Here’s a cat with his priorities straight. Somehow, Dionne’s been able to balance getting a university degree and a pro career without losing focus on what’s most important to him–the love and respect of family and friends. Dionne’s come a long way since we first met almost seven years ago: he’s graced the pages of almost every snowboard magazine in the world and has been featured in countless videos. Dues paid, it’s now time to tell the world what’s on his mind. I’m proud to introduce Dionne Delesalle.–Kevin Young

What motivates you to snowboard?

Progression–learning and landing new tricks and doing the ones you know bigger and better. Taking tricks to the backcountry and seeing if you can land backwards in powder. Seeing my friends riding well makes me want to shred.

You fully blew your knee last year. How did it happen?

I was filming for The Resistance with Devun Walsh, Bjorn Leines and JP Walker. We were hitting a hip with a pretty tight transition a couple of days before–there was some new snow, and we went to get some more stuff off it.

Basically, I overshot it trying a backside five and landed right where the transition met the flat. There was a loud pop, and I knew right away what had happened. I jumped on my snowmobile and got out of there, straight to the doctor. It was my left knee–a full tear of the ACL, second-degree MCL. All I could think about after the surgery was that I really want to keep progressing as a snowboarder, and in order to do so, I had to focus on rehab. It ended up being super easy, considering Devun was also going through the exact same injury.

Does fear of getting hurt limit you with the tricks you try to make?

As of this year, the level is getting so high, the jumps are getting so big–yeah, sometimes. If you try to land backwards over a 100-foot jump–if you hook your nose or something–you’re gonna pay the price. You definitely have to think a lot more about what you can ride out of going that fast and going that big.

Break down your stance.

Regular, 21 and one half inches wide, 24 degrees front, minus-nine-degrees back.

What’s your best trick?

It’s more like the best-feeling trick. You need to figure out the jump. They’re not the hardest tricks, but this season I really enjoyed doing frontside threes and backside 180s into powder.

Doesn’t Max Jenke hold the trademark on frontside threes, though?

Laughing Kind of.

What haven’t you accomplished yet in snowboarding?

Getting a video part that I’m 100 percent stoked on. It really is hard nowadays to film a solid part, because tricks really don’t cut it unless they’re super gnarly and big. But this year things have been going well.

A couple of seasons ago, Lil’ Bastards, the Iris video, made snowboarding look all fun again–not just sculpted kickers to perfect transitions. What’s coming soon?

The sequel is going to be Return Of The Wildcats, the same idea, which focuses on the fun side of snowboarding. All the ’Cats have a blast when we shred, whether it’s sunny and powder or pouring rain, and we want to make a movie that shows the true personality of the riders and why we ride. But this year, we want A-grade footage, too.

Have you been filming for any other videos?

I’ve been working with Mack Dawg Productions for Stand And Deliver and a little bit with Carlo Wein–he made The Struggle last year. But most of my time has been for Mack Dawg. There’re still some film transfers going on–tricks I want to get. I’m definitely stoked to be a part of the riding that’s been going down for his movie this year.

You were born in Kelowna, B.C. and moved to Vancouver when you were four or five. What’s up with Canada?

Vancouver is my favote spot–ever. It makes the most sense for me. It has everything: the beaches, super clean city, it’s close to Whistler, good shredding at the local mountains. It’s the best place I’ve ever been.

What do you spend all your loot on?

Every penny goes into the new house that I just bought.I’ve been looking for a place for the last year and a half, and finally got a hold of the perfect one for me. It’s almost 2,000 square feet, big vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors. It’s in North Vancouver, about five blocks away from Devun’s. I had no idea I’d be spending my money on some of the stuff I’ve been buying lately … vacuum cleaners, coat racks, dishes.

Tell me about your new couch. Scott Serfas says it’s kinda yo, like a big puffy jacket. You got the plastic on that still?

It’s made of all goose down, and so, yeah–it’s pretty big pimpin’. I’m kind of worried about some of the friends staying there this summer. They’re gonna have to know that there’s no spilling on the new couch.

How difficult was it to double manage a full-time snowboarding career while pursuing a college degree?

That got pretty tricky. I did most of my university stuff through distance education. That meant after a day of snowboarding, I’d have to sit down and do schoolwork for a few hours; sometimes that I would have to do it for two or three straight days because I’d left it to the last minute. But I always got it done and ended up graduating from Simon Fraser University with a bachelor of arts, a minor in sociology, a minor in business, and a certificate in kinesiology. After finishing it up, I really have a great respect for others who have balanced school with snowboarding, like Jon Cartright.

What do you like most and least about being a pro?

