Louis-Philipe Rivest of Canada is one of today’s top kayakers who has made a name for himself throughout the world. Excelling across the spectrum of disciplines comes naturally for him, but The Wolf is much more than a pretty good boater with a pretty face (as the DBQueens we know can attest). We were stoked for the opportunity to ask him a few questions.
DBP: The first question that probably comes to everyone’s mind… What’s the story behind the monicker ‘The Wolf’?
LP: “It’s all about eat people’s heads off before shit slips in every way. Standing for who you are. I’ve encountered so many situations where people use your smiles, courtesy and happiness in the wrong way and think you are weak. That’s when the Wolf puts you back into your place. We can be friends, but I’m your worse nightmare if you try to cut my way. It is probably why my parents put me first in Martial arts (at 5 years old). It has kept control over the beast mode and help me to be respectful, especially with the opponent that shows during life. What came out of that was pretty crazy when I think about it. We could be friend before and after a fight, but within the bell’s ring, you were raw meat and I was going to eat you alive.
Anyway things have changed but the fire stayes the same. I don’t fight for no reason and never did. I’m a proud guy, dad of 2 little cubs and I don’t have time to lose with you being jealous of my pretty face ahahah.
That being said, I’ve pretty much self-titled after the crazy nights with the Quebec Connection dogs in the DogTown of the Jacques-Cartier river. Howling at the moon like mudfuckers. A true wolf pit that keeps you on your toes. However, family comes first so… I’m a wolf risking my life living the dream, while keeping track of the mouths I have to feed and be loyal to the amazing people who support me, with the good, the bad and the ugly that comes along the way.”
DBP: You cut your fangs (hahah!) on the rivers of Quebec. What inspired you to start boating? What was the scene like in those days? Who did you look up to? And designs have changed so much in a few short years; what was your first boat?
LP: “Armed to the teeth Dawg!!! It all started with Big LA (Francois L. Tremblay), we met in Chicoutimi’s college 6 years ago. We were on the same volleyball team and had always the craziest ambitions. We loved to talk shit and do shit, especially him (That’s why he is the Godfather of my son). We were thinking of a summer extreme activity and thought kayaking was the shit.
Being born in Saguenay Lac St-Jean became the sickest thing ever as we started boating. We compared it as being born in Whistler for a snowboarder, a mecca with all types of whitewater from class I to class VI. We started our adventure by contacting Pat Lévesque who’s to me the most experience kayak teacher of the province. The guy was so hard to reach though and he was the only one we could buy gear from without having to drive to Quebec City. I will always remember how he deflated us by suggesting to take a course before buying the equipment. We were pissed but it turned out to be what we needed ahaha!
At the time, Fisher was my hero. I loved him more when I read an article where he compared the Mistassibi to the Zambezi. I was beyond stoked because I could get the skills I was looking for in a area I knew: Dolbeau-Mistassini, the town I was born.
My plan was then to become a bigwater paddler and my goal was to get enough skills so by the end of my first summer, I could paddle the Mistassibi. Equipped with a Jackson 4 fun, I started training! It was a good choice cause I could learn to surf small features and the boat was forgiving enough on the bigger stuff.”
DBP: This leads us to one of our favorite questions, what’s your go to boat these days? Are there other pieces of gear that see serve a Wolf howl?
LP: “Whatever man. It depends of the type of whitewater. I like the Mamba for being forgiving on bigwater. But I find it slow and you become in a lazy position after a while. I like the tail of the Remix when it comes to leaning. It really tracks and I love that. For next spring I have no idea what I’m going to paddle. I’m looking for a fast boat with good volume. The 9R looks really sick! I just need something to braap around in style!
UNDZ.org – your ballZZ will look great in these; Atlan Water sports – sweetest and dryest dry suit & dry top on the market; and Surf-fur.com – stakeout waterpark.”
DBP: You are a family man now. Has this changed your perspective on boating? Are there things that you think twice before running that you wouldn’t have hesitated on in your youth?
