Kari Schibevaag truly encapsulates what it means to be a woman! Her motivation and drive to push herself is inspiring to the core. This blonde bombshell routinely crushes stereotypes and breaks down barriers surrounding what it looks like and means to be a professional adventure sports athlete.
The 38-year-old Norwegian Native was born and raised in Stavanger, Madla, a borough of the beautiful waterfront city that has access to some of the world’s most stunning fjords and adventure landscape on earth. As the second eldest in a family of three children and the only girl, we can only imagine she kept her brothers on their toes when it came to outdoor adventure sports.
It’s not enough that this athlete extraordinaire has claimed seven World Champion Kite Surfing titles and an impressive 12 World Snow Kite titles; her brains also make her a force to be reckoned with. Schibevaag has an impressive five years under her belt studying sports Education at University and is now studying Digital Media Design.
CM: You began skiing at a very young age. When and what got you hooked on snow kiting and kite surfing?
I started to compete as a skier at four years old. I grew up with parents that love to be outside and do sports. I was working as a ski instructor and it was a normal transition from just skiing to trying to ride with a kite. It looked fun and I didn’t need the ski resort. That was 14 years ago.
CM: Now with seven world champion titles as a kite surfer and 12 world snow kitemaster credits to your name, you’ve become a very accomplished athlete. What are you currently pursuing in your career and do you have an ultimate “must accomplish” goal?
I love to do and experience new things. I always have a goal and when I finish one there is another one on my list. I think I’m a person that needs to have goals in order to work. I just finished traveling up the Norwegian Coast with a sailboat and swam, did SUP (stand up paddle boarding) and kite surfing with orcas. Now it’s time for my expedition on Svalbard. After this I also have some projects coming up.
CM: You mentioned Svalbard. In April, you and four others are attempting to cross the great Norwegian archipelago from North to South via snow kite. What have you done in preparation for this and what do you foresee as the biggest challenges that you might face?
I’ve been training a lot for this trip… kiting and preparing my mind. I think it’s really important to prepare mentally for something like this. I’m ready for a happy trip together with good people. It will be hard, but I know it will be a nice trip. It’s dangerous with the polar bears and the glacier, but we’re prepared for it!
CM: As a female who plays at a very high level, do you feel like your peers (male and female) are accepting and supportive? Or do you feel like the competitive nature ever goes further than friendly rivalry and competition?
For sure, when you are in a competitive world it’s always these things that you find in all the sports. I am happy to go my way and do things that are not so normal in my sport. Different is good. I love it.
I hear people say “I am crazy,” but I also see people following in my footsteps and suddenly are around doing nearly the same… First they are smiling at me and then they want to try, so it’s good.
CM: The outside perspective of many extreme sports often identify the athletes as ‘crazy,’ ‘intense’ and/or ‘adrenaline driven,’ but for the athlete it can actually be the exact the opposite- peaceful and introspective. How would you describe the feelings you experience when you are participating in your sports?
When I am out on the water or in the mountains this makes me relax and forget about everything. If I feel bad, sad, or upset, the only thing that works is to go out there and do my things. If someone takes this away from me I would not be the person I am today. I know myself, and if you put me doing things I hate, I will not be a happy person. I need time to be out there to get my energy out and running. I am also getting new ideas when I am out there…
This is a condensed version of our chat with Kari. With our thanks to Kari granting us permission to share her images with you. For Clare Marie’s full interview chock full of Kari’s take on life, competition and tips – see Face the Current April edition pages 80 – 85. Also! you can see this article (and incredible photography) in FtC’s interactive look book. Digital or print? You can purchase either, or subscribe. Just click here!
About the author
Clare Marie also goes by “BASEgirl” – a BASE jumper, Skydiver, Mountain bike racer, Rock climber, Motivational Speaker, Keynote, and Model. A passionate vegan and a world traveler with a life goal is to inspire others and help them accomplish or find their dreams and passions. Clare Marie defied the odds becoming one of the world’s youngest BASE jumpers at 16 years old, setting a fierce example how to follow your dreams! (And now helps others find theirs)
https://basegirl.com | Instagram: @thebasegirl
Opinions and other statements expressed by the kind souls sharing their view point, users and third parties are theirs alone, not opinions of Face the Current. Content created by third parties is the sole responsibility of the third parties and its accuracy and completeness are not endorsed or guaranteed. Face the Current Website and third parties may provide links to web pages, web sites, and various resources or locations on the web. Face the Current has no control over the information you access via such links, does not endorse that information, and shall not be responsible for it or for the consequences of your use of that information.