Most–the traveling part with all my best friends: J-F Pelchat, Kale Stephens, Chris Browner, Kevin Sansalone, Devun. All the new places, all the time–it’s always an adventure with those guys. Making a living off the sport I really love to do is pretty sweet. The roughest part of pro snowboarding is seeing injuries happen to your friends … going up for a good day of filming, then the stuff that’s happened this year with Mike Page, and J-F Giasson, and Mikko Sjoblom.

Who was on the Shorty’s snowboard team, and why did the program come up short?

This is a good question. The pros were Devun, Chris, and Kevin–I was the amateur. I had always seen Devun around, and he was kind of one of the first influential freestyle shredders out of Canada. I met him during a small photo shoot, probably like seven years ago, when we were both riding for Westbeach. Shorty’s wanted an amateur on the program, and Devun asked me.

It was an all-Canadian team, and a lot of people were surprised at that. But everyone ended up being pretty stoked on it. It was the most fun time in snowboarding ever, for me, to be able to travel with those three guys, especially Kevin Young. Everything seemed to be going really well, but talk of them Shorty’s doing skateboards came up. Since Tony Buyalos, the owner, and the whole company are rooted in skateboarding, they decided to take all the energy and resources they had and drop them into that. The snow program took a backseat and eventually fizzled out.

What’s up with Chris Dufficy? After numerous concussions, having to be carried out of the backcountry knocked out, and officially retiring at nineteen–a comeback?

He’s a little ruler. Dufficy is one of my best friends, and it’s just so good to see him back snowboarding professionally, ’cause that’s where he’s most happy. It was super unfortunate what had happened, and we were all there for it–it was kind of a freak thing. Everyone thought that was it for Duff, but once he got cleared to snowboard again, his head was fine, everyone was super excited. People are gonna be pretty stoked to see what he’s gonna come out with, ripping as hard as he is.

How do you feel about riding for a ski company?

Things are going really well not only for me, but also for the rest of the team, who are killing it. We just got Todd Richards on the program, who is easily one of the best all-around shredders. It was a little weird at first coming from Shorty’s, but Rossignol has always been down to listen to the riders and look at ways to improve the brand. Now, thanks largely to J-F and Andrew Crawford, Rossi is really headed towards being one of the raddest companies in snowboarding.

First it was all about the Seymour Kids, now it’s the Wildcats. Is this some progressive program like the Cub Scouts? What’s the deal with these rider crews?

I think the Seymour Kids are more rooted in North Van–it’s Sansalone and his group of friends. The Wildcats all kind of came together, and it’s a mix of people–guys like J-F and Gaetan Chanut who were never part of the Quebec’s 418. Devun grew up with a whole different crew. Along with those three, there’s also Dirty Pete from Ontario, one of my best friends Jacob McIntyre, Dave Cashen, Browner, Kale, and Dufficy. And we hang out with Bjorn lots. It’s a tight group of friends that’s formed over the last few years who are all down for having a good time and stirring it up a little bit.

I’ve heard something about cab and runs …

That’s when you forget to pay for the cab ride home. I’ve ended up doing a couple of those with the Wildcats. It’s when you’re in a mischievous mood.

Ever been to jail?

Never been to jail. Most of my friends have made that trip, but somehow I’ve stayed pretty clean. A lot of people don’t know why.

I was reading your High Profile in BLUNT issue fourteen–you had an honest answer to that previous question. Try again.

Oh … I was thinking the drunk tank. As a young punk, I did have a little run-in. When stealing hood ornaments was the “in thing,” I ended up getting caught trying to take my first one (a Mercedes). The police threw me in the back of the car and gave me a good scare.

What sport is the opposite of snowboarding?

Any team sport. Snowboarding is about you. It’s your style. You decide what trick’s going to go down, if you’re going to keep hiking to try and get that trick or give up.

Who rides with power?

Kale Stephens, Shin Campos, Devun Walsh, Richards, Dufficy, Gaetan Chanut, J-F Pelchat, Trevor Andrew, Bjorn. Kevin Young, Marc Morrisett, and Sean Johnson are also riders I look up to and have really influenced my riding.

Holler.

