The Interview: 20 Questions with Harley Clifford

1.    How did you become pro?

Well, I've been wakeboarding since I was a little kid. I'm always practicing, and I've been working my way up the ranks in competitions to get to where I am now.

2.    What was your favorite trick when you first turned pro, and what's your
favorite now?

My favorite trick back then was probably a toeside backside 5. I just like how it goes. It's really cool. Now, my favorite trick is a blind Pete Rose.

3.    Who is your favorite rider and why?

Definitely Danny Harf and Phil Soven. Soven has influenced me a lot, and I want to ride like him one day. And Harf is just one of the best all-around wakeboarders ever.

4.    What is the hardest thing about being a professional wakeboarder?

I guess I'd have to say staying on top of the riding and teaching. Also, you have to stay in touch with all of your sponsors.

5.    What would you be doing if you weren't a pro wakeboarder?

Just hanging out with friends and still going to school. I'd probably be playing football and skateboarding too.

6.    What is your biggest goal to accomplish this year?

I want to make the finals and just compete in as many Tour stops as I can.

7.    What are you most proud of in your career so far?

Winning the Australian Pro Tour.

8.    What's one thing you couldn't live without on a daily basis?

Chocolate.

9.    Any pets?

I have two dogs, a Maltese and a Terrier back in Australia.

10. Who are your sponsors?

Monster, Oakley, Body Glove and Liquid Force.

11. Within your abilities, what is your heaviest Pro Tour run?

I usually like to do tricks like a  toeside 9, whirly dick, backside 5 and a backside 7.

12. Any video sections coming up?  What should we expect from that?

I've been working on some Australian films back home.

13. Any new tricks we should know about? Can they sneak into your Tour run?

I've been working on a toeside backside 7, so hopefully I'll do that on tour.

14. How different is the Australian Pro Tour from the American Pro Tour?

All the events are the same and the events are laid out the same way, but there's a higher-level of riders in the US. The competition is much stiffer.

15. What is your vision for your future in the sport?

I hope I can be just like Danny Harf or Phil Soven one day, and live off of wakeboarding.

16. What are your plans for the Pro Tour this year?

I plan on going to all of the events and qualifying so I can make it to finals. I just want to start getting my name out there.

17. Who or what is the biggest influence on your riding?

My dad. He's the one who showed me how to do it, and he still takes me riding all the time.

18. You're in school, right?  How do you fit that in with wakeboarding and riding on Tour?

I'm still in school in Australia. When I'm on tour over here, I take classes on the Internet. It's not that hard. It only takes me a couple of hours. My school is good about letting me take off as much time as I want.

19. How do you feel you did at the Wake Games this past week?

Wake Games was my first Pro Tour event. I made it to the semi finals and was in a heat with Phil Soven and Rusty Malinoski. I wish I could have done better, but it wasn't bad.

20.  And to round out the 20 questions, we've got a real zinger: What country are you from?

Australia.