and his Thunderstruck 2 and 3 days. I sent him an e-mail and invited him and his buddies to come to Canada and check out what we have to offer. He came up with Phatty, Rick Barker and Ryan Nelson and friendships were made. It's fun riding with guys with similar skills and desires, not everyone wants to go deep in the mountains where I like to go and explore.

 

You are the only 2-time winner of the Xtremey Award for best performance in a snowmobile film. What was it like to win the most coveted award in the sport two years in a row?

Winning the Xtremey award was a true honor. I respect a lot of riders in these flicks and many of them deserve the award. Some jump big, some climb, some just have incredible control in the trees, but they all have courage and some pure kraziness. To be awarded the best performance in this company was pretty cool and to back it up the following season was awesome. If I wasn't a spaz though, I probably would have dropped through the cracks like many have. 

 

How would you describe your image of the ideal riding day?

Blue skies, sunshine makes the snow sparkle, good visibility is everything, deep snow or spring snow, got to have blue sky and sunshine. No one in the group has sled troubles and we get back to the trucks with no gas left in the sleds or the body . got to  love  it. Finding a new riding area is always very special, too.

 

Do you have any advice for the up-and-coming hillclimbers?

Ride smart during dangerous avy days. You can always come back and slay the face another day. But when the snow is safe and you feel it in your belly go for it. If you don't feel it, trust your instincts. My worst failures always came when I had a bad feeling and didn't listen to it. I've learned to trust my instincts, but they also come with experience.

 

Any special thanks?

Really big thanks to my wife Andrea and my children, Aydia, Jessica and Nathan.  Thanks to Jim Phelan and Randy Swenson (Yamaha rep). Both helped me win those 2 Xtremey awards. MainJet Motorsports in Nelson, BC, Shain Stanger with Twisted Turbos, Timbersled, Bulldog Decks and Superclamps, Brian with Canadian Power Machines, Ratsled and each one of my sponsors. All those KRAZY fans who have supported and voted for me. Doc Zoom, Justin Simon and Amy Enns and last, but certainly not least, Father God Almighty.

 

Check out www.krazycanadian.com to see a preview of Davidoff's new film, Krazy Canadian Adventures 3.