So important for every snowboarder, they are the people that really have helped you get to where you are: Dale and Mike–the greatest parents ever; brothers and sister Matt, Jo, and Danielle–they’ve all been super supportive; Rossignol: Dane, Christine, Phillippe, Patrick B., Michelle L., and Jan; Blond and Ezekiel: Jo, Alex, and especially Vinnie; ThirtyTwo and Etnies: Eddie Lee, G-Man, and Don Brown; Iris: Jack, Devun, Dave Suzuki, and Karl; Drop: Dave, Mer and Oli; RDS: Peter, Sluggo, Colin, and Moses; Grouse Mountain: The Adams; Mt. Seymour: Andy; Sean Kearns and Sean Johnson, Marc Morrisett, Kevin Young, Anthony, Pascal G., Dano, Serfas, Andruik, Kroy, Embry R., J. Morris, Owen, Ross Gurney, Alex McKechnie, Dr. Brian Day, Devun Walsh, J-F, Tina Basich, Travis Wood, Ruff, Vern, Sal M., Gaetan, The Wildcats, Sansalone, Bjorn Leines, Pete Line, Richards, Auchu, Browner, Page, Trevor Andrew, Duff, McIntyre, TransWorld, Pragnell, Kris, Wilson, Bart, Paavo, Dawger, Dow. I also want to make a shout out to Mikko, Mike Page, and J-F Giasson, who all had unfortunate accidents. I hope to see them well soon. I’m stoked on howd was fine, everyone was super excited. People are gonna be pretty stoked to see what he’s gonna come out with, ripping as hard as he is.

How do you feel about riding for a ski company?

Things are going really well not only for me, but also for the rest of the team, who are killing it. We just got Todd Richards on the program, who is easily one of the best all-around shredders. It was a little weird at first coming from Shorty’s, but Rossignol has always been down to listen to the riders and look at ways to improve the brand. Now, thanks largely to J-F and Andrew Crawford, Rossi is really headed towards being one of the raddest companies in snowboarding.

First it was all about the Seymour Kids, now it’s the Wildcats. Is this some progressive program like the Cub Scouts? What’s the deal with these rider crews?

I think the Seymour Kids are more rooted in North Van–it’s Sansalone and his group of friends. The Wildcats all kind of came together, and it’s a mix of people–guys like J-F and Gaetan Chanut who were never part of the Quebec’s 418. Devun grew up with a whole different crew. Along with those three, there’s also Dirty Pete from Ontario, one of my best friends Jacob McIntyre, Dave Cashen, Browner, Kale, and Dufficy. And we hang out with Bjorn lots. It’s a tight group of friends that’s formed over the last few years who are all down for having a good time and stirring it up a little bit.

I’ve heard something about cab and runs …

That’s when you forget to pay for the cab ride home. I’ve ended up doing a couple of those with the Wildcats. It’s when you’re in a mischievous mood.

Ever been to jail?

Never been to jail. Most of my friends have made that trip, but somehow I’ve stayed pretty clean. A lot of people don’t know why.

I was reading your High Profile in BLUNT issue fourteen–you had an honest answer to that previous question. Try again.

Oh … I was thinking the drunk tank. As a young punk, I did have a little run-in. When stealing hood ornaments was the “in thing,” I ended up getting caught trying to take my first one (a Mercedes). The police threw me in the back of the car and gave me a good scare.

What sport is the opposite of snowboarding?

Any team sport. Snowboarding is about you. It’s your style. You decide what trick’s going to go down, if you’re going to keep hiking to try and get that trick or give up.

Who rides with power?

Kale Stephens, Shin Campos, Devun Walsh, Richards, Dufficy, Gaetan Chanut, J-F Pelchat, Trevor Andrew, Bjorn. Kevin Young, Marc Morrisett, and Sean Johnson are also riders I look up to and have really influenced my riding.

Holler.

So important for every snowboarder, they are the people that really have helped you get to where you are: Dale and Mike–the greatest parents ever; brothers and sister Matt, Jo, and Danielle–they’ve all been super supportive; Rossignol: Dane, Christine, Phillippe, Patrick B., Michelle L., and Jan; Blond and Ezekiel: Jo, Alex, and especially Vinnie; ThirtyTwo and Etnies: Eddie Lee, G-Man, and Don Brown; Iris: Jack, Devun, Dave Suzuki, and Karl; Drop: Dave, Mer and Oli; RDS: Peter, Sluggo, Colin, and Moses; Grouse Mountain: The Adams; Mt. Seymour: Andy; Sean Kearns and Sean Johnson, Marc Morrisett, Kevin Young, Anthony, Pascal G., Dano, Serfas, Andruik, Kroy, Embry R., J. Morris, Owen, Ross Gurney, Alex McKechnie, Dr. Brian Day, Devun Walsh, J-F, Tina Basich, Travis Wood, Ruff, Vern, Sal M., Gaetan, The Wildcats, Sansalone, Bjorn Leines, Pete Line, Richards, Auchu, Browner, Page, Trevor Andrew, Duff, McIntyre, TransWorld, Pragnell, Kris, Wilson, Bart, Paavo, Dawger, Dow. I also want to make a shout out to Mikko, Mike Page, and J-F Giasson, who all had unfortunate accidents. I hope to see them well soon. I’m stoked on how bravely they’ve been dealing with their injuries. how bravely they’ve been dealing with their injuries.