As the competition the Most Influential Girl Kitesurfer in 2012 is now in full effect this inevitably means that the reign of the 2011 winner will be coming to an end. However this is just one in a long list of achievements and accolades for a certain Miss Kari Schibevaag, so we think it is about time you meet her.
KSm: Kari come form a place called Stavanger in Norway, which although it is in the south western corner of Norway, it is still very very north of the world to most of us. How does where you come from and conditions you have to face change the idea of girls getting into the water?
Kari: For sure its harder to learn how to kite in Norway than other warmer places but once you have learned its amazing to kite in the crystal clear waters surrounded by the beautiful nature we have. You have to be a viking to enter the water in the first place but when you are in there you will certainly have a nice time.
KSm: We know now that your biggest passion in the world of kiting is the waves, but was this a natural progression for you or are there other influences that led you to the waves?
Kari: I am from a place in Norway with good waves and stormy conditions so for me I really wanted to learn to kite in the waves. My first meeting with the waves was in the PKRA 2006 where there was a competition in Brazil. I signed in with a freestyle board and I was super afraid (this was my first time in the waves ever) but it was really fun. I was still doing a lot of freestyle, but when I came back the next year I tried for the first time a wave board and that began my change to the waves.
KSm: Before you got into kiting you were working with drug addicted kids, and now you put a lot of time into camps and working to positively promote kiting to other girls. Has this tendency to do a little bit more and give something back been a conscious choice, or is it just part of who you are?
Kari: I have always loved to work with people since I was a little girl. I have studied five and a half years in university with sport and pedagogy so I could teach in school, train people who have been injured and work with children with problems etc.
I love to have camps. I get to meet other people that love to kite. They are always full off super happy and motivated people so it’s just fun to teach them and after the camps I always have new good friends. Honestly, I am always looking forward to the camps.
KSm: This year you have been competing in the KSP Wave World Tour and other wave events and running girl camps in Morocco, but with all of this travel and work do you still find time to kite and hang out with your friends back home?
Kari: I don’t have a lot of time at home. But when I am home I am always with my family and friends. I always miss my family and my home beach. There is no place in the world that is better then Stavanger. :)
KSm: What other projects are you currently working on that we should know about?
Kari: I am always working on new projects. I am currently trying to organise a trip to the north of Norway to go and snow kite in the new powder and test out the new ozone winter kites :) I really hope this will become a reality.
KSm: We hear that you also have a little thing for hats. Can you tell us a little bit more about this?
Kari: I have been making hats for more then 13 years now. I am now starting a web shop called schibevaag.com and here there will be Reversible Schibevaag Beanies that comes in different colors and are all made of cotton. There will also be some homemade Schibevaag wool hats for sale. I am making all the ones in wool by hand so it’s really made with love :)
Also I have ‘only the truth is sexy’ bracelets. With ‘only the truth is sexy’ I want people to be proud of who they are and do what makes them happy.
KSm: We imagine it will be getting pretty cold in Norway over the next few months, so tell us about your plans for winter travel?
Kari: Once I have been to the north of Norway to test the new foil kites from ozone and make some pictures I am am planing to do the last event in the KSP in Hawaii and then back to the snow.
- Haugastøl in new year
- Snow kite master in January
- and then I hope South Africa.
- and then back to Norway for more snow kiting
- and a secret road trip (this i will tell you more about).
KSm: so a pretty relaxed schedule then ;)
KSm: So snow-kiting is clearly also an important part of your life, …how do you find this differs from the water in terms of difficulty, style and changing the way you ride?
Kari: I need to be in the mountains skiing or kiting. For me its something else that I crave and I think this help me not to get bored of the water and kiting.
It so different kiting in the snow than in the water so I feel that I am doing a different sport. I am doing more free-ride here in the mountains and going for trips.
Also I am doing some freestyle with skis and snowboard which is more difficult because of the heavy skis and board, and the crashes a lot harder. For me a day in the snow with sun, powder and wind is more worth then a day on the beach. I love the mountains and I can’t live with out them.
KSm: Do you promise to keep us updated with your future travels, videos and most importantly the camps where our readers can learn and ride with you?
Kari: For sure I will. I promise to tell you what I am up to and I hope you guys want to like my Facebook page :) for the hats and my athlete page also :) Don’t forget that everything I am doing is posted on www.kariland.com.
KSm: Finally, some words of inspiration and motivation to other sistas looking at a cold european winter and struggling to find some motivation.
Kari: It’s not cold outside. Just get some good clothing and go out and have fun. If you are freezing just buy a Schibevaag beanie and you will be fine :)