Forthcoming: The Dane Mechler Interviewimage000005

First off, it's been a while now since our last piece went out, so my apologies for the long pause. But in this Fall 2020 edition of Forthcoming, I had a minute to hook up with my good buddy, Dane Mechler, for a little one-on-one. Hope you enjoy:


So what's up, Dane... how are you?

I am doing great, Pete. Hard to believe we are nearing the end of 2020. I think we can all agree that we are looking forward to a fresh start in 2021. Hope you are doing great.

What are you doing right at this moment?

Just doing a bit of off-season traveling right now. Orlando last week and Europe as of this moment.

I've really respected your skiing / career / relationship balance over the past couple of years, what has motivated you to live your life this way? And how has it impacted your skiing?

Thank you, Pete. Skiing is a huge part of my life, but it is not everything to me. I love having a career to work towards outside of skiing and there are so many parallels between the two. Unfortunately so many start a career after college and fall out of our sport. For me, this was not an option, and I am motivated to work hard every day to try to be successful at both. Waterskiing is my passion and I could not imagine life without it. If a weekend tournament does not go my way, it does not matter because I am truly standing on the starting dock because I love it.

I know you fought with ski sizes a bit this year, as you are someone who falls right in between lengths.  I know the struggle.  What did you end up going with, and why?  What advice might you have for someone going through the same issue?

2020 was a year of testing and learning for me. I spent most of the season on a 67-inch Goode XTR. There was so much I loved about riding a bigger ski but in the end it, the 66 XTR is better for me at 41. With any major equipment change such as a change in ski size, there is always a tradeoff. Understanding what aspects of a ski/setup compliment your style/technique is extremely important. Always do your best to set up your ski for your hardest pass while it may be tempting to continue riding a ski that feels great on your easier passes.

But you had a good season still. What were the highlights, and I guess, lowlights too?

2020 was somewhat frustrating because I had one of the best years performance-wise in practice but it didn’t quite translate into the results I was looking for in the events. The biggest highlight was fighting my way into the finals at the MasterCraft Pro finally turning two-ball at 41 and getting over to 3. In general, the lowlight of the season was my struggle getting out of 2-ball at 41. This happened in the semi-final at Malibu Open and then it got into my head from then on. Going down twice at 2-ball at the Swiss Pro Slalom made for a difficult drive home. It is important to know when you need a change, and this day was the sign.

 

Your skiing is very appealing to the eye. My past life is in the freeskiing world (snow), where style is everything; is the fact that you are a smooth and stylish skier simply a result of the movements you are trying to accomplish? Or do you like looking good too?

Technique is something that I have always been passionate about. I love to coach, and in turn, I love to be critical of myself and my movements. Being efficient on the ski is certainly a big focus for me, but not nearly as much as being a consistent skier. I pride myself on never missing 39. I work hard on my technique so that I can perform in any condition. For me this is mainly about staying connected and using the boat to create my speed and space.

Plans for next year?

A lot of skiing and hopefully a lot of pro events. Luckily the bright spot of 2020 is that firms around the world are learning that a remote work environment can be equally effective as being in the office everyday. I hope that this allows me to balance skiing and working in a more impactful and efficient way. The World Championships in October will be my main focus. It looks like the Euro Tour is beginning to take shape, so I would love to take part in a couple of events abroad before putting my head down at home to train the best I can to be ready for the Worlds.

Okay time for rapid fire... double boots or kicker?

Kicker since day 1! Could not imagine ever changing. Big fan of the toe piece.

Bengals or Browns?

Bengals. Unfortunately, a huge fan and continue to watch despite the lack of success.

Zero Off setting?

B1. I think this letter has always complimented my style and equipment. Allows me to stay connected with the boat and build space by creating my own speed. Boats/prop can affect this decision for me slightly but B1 is my baseline and has been for some time.

Plans for next year?

A lot of skiing and hopefully a lot of pro events. Luckily the bright spot of 2020 is that firms around the world are learning that a remote work environment can be equally effective as being in the office everyday. I hope that this allows me to balance skiing and working in a more impactful and efficient way. The World Championships in October will be my main focus. It looks like the Euro Tour is beginning to take shape, so I would love to take part in a couple of events abroad before putting my head down at home to train the best I can to be ready for the Worlds.

Okay time for rapid fire... double boots or kicker?

Kicker since day 1! Could not imagine ever changing. Big fan of the toe piece.

Bengals or Browns?

Bengals. Unfortunately, a huge fan and continue to watch despite the lack of success.

Zero Off setting?

B1. I think this letter has always complimented my style and equipment. Allows me to stay connected with the boat and build space by creating my own speed. Boats/prop can affect this decision for me slightly but B1 is my baseline and has been for some time.

Burger or pizza?

Very tough as I’m a food fanatic and love to cook. Burger! But my answer may be different tomorrow.

Favorite site in the world?

We are so spoiled to have great places to ski all over the US. For me, nothing tops Lake 38. Keith & Karen Albritton have built a special place and should be a bucket list tournament for any slalom fanatic.

Superstitions before you ski?

I like to think I do not have very many but do not ask my ski partners! The biggest one is that I always wash my hands, handle, back foot, and kicker before every set.

I appreciate the time man. Here's your shot to thank people as well...

No worries at all Pete, great to catch up as always. First to Giannina and my parents for always supporting me. Also a big thanks to Goode Skis, Masterline USA, and ProGear gloves for the continued support.

 

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