New Blood | David Tourigney & Westley Willyam-Lalonde

If someone asked me: “Who’s the new blood in Quebec?” No doubt, the two first names to pop in my head would be Dave and Wes. They both have caught my attention in a strong way over the past few years. I heard about David first, how he was on fire, and then I saw his clips in the Bruners' video. I was tripping—all hammers, amazing trick selection, super-good style, and then he closes the video.
For Wes, it was seeing him ride in person that got me hyped. I’ve had the pleasure of riding with him at Mt. Hood and in my backyard. I’m blown away by how consistent he is. He’s mad agile and can improvise as he’s going through the park. They both have something special going on. I’m excited to see where they take snowboarding in the years to come. —LOUIF PARADIS

Words and photos by Jaysson Gallant

Two young riders from the Quebec scene with natural talent that demands attention. Seeing the two of them riding together, whether in the parks or in the street, is simply enjoyable. When I saw them hit a spot for the first time, it looked like they’d been in the streets forever. It just came so easily to them. The relationship of Dave and West makes for the perfect combination. Their riding complements each other, with their own style and different tricks in their pockets. Both take a unique approach to each spot, Dave knows what he wants and is more selective, while Westley finds a way to do something interesting at every spot we see. David stood out in the past two seasons, filming ending parts for King Snow’s View From Nowhere and The Bruners’ Anytime this past season, he helped Westley get clips during his first serious year of filming. On a spring day at the resort, I asked them a few questions on the chairlift.

Westley Willyam, Tail Press Backside 180, Saint-Jérome, QC. 

How and when did you guys meet?

DAVID: I first met West when Gab Bélanger from NBP [sales agency] introduced us, and he started joining us on our van trips. It wasn't the first time I'd run into him, but it never went beyond that until now because we lived in different areas, him in the north and me on the South Shore. We became good friends through snowboarding. We're the youngest in the crew, and we often get into mischief together, so it clicked really quickly [laughs]

WESTLEY: We had a few mutual friends in the skateboarding world like Alex Coté and William Phelan. Long-time friend Emile Prudhomme, who’s on the Souvenir crew with us, told me about DT when I was 13. I was impressed by Dave’s style and bag of tricks. I was a decent jumper, but my rail game sucked, so I figured I had to meet Dave to learn a few tips from him. As Dave said, our friendship really started when Gab hooked us up with sponsors and we were road-tripping with the van to events across Québec.

What got you into snowboarding?

D: In elementary school, I had the choice between taking skiing or snowboarding lessons and decided to try snowboarding. Then I made friends who did too, and it just continued like that.

W: I also started in elementary school, but first, I went skiing, and I didn't like it. My dad used to snowboard, so I thought I would try and found it was so much better.

David Tourigny, Backside Nosepress, Saint-Jérome, QC.

Why street snowboarding?

D: Compared to the park, I find it offers so many more options.

W: Streets remind me of skate parts. Safer than skating, in my opinion, because of the snow, but just as nice to watch.

D&W: It's more creative than the park, where the features are often repeated. Plus, a lot of older riders that we looked up to were doing it in the streets.

Who inspires your riding?

D: Dillon Ojo and Tommy Gesme.

W: The same thing, plus Louif Paradis.

Young boarders who are willing to give what it takes to fifilm a part are rare to come by. When you have two kids like Dave and Westley, who still embrace that love for the traditional snowboard videos, yearning to get clips all winter long, you want to make them shine as best you can. Both of them have these two things in common: a brimful passion for boarding and pure raw talents. I’ve been lucky to point a camera at those two great boarders and I can’t wait to see what’s next for them. —ULYSSE DUBÉ BURELLE

What does your ideal life look like in five years?

W: Working in the snowboard industry would be ideal for me. Otherwise, maybe do outdoor jobs in construction during the summer to be able to make the most of my winters.

D: I love the beat I have only working in the summer and riding in the winter. I live more day-to-day, but I am aware that I will probably have to have a year-round job one day. For now, we're making the most of it and making the most fun of it.

Why do you like to ride together?

D&W: We're the two youngest in the group. We're pretty much in the same place in our lives, and we both don't like to take ourselves too seriously. We also push each other, the competition is good.

What impresses you both about each other's riding?

W: His Switch Nosepress.

D: Everything. He is good at everything. He’s tried more things, and it shows.

What’s the sickest trick that the other one has done?

W: Boardslide on the quad-kink for the ender in Anytime.

D: A very stylish Cab 270 on a kink and a frontboard in the upcoming movie. He pulled it off like a boss in under 20 minutes.

Westley Willyam, mind-the-gap back board, Saint-Jérome, QC.

What’s your go-to, feel-good trick?

D: Cab 180 Nosepress.

W: Backlip.

What does the other bring to a street session?

D: Fun! And he makes it happen. Even when nobody else is sure of the spot, he does it and makes it sick.

W: When he says he’ll do something, he has analyzed it, and he does it. He thinks through his stuff well in the street.

Who works the hardest during the sessions?

D&W: We shovel our spots together. Yeah, it's pretty equal.

D: Except when I'm hungover [laughs].

Are you both happy with how this past winter went for you?

W: Yeah! I'm happy with my clips. I didn't succeed at everything, but I will try again next winter. We worked hard, in my opinion.

D: It was fun! But I would have liked to ride the mountain a little more. It's important for me to balance the two. Because a winter of street riding ends up being a lot of shoveling—not a lot of riding.

What was the highlight of the winter?

W: When Alex [Côté] had to push a security guard to drop me at a spot with lots of people around and in the way. It was the first try, and I thought it was now or never. I was in the middle of the rail when I almost ran into a girl, she started screaming [laughs].

D: My favourite moments were when the shoveling was done, and when we opened beers [laughs]. No, but seriously, I was very surprised to learn that we were going to High Cascade to join the Salomon team this summer. So stoked!

What’s the plan for next winter?

W: Maybe a mix of streets and mountains outside of Quebec. I would like to travel a little.

D: We're going to do a project with Souvenir! I can't wait to get clips with the crew. It's gonna be dope.

Anyone you need to shout out?

D&W: Shout out to Gab Bélanger, the man behind it all. Will Pettinati, Phil Carpentier who carried the project, and we can’t forget Eric Ramirez.

David Tourigny, steep and deep half-cab 50-50 to back 180 out, Ottawa, ON.

Westley and David, I got introduced to them at a rail jam about eight years ago. They were so young then, but already really talented. Dave has always been a man of a few words who expresses himself pretty loudly on a snowboard. And Westley always had that crazy energy and motivation that nobody else had. Watching their evolution through those years was really impressive—it escalated quickly. They started winning every rail jam and event around here. On and off the board, we started building a relationship and became friends. I had the chance to film with Dave for the past couple of years and went on a trip with Westley this past season. These guys put in the work; that type of effort pushes me to want to do more, too. I hope they keep doing what they are doing, it’s inspiring a lot of people. Much love. —Seb Picard

Westley Willyam, Back Lip, Montreal, QC.

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