LP: “When you get kids, people want you to change. I say fuck off and let me do my things. Well…I say that to myself and let my art prove the rest. When I want to do something, I do it. I am so young still and my family helps me focus more, driving my decision making to succeed. I’m still making big mistakes too and it’s part of my learning curve but I can handle it. If I handle a beatdown I’m winning. I grow more fierce surviving a beatdown than nailing a big line easily.
When I’m eating shit, that’s when I think of my kids, my wife and on the maneuver I have to do to get out. When you eat shit that’s when you see what you’re made of. At the moment I know I’m going to be stuck for awhile, I shut my brain off and concentrate on holding my breath. Big water is another game. If you’re looking to get into it, you better grow your lungs capacity cause You never know how long and how deep you gonna go IF you swim. That’s why preparation is the key.
It is probably why I feel comfortable dealing with pushing my limits even though I have young kids. Myriam knows I train super hard mentally and physically to attain my goals. She’s scared when I talk about how I love Bridge Rapid and how close my feelings are to my close calls. She cries often knowing I could be gone just like that. The kids don’t realize yet. But I give my everything to make them happy and I know that my love and enjoyment will forever stay in them. You better back up your dreams with love, they become worthy and make more sense.”
DBP: You’ve travelled the world bombing epic runs with the top ranking paddlers. Let’s say it’s that perfect day and you could run ANY RIVER with ANY BOATER… Who you taking and where are you headed?
LP: “Everyday is a perfect day when the levels are good and you’re not injured. I look for people who can save my ass and vice-versa. Stakeout in Quebec is a big filter, if you can follow with a positive attitude you’re part of the crew. I generally connect easily with any personality. If you’re too cocky I may just spit beer in your face but that’s all. The best guys to be around are the ones who are ready to help any boater on any river at anytime! I really like dog style personalities who talk shit all the time! There’s so many people I could give a shout out but they know who they are!”
DBP: You have made some great paddling porn, both as a boater and as a director. What thrills you about putting together a gnarly edit? And what is your favorite all-time flick that you’d pop in if you had to choose just one?
LP: “I don’t edit until I have a song that thrills me and applies to the mood I want to offer.
If I have shiver while editing I know I’m on a good path to make a difference. Depending on what message you want to give to the audience, it has to be different from the status quo. Plus, it has to tell a story. I can’t do an edit if I’m not fired up to give emotions. The viewer will want to watch it again and again if it gives them an experience. Whether that’s crying, laughing or stokeness. Like Stakeout the movie is so fucking awesome. It gets you fired up to go boating and it turned out to become an all time bad ass classic. Its exciting, the paddling is next level, the music is the shit and it’s short! All you need without having to show boobs or tight girly ass to get views!
You can be the best mudfucking paddler, but your highlight reel can still suck balls. You’ll get views only because of your name. Think style, flow and music suited for what you want to express. But Most of all, DONT USE A SONG THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN USED IN A KAYAKING VIDEO! There are MILLIONS of artists out there!
But The Best advice I can give is to watch something else other than whitewater videos to get inspired. If there has to be a revolution in kayaking, its by the way we promote it. The more cool and Bad-ass it looks, the more people will want to get into the sport.”
DBP: You are a fierce competitor in the White Water Grand Prix. Can you describe for us what paddling the Shawinigan River was like last spring?
LP: “WHOAAAA! That river is so dope! Paddled it first time a week before the first event of the WWGP and I was amazed by the quality of the drops. Stout and technical at the same time! I thought every racer would love it but it wasn’t the case. True Quebec style! Gnarl-sliding entrance into a waterfall then a bit of flat ending with a cool technical bigwater drop! Short and sweet! You can’t count on two hands the paddlers who lap the race course the day before the event. Even the morning of the race, not a lot showed up to get some laps in! We saw some pretty crazy action during the race! Stay upright, don’t swim and try to be fast are my words.”
DBP: I’m sure you’re stoked to take on the world yet again this year. What type of mental and physical preparation does LP the Wolf go through to tackle the most difficult race in the sport?
