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12 questions with MARIO KÄPELLI
Time Posted on October 24, 2018 User Martin W

We’re stoked to have the possibility to ask Mario a few questions about how and when he started snowboarding, how he feels about Forum, at what point he realized that it’s time to grow up/ becoming an adult in his pro career. Where does his motivation come from for working his ass off for coming back on the board after 7 knee surgeries. What does he recommend young snowboarders who want to become a pro and where would he love to be in 5 years?

Hi Mario, first and foremost thank you a lot for taking time to answer our questions.

Mario Käppli

1. Please give us some basic infos about yourself like where do you come from, how old are you, what’s your native language, what’s your favorite color and do you have a girlfriend?

Servus haha :D well I grew up in switzerland, right between Davos and Laax. So I've been spending a lot of time in the mountains since i can walk :)

I live in Innsbruck for ten years now, which is awesome! Love this city. You're right in the mountains and have so many cool spots to shred close by. My native language? haha well I grew up speaking swiss german… now its kinda a mix of swiss german and austrian german. Basically, nobody understands me anymore haha

Yap i have a girlfriend ;)

2. At what age did you start snowboarding and where did the motivation come from?

I actually started skateboarding before snowboarding… back in the days there was still a lot of snow in the valley, so we couldn't really skate in Winter…and my Dad and my brother started snowboarding, so i wanted to try it as well, I think I was about 9 years old.

3. At what age and how did you get pro snowboarder?

I won the junior world championships when I was sixteen… from then on I started to earn money with snowboarding. But I also just started my education as Lumberjack at the same time. So I was snowboarding and working until I was nineteen, from then on I focused fully on snowboarding and became full on pro.

4. How do you see the development of the wintersport industry especially for those who want to become a pro?

First of all, the thought about „I wanna become a snowboard pro“ is wrong, I think. You should do what you love to do and if it becomes professional, its great! But if you already start like „I have to be a pro“, then you already put so much pressure on yourself, you're gonna lose the fun.

But I think these days its really really tough… its not only about how you snowboard, you need to be really good in the Social Media thing, talking to people, working on projects and keep your sponsors happy. Plus, there are so many insane good riders out there, its crazy. And everybody knows, the snowboard industry isn't really growing… so not much money in there anymore.

5. Burton bought Forum and what changed for you at this moment?

Well, a lot of people are hating Burton for that. But I think Burton helped Forum to stay alive for a long time… at some point Burton had to drop Forum, as the industry is getting smaller and smaller and Burton couldn't put more money into Forum anymore.

The bullshit thing was, how the whole thing ended. I just got into the international Team and was so hyped to travel and film with riders like Pat Moore, Jake Welch or Andreas Wiig… well it was Summer 2012, when I got the call that many riders will get kicked out of the team. I was lucky enough to stay in the Team. Up coming Fall I got invited to the premieres and product shootings in California.

Spend a few weeks over there and we planed the next season. Many riders got kicked and it was only Pat Moore, Jake Welch, Andreas Wiig, Austen Sweetin, Nic Sauve and me in the team. I was so stoked to stay in the team with these legends… I flew back to Innsbruck and enjoyed fall. I remember I was in a Spa with my girlfriend back then.. my Team manager tried to call me a few times, but I didn't answer as I just wanted to enjoy the Spa.

At one point I picked up the phone and he was like „Dude, its over… Forum and Special Blend are out of business“.. I was like „WTF“.. a few minutes later I checked Facebook and it was already all over the place!! Thats what I think is the worst thing! We got kicked out in october and everybody knows how tough it is to find a new sponsor at this time of the year.. im pretty sure Burton already knew in summer, that they needed to drop Forum. That would have given us more time to find a new sponsor.

6. How did you feel when you realized that Forum will shutdown?

I was so bummed.. I just made it to the top and living the dream and then this happened. But I didn't give up and started talking with Wear Colour (CLWR back in the days) and they picked me up.. I was super lucky! other riders couldn't find any sponsors anymore :(

7. Nowadays you’re a mountaineering specialist. Like hiking, high alpine camping, splitboarding and although you pulled up your very own project “The birds view”.

Hehe yeah I spend pretty much everyday in the mountains. Just love it out there and explore new places. I experienced so many beautiful moments, it would be a shame not to capture these moments on camera. I have knee problems since I'm sixteen years old.. lots of surgery and rehab. One year ago I fucked up my knee big time again and since then I had three knee surgery (oktober 17, April 18 and June 18). I Used this time to get more and more into photography and filming the beautiful mountains. So I got my instagram account @thebirdview and started to get some jobs as Filmer / photographer.. super happy about that :) just doing what i love to do.

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8. Where does the idea for this project and for the change in your approach to the mountains and snowboarding come from?

I already spent a lot of time in the mountains when I was younger.. they just inspire me so much and it crazy what mother nature creates. Im not really the guy who could live in a big city (Innsbruck isn't really big haha) Since I had a lot of injuries already and had to learn to walk so many times over and over again, I appreciate it so much, if your legs are working…. thats why I love to go out there and enjoy life. Im now 30 years old, so I've been in the snowboarding industry for 14 years . It became, that exploring the mountains and capture these moments is same important than snowboarding (or even more haha). But its just a great combination in winter to go out there splitboarding, exploring and taking pictures of these amazing places and then riding unriden lines at the same day :)

9. What do you recommend young snowbaorders who want to become a pro nowadays?

I think they just should to what they love to do.. if they wanna get rich, they better start playing golf.

10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope that I'm still hiking in the mountains and doing what I do now.. just living!

11 .You got somebody you want to say thank you or fuck you?

Haha hmm fuck you not really… :D But I wanna thank everybody who helped me on this road.. it wasn't easy all the time.. most thankful im to my family, friends and girlfriend! Never could be where I am now without them! Also to my sponsors which supported me all the time, even in bad times! Thank you all so much.. Fredrik (WearColour), Nico, Vanessa, Letti (Blue Tomato), Max (Level) Rich and Peter (Amplid) Sebi and Mat (Hä), Flo (Evoc), Werner (Stubai) Andi (Bliss) Flo (Smith), Sane Crew

12. What would it be if you had one WISH for FREE?

I would love to own a mountain hut.. far away from everything and surrounded by beautiful mountains… hiking and exploring everyday for the rest of my life… this would be amazing :)

Cat news Tag Interview, Mari Kaeppeli, questions, pro snowboarder

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