I haven’t written anything for YoBeat in like ten years, Brooke however hit me up to write an intro to this Hump Day thing she did with Will Lavigne and I kinda felt obligated. Will is from Quebec; Victoriaville/Stoneham to be exact.Â When I first met Will we were filming for Any Means, he was a regional rep rider at the time and we had no plan on him really being in the movie. He just kept showing up with the crew wherever we went and he kept logging rail shots. I had probably filmed him for about a month or so without saying much to him (his English was pretty bad at the time and my French was non existent) when one day he started telling me that he wanted me to know he wasn’t a rail kid he was really into jumping and wanted to make sure he got jumps for his part. After winning the Shakedown he paid his own way out west and wouldn’t you know, he could jump. From that point on he’s been filming with us pretty much non-stop. He’s one of those kids who can ride anything put in front of him, he’s bs 270’d the red ledge as well as been followed by helicopters off huge jumps. He’s a hard worker, super funny, and really dependable, which makes him a go to on any trip whether it’s backcountry mission with Bjorn or a rail trip with LNP.Â His English has gotten ten times better and my French is still non existent.Â — John Cavan
photo Ryan Runke/Rome Snowboards
Is it weird for you to do an interview in English, seeing as it’s your second language and all?
No, it’s all good, I got used to it. It was hard in the begining but it’s good now, you will probably find some mistakes in my writing tho.
Do you think you are smarter than me, or Americans in general, because you know two languages?
Ha…no I don’t think so. It took me a while to learn it. You’d just have to spend some time with French people
I thought they teach you in school up there?
They do but not a lot. Most of the french people that live in Quebec aren’t so good in English. I had Spanish.
So you learned English because of snowboarding. Do you think you’d be better at it if you were a golfer or did some other sport where presumably they speak better English than us?
haha, maybe it would be more proper English. But I guess it would be similar.
Front 180 to Switch 50-50. Photo: Olivier Croteau
Gotta ask, are you related to Avril?
Yeah, she’s my sister
Oh man, that totally ruins my next question, but I’ll ask it anyway: would you put it in her?
Oh, I’ve never seen her in real but I guess I would. After a few drinks, why not.
Wait, you would have sex with your sister?
hahaha, well, she’s not. So many people asked me about that so sometimes I think it is funny to say she’s my sister.
Why do you think French Canadians are good at snowboarding?
Well, we get some snow in the city all winter long. From November until April, anyone can just get a board and ride anywhere they want. Our resorts are small and icy. We can make so many laps in a day. Since it is icy all the time we get pumped up in powder or anywhere else where it is kinda soft. I don’t know…or we just enjoy boarding.
Who is your favorite French Canadian rider?
Good question, DCP and Etienne Gilbert. Also my friends, Louif, Alex Cantin, Ben Bilocq, Greg D, Nick SauvÃ©.
It seems like Frenchies have gotten a lot of play down here lately, but you’re still pretty under the radar. Why don’t you think you’ve blown up like some of the other guys?
It’s been two years now that I didn’t have a video part. It is coming… it does a lot I think.
Switch 5-0. Photo Oli Croteau
Did you film this year?
I filmed a little bit with the Standard Crew for like 3 weeks last January and I filmed with Rome for the rest of the year. The Rome video is called “The Shred Remains” and it will come out fall 2011. So the whole crew will film for it this coming winter.
Why haven’t you filmed more? What have you been doing?
Well, last year was a really weird year for me. I fucked up my ankle in December and it bothered for a long time. When I got back on my board in February, I did a few trips for photos but that’s it. This last season was so busy. I’ve been filming the whole season. It went good…I will keep on filming next winter.
Shredding! Photo: Ryan Runke/Rome Snowboards
Cool. So rumor is you had a GOOD time at Temple U on the Imma Betta Jibba trip… care to elaborate?
Damn…I can tell that we had a really good time. We rode the park those guys built up. Around 6 pm somebody showed up with some kegs. We started to drink and got wasted…what rumor have you heard?
Nothing too specific, just that you made up for not going to college in a couple days…
Um, something like that.
Did it make you regret not going to college?
I sometimes wish I would go to college. I feel like it is raining babes all the time.
Did the PA girls like your accent?
Seems like you know more then I thought…I guess she liked it.
Are American girls easier than French girls?
I’m not sure, American girls are harder to find. Most of the time when I’m in the US I’m at a resort where there is not to many girls. I would say that they’re the same.
Yeah stay away from those resort sluts. don’t know where they’ve been!
So I’ve heard you called underrated, which general translates (in English) to underpaid. Would you rather be where you are, or paid tons of loot, but called overrated?
Whoa, I don’t know. I just do what I do. If they want to pay me a shit ton and people call me overrated, it’s their problem. I try to not pay attention to what people say. I’ve never called anybody overrated or underrated…I think that most of the time when people hate on something, it is just because they’re jealous…
Who are you jealous of? Is there anyone who’s life you would want?
Either a pro skateboarder or a pro surfer. Skateboarding seems a lot more simple, they just need a skateboard and they can ride whatever (man-y pad, rails, boxes.) There is no snow to dig and no snowmobile… Or a pro surfer because it would be cool to hang in the water or on the beach everyday.
Both of those are warmer jobs, but you must be used to the cold, living in QC. What’s the coldest temp you’ve ever felt?
um, we do Celsius…something around -40 Celsius. I think it is the same in Fahrenheit. -40
Ouch. Why stay there? Any plans to move to Whistler?
It happens maybe once in 2 years…I don’t think I would move to Whistler…Whistler is like Disney Land. It is cool to be there for a short time but not for too long. I could imagine moving to Vancouver though. I like the city.
You know it doesn’t snow there, right?
I know. I wont move soon…I’ll be in QC for a while still.
Safety first. Photo: Ryan Runke/Rome Snowboards
Cavan said he left you in Japan alone for two days, how was that?
Ha…it was pretty sick to hang there but they wouldn’t take my damn credit card. I got there around 10pm so I went straight to bed. The next morning I went to walk in the city hoping to get some food and they didn’t want to take my card…I was starving to death, I went back in the room and I drank coffee until somebody came to pick me up around 3pm ( a Japanese guy working for Rome) he took me to a pretty sick sushi spot. We scoped around that day and had more food later…Japan is really sick, I would go back for sure.
Did the Japanese girls like your accent?
haha, I guess they did. They don’t speak English…which makes it hard to communicate.
You just have to speak the international language of LOVE.
Backlip. Photo: Oli Croteau
Alright, lets talk about actual snowboarding a little more. Growing up in QC I’m sure your comfortable on the streets, but how about backcountry?
I want to get more in the backcountry. Few years ago when I was riding the resort in QC (Stoneham) we would ride more jumps than rails. When I was younger I was jumping a lot more. I normally ride in the backcountry a few times in the winter, but next winter I will be there a lot more. I am ok to ride jumps, but it is different when it comes to lines. Riding lines is gnarly. It will come.
Probably helps to have guys like Bjorn Leines to show you the way…
For sure. Bjorn helps a lot. He is the dude you want to be with in the backcountry. He will always help for everything. He knows what’s going on. Lucas (Debari) knows a lot too, those two together make a really good crew. I’ll try to include myself in there somehow.
What’s the most important backcountry lesson you’ve learned?
um…I don’t know. Probably how to use a beacon, haha. You never know when you’ll need and you want to know how to use it if you have too.
All right, let’s finish this off. Closing thanks, shout outs, no thank yous?
All right, thanks my parents, friends, sponsors (Rome, Vans, Spy, Ifound, Empire, Plenty) Sophie my cat and that PA girl from last February.