words kari wilberg photo rodrigo donoso
Rookie Harley Clifford shocked the world as came he up from down under to win the Texas stop of the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour in May. The event was the 15-year-old Aussie’s first time competing in the Pro Men’s division of the U.S. tour, although Clifford went pro in Australia two years earlier. Hoping to become the best technical rider in the world one day, he’s cooking up his Koala Burgers medium-rare and stocking up on Eggos, preparing himself for upcoming competitions and just doing what he does to try and stay on top.
1. How did you become pro? Well, I have been wakeboarding since I was a little kid. I started to get good, and then in 2007 I rode pro in Australia. I had been riding pro in Australia for the past two years, and I decided it was time to go pro in America.
2. What was your favorite trick when you first turned pro, and what’s you favorite now? Probably a melon backside five. Now, it’s probably a blind Pete Rose.
3. Who is your favorite rider and why? Danny Harf because he’s like the best all-around wakeboarder there is.
4. What is the hardest thing about being a professional wakeboarder? Staying on top of the sponsors, practicing every day, and making sure you eat the right food and do the right things to stay healthy.
5. What would you be doing if you weren’t a pro wakeboarder? Probably skateboarding or playing football like a lot of kids in Australia.
6. What is your biggest goal to accomplish this year? Well, I just won a Pro Tour stop, so I guess that was my biggest goal to accomplish this year.
7. What are you most proud of in your career so far? Winning the Pro Tour stop that I just won, which was my first pro event in America.
8. What’s one thing you couldn’t live without on a daily basis? Eggos.
9. Any pets? I have two dogs