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Siani Oliver

Rider Bio

Siani Oliver

Ski: GT

From: Gold Coast, AUS

Interview

  • Where did you grow up and how did you get involved with waterskiing?

I was born in Surrey, England, but moved to Australia when I was 7 years old. I live on the Gold Coast in Queensland, and I learnt to ski at age 10 with family friends of ours that had a boat. It wasn’t until I was 15 that my Dad accidentally discovered tournament waterskiing! After years of social skiing (and loving it) we found a course not too far from home and I have been addicted ever since! I am used to driving 6 hours or so to a ski at a decent site, even though Australia is perfect for this sport, good facilities are very limited!

  • How long have you been competing as a professional skier?

I did my first ever tournament at 15, I was on an EP that was 15 years older than me with a Mens XL old rubber binding!!! I remember the looks I got…. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! But I really started to take my skiing seriously in 2013, I was 17 and had just graduated high school. At the time my PB was 2.5 buoys on the 13m line (32 off) and I decided that to improve my skiing, I had to go overseas... My first “Pro tournament’ was Moomba 2014. (I fell at 1 ball on my first pass!!) hahaha. Definitely not happy with my performance, but looking back it was my starting point. It made me want to work harder and come back better and stronger the following year – which is exactly what I did. In 2016 I made the Semi’s at Moomba, running the 12m line (35 off) for the 4th tournament in a row. This was a huge achievement for me, particularly to run it on the Yarra in front of my home crowd! I plan to ski Moomba 2018, as well as the Malibu Open this year and continue putting my name out there to gain more competition experience. I hope to inspire up and coming skiers by showing them that you don’t have to of learnt to ski at age 2, or have the best of anything, as long as you have the basics all you need is to simply want it bad enough – and the rest is an amazing journey!

  • How long have you been on the Connelly (which model are you currently riding)?

When I was a ‘novice’ skier I rode the 2012 orange Connelly Prophecy (which was my baby!!!) I loved it so much, regardless of what anyone told me, it was the best thing ever. I would never have even dreamed that one day, I would be sponsored and supported by this amazing company!!! Last year, I moved to the blue and green 2016 GT, which is an awesome ski, super reliable, and I’m sure all the girls can agree with me – it is such a pretty ski!!! Now, I just started riding the 2017 Connelly GT, so far, I have only had a few sets on it, but once I get it dialed, I am super excited to see what the ski and I can achieve in the not-too-distant future!

  • What are the most important qualities you look for in a slalom ski?

For me, it’s how the ski can adapt. I know that sounds weird and obviously, as the skier, you should be the one physically and mentally adapting to conditions and any other variables, but I believe that your ski does too!! Even though I haven’t been in the sport that long, or skied in many “big” competitions, I always know that my nerves are never due to my lack of faith in my equipment.

  • How does the Connelly meet your needs in the slalom course?

The thing I love most (and always have) about the Connelly is that it can handle anything, I have skied at some (interesting ski sites) and I have found that thus far, there has been no white cap big enough or roller rolley-enough to stop this ski from performing! Not to mention for me, It’s so cool to see the array of skiers performing so well on this ski!! The vast range of ages, speeds and slalom abilities that are loving this ski, never ceases to amaze me. Which as someone promoting and competing on the ski, gives me all the confidence in the World!

  • What was the first thing you noticed about the Connelly when you switched to it from your previous slalom ski?

I think more than anything it’s the skis reliability. With the Connelly, I feel like there is no reason not to go from learning to run the course, all the way up to competing amongst the best skiers in the World! You know that it will always perform, it is forgiving enough for those skiers that are wanting something they can trust, but it’s also fast and agile, so when you need to go, the ski is right with you every step of the way.

  • What improvements have you made since switching to the Connelly (new personal bests? big tournament finishes? etc.)

My tournament PB is currently 2@11 (38 off) and I hope to improve on that this upcoming season! I skied last Fall for the University of Louisiana at Monroe (Go Warhawks!) which helped my slalom so much particularly due to easy access to a beautiful lake, boat and being surrounded by some of the World’s best skiers! Even though I haven’t been able to do as much skiing as I would’ve liked in the last four months, I am focused on what’s ahead, and I feel like there’s a lot of exciting things to come, not only with this company but also with my skiing!

  • What do you like about the Connelly brand itself? Do you use any of the other gear besides the slalom ski?

Behind the scenes, I love the “Connelly Family” feel. I have been lucky enough to ski with Seth Stisher at his beautiful lake in Charleston, SC, for a few years now. I would say without a doubt that he has been my biggest mentor in this sport, and once he made to move to Connelly, I knew it was something that I needed to look into. The company thus far have been extremely supportive of my passion for this sport, and have been willing to help me with anything I need!

At the moment, aside from the ski, I don’t have any other Connelly gear, but that’s something that we will have to change this year!

  • What big tournaments will you be attending this year?

Well, as I’m in College I have the entire collegiate season ahead which is exciting, with the Collegiate National’s being held at Bennett’s this year! I also have a goal to compete at my first Malibu Open in August!! I am so excited to push myself this year and now that I have access to all the facilities I could possibly need and I have the ongoing support of Connelly Skis, I feel like anything is possible!

  • What are your biggest goals for the 2017 Ski Season?

Well, ultimately to run 11m (38 off) at least in training and get further down the line in a tournament. It’s definitely possible, I truly believe that, I just have to keep focused and working towards my goals one step at a time. Ultimately, I love this sport, and as long as I have that passion, I will always enjoy being on the water, and I truly believe that if you love what you do, you’re always going to improve in some way or another.

  • Fun fact about you - tell us something most people don’t know!

Hmm, well most people don’t know that before I was a Water-skier I was really into boxing.. haha. There was something about it that I really enjoyed. I also love to speak French! I am not fluent by any means, but I think it’s a beautiful language and I hope to keep practicing to get to the point where I can move there to live one day! And lastly, I am also sponsored by Rubber Jungle Wetsuits, Mark and the boys there are (absolute legends) but have been there since day one, plus it’s always good to support true blue Aussie! They sold me my first ever slalom vest when I was 10, then ten years later, I picked up a sponsorship!

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