Kaleah Opal has been under the radar for too long. She’s been riding street for years, adding to her bag of tricks, and just quietly killing it. Back for her second Uninvited film, she spent last season stacking clips for the final installment of the three-part video endeavor. This Midwest girl grew up riding small resorts with tow ropes, skateboarding anytime she wasn’t snowboarding, and snowboarding in skateparks when she could–all of this shining through in her snowboarding style. When she rides, it’s cruisy, laidback, and effortless, even when she’s sending it. And her personality is the same; Kaleah is go with the flow and all-around, just one of the sweetest people you’ll meet. Always with a smile on her face, Kaleah’s energy is a welcome addition both on and off hill. Gas this girl up because she deserves it. Throw her a follow on Instagram, tune in to watch her part in The Uninvited III, and get ready to see a lot more of Kaleah in the future. – Sadie Maeda
Your homebase was in Iowa this season, yes?
I’m from Iowa. Snowboarding has been my life since I was 17. It has taken me to many places–Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, California, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Canada a few times, BC, Calgary, and Quebec! In February of 2020, I came back to Iowa to regroup and then, as we all know, COVID happened to change everyone’s lives. While living in Iowa, I snowboarded at Tyrol Basin and Trollhaugen in Wisconsin, Wild Mountain in Minnesota, Chestnut Mountain in Illinois, and Sundown Mountain in Iowa. I thought I was going to stay in Iowa for the whole season, but it turned out to not be what I wanted, so I got on the road to the mountains with no real plan in mind.
It seems like you still spent a lot of time in Colorado, hanging with the CAPiTA crew. What’s it been like getting more involved with them?
Yeah I hit the road out West mid-February for a week trip. I needed to smell some fresh, mountain air, see some views, and hang with friends. First, I stopped in Breckenridge to see my best friend Mel and ride Copper Mountain, which was amazing! They have such a fun park. So many features. Next, I went to Utah and rode Brighton and Woodward Park City! I had to go back home for an MRI on my elbow, but then drove back out West after that, ha! Once I got back, I met up with some of the CAPiTA crew in Denver for a street trip and it was amazing. Snowboarding with people who you have always looked up to is really incredible. Mike Rav’s creativity is so inspiring. Vizz will drop a hammer first try. Skylar Brent is always on top of his game filming, never missing a beat. He’s incredible. And Rego and Bo are always keeping the energy alive. The vibe was super high from day one on that trip! Later, we also got blessed with some late season powder at Brighton which was absolutely amazing, especially since I had been riding Midwest ice all season. But yeah, that crew is always on fire.
You were also filming for The Uninvited III! Who did you spend most of your season filming with?
I got to film with Taylor Elliott and Sam Tour in Utah and that was really fun! Taylor is always thinking outside the box and figuring out how to make a spot creative! I also filmed with Corinne Pasela and John Blume a lot in Utah, while Ben Littler took some film photos! They are really an incredible group to film with! We had a lot of fun together! Corinne has such good energy and they always keep the vibes high. We had pretty little snow when we met up, but they were willing to shovel and make something happen every time! I also got to film with Naima Antolin and every moment with her is honestly the best! She’s an amazing snowboarder and I love watching her ride. She also always has the best advice on how to land a trick or how to get through this thing we call life! I love her. We had some great times this past spring!
Did you have a favorite trip? If so, what made it your favorite?
My life kind of turned into one long road trip once I started driving in February, ha, but I if I had to pick a favorite, it was probably when I was in Oregon right before Holy Bowly started. I was with Naima, Mike, Vizz and Skylar, and then Scotty Stevens met up with us! That was my first time riding with Scotty and that was incredible. He will really blow your mind with what he does on a snowboard. The weather was absolutely insane but we all worked hard to make a fun feature in a wind-free zone we found and it was honestly just such a fun day! A lot of tricks were landed and there were a lot of high fives!
You’ve been a part of the last two Uninvited films, what do you think are the major differences between the energy/production of both films?
Jess Kimura has been killing it! Having a movie for all these amazing women to have a purpose and place for their hard work and shots to go to is truly amazing. I think the energy and progression just keeps rising every season.
How do you feel like your perspective and/or riding has grown between the two?
I just fall more in love with snowboarding every year. ❤️
Filming with Jess so much, I know you two have gotten close. How has your relationship evolved over the years?
Jess has been my hero since day one and seriously never stops inspiring me. She went from being this person on a screen that I watched snowboard and who I looked up to, to being a real person in my life and one of my closest friends. I’m looking forward to the borders being open this year so we cane snowboard with each other, because she’s really so inspiring and fun to ride with. Off the hill the laughing never really stops, also. If it’s not with memes, she’ll have you laughing about something. We finally got to hang out and snowboard together at IT’S TITS! this past spring tho and that was so much fun! That event was amazing!
You are also a proud dog mama. Does Nala get to travel with you? Is she a snow-loving pup?
Oh my gosh, Nala loves the snow! She missed out on some traveling last winter because I didn’t really have a plan and bringing a 90-pound fluffball on a road trip with no plan could be tough, ha. So, she got to stay with her gramma while I was gone, who she loves almost as much as me hehe
Does skating heavily influence the way you approach snowboarding or your style?
Oh yes definitely! Skating has brought so much to my snowboarding for sure. I always love to skate during the summers and was fortunate enough to have an indoor park in my hometown to use during the spring and questionable rainy weather in the fall. We also have a new outdoor park that I was excited to skate. I do really enjoy the two sports together though, ripping around a dry parking lot after snowboarding all day or hitting an indoor mini after getting a clip in the streets. Just something special about that. But skating is just the off season of snowboarding, my true passion. 🙂
What is your mindset going into the upcoming winter?
Stay healthy and snowboard with friends! When that happens, the rest happens, like filming, getting shots, learning, and laughing.
What are you cooking up this season? Anything fun you can share with us?
I’m moving to SLC, let the good times roll! 😎