LP: “Oh yeah! I read a lot during winter. My all time favorite is Making Maverick (not the cinematic version: Chasing Maverick). Reading adventure tames my soul and gives me the “will power” to drop bombs. I breathe a lot before going to bed so my lungs and my visions stay clear. I have some long time injuries I need to follow too. Plexus Brachial lesions on my left arm plus I had a nerve entrapment for 10+ years in my right hip that I just go rid of! I have some crazy sensations in that zone so I’m taking care of that right now with beginner core training (AHAHA). This injury has conducted my right L5 to move a lot and tons of other problems showed up but I’m an optimist and it can’t be worse than what I’ve endured. I’m currently heading to Alberta for Seismic exploration. I will work there for two months then I come back to the family for a week. Followed by an all time 3 countries kayak road trip in South America until spring starts in Quebec! It’s gonna be hard to leave the family for so long. But we can do it!”
DBP: Kayaking and whitewater paddling in general has as its foundation a pure expression of individuality. How would you describe yourself as a boater? And could you share with us your personal paddling philosophy?
LP: ” #noballznobabies #cash4flow #theguniswet #riverbum “
DBP: You posed for a photo with bared ass that subsequently got “boofed” by the Boof Sisters, and made you pretty damn popular with a lot of ladies. A funny side story, WE got our Facebook page taken down for a day because we shared it! This photo has inspired a LOT of backsides to get shot along riverbanks throughout the world. Tell us a bit about the picture.
LP: “I normally boof on people but that’s fine if they take pleasure boofing a photo of my ass! I would have never thought this photo was going to pop up someday. OH!!! I actually won a photo contest hosted by five2nine with it! They were not too enthusiast of my first place but who cares cause I won. And you know what? This photo is only about a simpler time with my lady on the river bank.”
DBP: You belong to a world famous whitewater collective known as Quebec Connection. Can you share with us how the formation of QC came about?
LP: “UNITED WE WIN! Illest crew on tour! CHOU-CHOU-CHOUGOULOUCHOU! If you haven’t heard that yet you’re not ready for a mind-blowing experience with us. We always travels with hot chicks. The crew started I think 5 years ago and is growing every year since then.
We’re a group of talented individuals that want to promote kayaking in Quebec. We are the antithesis of what Quebec paddlers use to be. We think kayaking has to be as cool as snowboarding, skiing and all these other sports where people can culturally identify themselves. We have the right tools to make it happen and been proving it! Big La and I joined the crew 2 years after the formation. Mr. Fusilli is actually behind the name. Emrick Blanchette created the logo afterward which is pretty dope. Since then a lot a people turned their attention towards us because of our edits and that’s what made Qc Connection so known nowadays! TABARNAK de chiens de galle Québecois quoi!
We really express a unique group vibe that will affect you in many ways. United States we apologize! We love to get drunk and Pat Lachatte is always there to do stupid shit to keep us entertained. Our french energy is full of surprises so don’t hesitate to come over when you see us! We only bite ladies. Ahaha actually Pat Lachatte he’s the one you need to keep your girlfriend away. #hehaveamassivegun
Hope to keep your camping spot alive 48 hours a days next time you see us!”
DBP: Thanks for your time, bro. It’s a new year, and even though typically the rivers of Quebec are in slumber, soon enough Buseater will awaken and call to the best to come out and play. What’s in store for LP the Wolf in 2015?
LP: “DOPE SHIT man! More paddling than ever! Hope to make happen my next video project named THE COST. The problem is that I need a couple thousand to make it happen! You’ll see soonish the pitch on a crowd-funding website! It’s gonna be the craziest film that follow my hype, sorrows and journey to become a better person, paddler, father while pursuing my life dream which is my current life ahaha. More Seriously it will be a deep introspection into my living goals with kayaking and family. Stay tune for that!
You can follow my adventures through my fb page LP The Wolf and my Rinsetagraine (insta) account @lpthewolf .”
DUDE! That was as entertaining an interview as we may ever have the pleasure of conducting. As real, as energized, as funny, and as deadly as The River that fires his – and our – soul! LP lights it up. Cheers bro!!
some sick LP edits:
GETTING HIGH ON MISTASSIBI
LP & Benny Marr Bridge Rapid WALLACE
Mexican style Wolf