LESSONS | LOUIF PARADIS


[o] Joseph Roby

Louif Paradis is an icon in snowboarding. His style and trick selection has influenced many riders over the last decade. He’s one of Canada’s most notable names, having filmed 16 video parts, won two video part of the year awards, one rider of the year award, and five X Games medals. Many would argue that Louif is the GOAT. However, besides the athletic accolades, Louif is also very self-reflective. When having a conversation with him, he chooses his words carefully and with intent. He is deep, engaging, and willing to think hard about topics. For all these reasons and more, it’s inspiring to share the life lessons Louif has learned from his snowboard career — by William Fraser


Perseverance 

You can try a trick 50 times or more in snowboarding, especially when filming in the street. You can even show up to a spot multiple days in a row, attempting and failing, and repeating, repeating, repeating until you succeed. Because of snowboarding, I’m almost accustomed to failing. I feel like I’ve learned how to fail, but in a way that helps me get back up again. When you take this perseverance and the skills that come with it, many doors can open throughout life. 

Visualization

This is big. Snowboarding has taught me to visualize things. I would never try a trick that I haven’t pictured first. It’s how I build confidence in what I’m doing without actually doing it. For example, with a Backside 270 to Fakie, I’ll think about how I need to Backside 180 and Switch Boardslide with my legs while my upper body stays in the Backside 180. Thinking about it like this helps me do the trick. In life, I apply this in many ways. I’ll visualize things I need to do so I can show up with the confidence of already having done it before.

Openness

Snowboarding is so broad and limitless. It has a wide range of personalities, styles, tricks, and spots. You can see so many different ways to do a single trick. Through videos and magazines, creativity and progression have always been encouraged. Snowboarding has helped me look at the world differently. It has made thinking outside the box more natural or instinctual.


Sw Frontside Tailslide 270, Norway [o] Joseph Roby

Imperfections

With snowboarding, I find that perfection is not something pursued. We don’t want robotic style. When filming, for example, the imperfections in someone’s execution can make the clip even better. I think that appreciation for flaws is cool. It’s something that might not be promoted in the general culture as much. Many people are trying to get the perfect house, the perfect car, the perfect everything, and I think it’s essential to appreciate the imperfections. Another example of how I learned this is through Ben Bilocq. On cloudy or rainy days, he started saying that it was nice out, and he’s right. It might not be bluebird, but it’s still a good day for many other reasons. The important thing is your perspective. I have learned to enjoy more of my life by learning to appreciate imperfection. In many ways, those imperfections in life are what I usually remember in the long run. 

Work Ethic

Early on, with the group of dudes I started filming with, we pushed each other to work our asses off. There was this unspoken, and sometimes spoken, rule. If you want to ride this spot, you must shovel just as much as everyone else. You have to contribute. This rule has kind of followed me all my life. If I’m passionate about something, I’ll give my 110 percent. Otherwise, I’m just going to wonder what I could have done more. Often when I’m feeling a little lazy, I ask myself, “Are you physically capable of doing it?” If the answer is, “Yes, I’m capable,” I’ll just do it. Snowboarding has taught me to do the job if I can. 


Louif during those early days
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