Kari Opsal was signed to the European Snowboard team in 2009 as a solid up-n-comer with a gorgeous Norwegian freckle-face, rad style and never short on smiles and giggles. But nature led its course and it wasn’t in her favor as she got hit by injuries season after season. Despite her troublesome winters she still managed to cast a spell on everyone that laid an eye on her and so in 2012 when her contract was up we kept her one as an ambassador, family member, call it what you want - due to her love for the sport and her fantastic attitude towards life, we simply couldn’t part ways. She put together this little edit to show her transition in life. This is her story.
Since last winter there’s been some changes in, could we say… the key focus in your life? Care to abbreviate?
Well, all in all I made the decision to put snowboarding on the side and start school full time. It was a life changing decision for sure.
How did you make the decision to go back to school? Was it difficult to make a conscious decision to leave snowboarding to the side?
It was a very tough decision to make. After all snowboarding had been a huge part of my life for so many years. Travelling around the world to snowboard had become a habit, and (what I thought was) a "boring" life at home didn't sound tempting at all. But I knew I had to change something in my life. My snowboarding had gotten to a point where it became such a mental struggle for me. I was bound to destructive thought patterns, and much of the joy I used to get from snowboarding had disappeared.
The past seasons hadn’t been easy on you, health/injury wise. Did you struggle with it?
I definitely had some bad luck with my injuries. It seemed like every time I was fully recovered from an injury, I got a new one. It was so frustrating.. But we all know that injuries are part of the game though.
How did you get through the mental battle?
I struggled a lot with the mental part after my injuries. I became scared and lost belief in myself, which then again generated even more negative thoughts. I feel like this is a common situation for girls. I don't know why we take it all so seriously. Luckily - I still have amazing days on my snowboard, only with less self-made stress and pressure.
How did your relationship with Volcom change throughout the seasons that you were injured and more or less out of the game?
Volcom has always been here for me, throughout the five years I've been with them as a rider. I can't even describe how grateful I am. The Volcom Family truly is a family to me. The last year my role has changed more and more into becoming an ambassador for the brand, which feels very right at the moment.
So what did you choose to study and why?
I'm studying architecture, which has become a new passion of mine. I've always been a creative soul, and architecture combines creativity, art and psychology in a beautiful mix. I never thought the "boring" life at home would be so fun.
Does that have any influence on how you wanted to do this little video?
The video is not the typical snowboard edit - it is a short little video with some riding and walking around Oslo. I wanted to make more of an artsy little movie, and that's why I teamed up with my friend Kasper Haggström. I love his way of filming and editing.
What’s your advice for a girl that wants to stay warm while riding the park but not sweat? Insulation or shell and what about layering?
I usually wear a lot of layers. I always wear dermis, fleece and a jacket, and then I add more or less to match the temperature. Its always better to be hot than cold, as my mama once said. On really cold days I wear insulation, and during spring I wear a shell.
What’s your favorite jacket and pant for this winter?
My favorite jacket this season is the one with the wolves, the Astrid Gore-Tex Jacket. It is purely awesome! My favorite pants must be the black skinny pants, called the Battle Stretch Pant. You'll see both of them in the video!
Thank’s Kari and filmer Kasper Häggström - You captured it well!