From a young age, Benjamin Karl showed real aptitude on the board. By the time he was 10 he had already decided that he was going to pursue a professional snowboarding career. Focussing predominantly on alpine slalom, Ben’s skill developed quickly. However, his aspirations were almost shattered in 1995 when he broke three thoracic vertebrae in an accident. But, after a short but intensive period of rehabilitation, Ben came back blazing to win the regional championships later that same year.
Unable to fault his determination and verve for the sport, Ben’s parents had little choice but to send him to the Skihandelsschule in Austria, where athletes go to receive both academic teaching and physical training. There he perfected the parallel slalom (PSL) and the parallel giant slalom (PGS).
The 08/09 season was the undoubtedly one of the highlights of Ben’s entire career (so far). In 2008, he once again took the Austrian National Championship title and the overall World Cup to boot! In 2009, another injury made it look like he would have to forfeit the World Championships in Gongwon, Korea. But Ben once again made a speedy recovery and came back to claim the first ever PSL world title.
The 09/10 season finished with Ben taking silver at the Winter Olympics and another World Cup title. And since such successes, Ben has continued to dominate the podiums of... well, pretty much any competition he enters. It's clear the young Austrian has no intention of stopping any time soon.Read more