Caught Up With Priscilla Levac
Interview by Ben Gavelda
While distracted by injuries over the last few seasons, Priscilla has set a new path for health and longevity in snowboarding. Filming with the Standard crew, tasting a little backcountry, and sprouting a company show that she is far from hindered. After a great hike with friends and pooches, we all caught up over dinner at the Burrow in Squamish, BC.
So who did you film with this winter?
This winter I filmed with Standard for Aesthetica. I was in Utah and traveling the whole time. I had a really good season, lots of snow and lots of urban stuff. I went out in the backcountry a little though, but it was mostly learning and stuff.
Was this last year your first year in the backcountry?
Yeah, exactly. I got a sled and everything, but it takes more than that, it takes experience and time. But I love it because it’s hard work and it feels really good to do it though, it’s easier on the body.
Do you see yourself pushing your snowboarding more into the backcountry realm?
I never thought I would, and the only reason why I’m thinking about it is because I got to go out there a lot this winter. It felt really good, like being out in the middle of nowhere in the huge mountains with nobody around. And working hard, it just brings people really tight together. Having long days of hard work like this and working all together with everyone was a really good experience. Really challenging for doing good tricks and landing, but way easier on the body as far as crashing. So...me wanting to be healthy, and as passionate as I am about nature, I could see myself going in that direction. It would be smart to.
After the last couple years of injuries, do you feel more energized this year by having a healthier season?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, as soon as I came back from my broken leg. I had a broken fibula last year and I had surgery and all that. As soon as I came back I went on a DC trip in Australia and I was just fired up you know. We did the Australia Open. It was my first time hitting big jumps and stuff and I made the podium. I made third place right away. I was not scared, I was just more confident than ever. So injuries can really do that to some athletes and it definitely did that to me. Along the year I crashed a lot. Like these stupid crashes and I popped my ribs out many times and that kept slowing me down. I was like “Why? y is this happening every two weeks you know?” It kept me from doing the X-games and it was very frustrating. I never found out what the reason was [for the injuries] because I think that everything happens for a reason. I don’t know why I kept having weird thoughts and falling. So that sold me out. It made me tired of hardpack and rails for a little bit.
Did that motivate you to focus more on your health?
Oh yeah. And especially because I am such a health freak. I just care so much about my health inside and out you know. So hitting urban stuff, I mean no matter what, you just have to respect it because it’s so gnarly when you fall. Yeah, my body is kind of tired of that.
What helped you to get healthier, stronger, and back on your board?
Well you know what, it just comes down to the love of snowboarding. And the last three years I have been injured, and it’s the worst feeling having what you love the most be taken away from you. I think that is what did it for me. Like I was so fired up to do what I love because I was missing it so much and I just wanted to do it. Just let me do it [laughs]. So, I think it was my heart and the passion for it--riding with music, my friends. I don’t need the most epic, sunny day. I just like to mess around and feel my board because I have been missing it the last couple of years. And I was scared this year. I was like, “I got to drop in, I got to commit this time.” At the same time I was thinking I don’t want to get hurt because I’m so happy to be on my board. So it was always a tough decision to make--Should I do this? Should I not? You gotta make the right call every time and that’s what sucks about snowboarding, making the right call.
What were the biggest highlights for you this season?
Well, it was for sure having the opportunity to film with Standard. I was blown away when I got the opportunity. So that’s what I did most of the year, I just committed to that and it’s a lot of work for a small result. It’s a small part but it’s my first time in the backcountry so it’s ok. Maybe my podium at the Aussie Open as well. And I guess getting an interview in SBC this year. I worked really hard this year but it was mostly with Standard. There should be some good photos coming out...
Could you tell me a little more about your company that you have been working on?
It’s called Cilla. It’s a first layer company for girls I started a couple of years ago. Actually when I broke my leg, but I was thinking about it for a while and when that happened I was like there you go let’s do it. It’s me and my mom. It’s been our dream for a long time and we just dropped in and went for it. It’s a big commitment because I invested pretty much everything into it. Also because I believe in it so much. So it’s first layers for girls, but not only first layers that you wear underneath. We made very good fits so it’s really comfortable and you look more feminine and feel good when you take your jacket off in the lodge. That was the main point of it and also our eco-friendly fabrics. We’re trying to work with these companies that support this. It’s expensive, but it’s my goal so it’s really important. I’ll try to do whatever I can to make it real. We have a team of girls already with Erin Comstock, Alexis Waite, Hana Beaman, Marie France-Roy, and myself. So it’s a pretty solid team to start.
What are your aspirations this next season?
We’ll see how my stuff turns out with Standard and if the guys are stoked and they welcome me to film with them again I would be so stoked. I want to work even harder because just from the small result that came back from what I did this year I feel like I can do so much more and hopefully get more backcountry stuff so I’m really motivated to get filming. That’s what I like doing more now I think shooting photos and backcountry now. It’s so rewarding to me so I would like to do this for the next couple years. Even though I have this company, I’m not done snowboarding. The small results from this year make me want to work harder.
How do you pass the time in the summer?
I was going to take the summer off because I was so burnt out from my season. It was a lot of fun, but I was burnt out because when you do something a lot you need a break. So it’s been a couple months and I’m feeling stoked to go snowboarding. I’m going to ride a little bit here for Camp of Champions because it’s so much fun up there. It’s all about fun to me, it’s not the same as Mt. Hood. The scene is really fun, personal, and warm. For the rest of the summer I want to be home, go hiking, hang with my dogs, and wear flip flops.
I’m gonna sound like a grandma here, but seriously, eating well and stretching and I don’t believe in partying anymore with snowboarding. You have to be healthy if you really want to feel good. And if it doesn’t catch up to you it will. This is why I’m still doing it healthy and strong and you have the proof of Jeremy Jones and JP Walker right? There’s so many good kids out there these days and if you really want to be good at what you’re doing, if you want to be on top of it--you have to eat well and not party so much. You have to be strong and smart. Listen to yourself, always.