On Being Harley Clifford
Harley Clifford is one of the most famous wakeboarders in the world.
Hailing from Australia, Harley has skimmed the surface of water all over the world. Australia often proves a breeding ground for incredibly adept aquatic athletes. From bikini models, to surfers, to open water swimmers and wakeboarders, Australia’s culture and water access work in conjunction with one another to grow amazing water based athletes.
He first began wakeboarding when his father encouraged him to get in the water at the young age of five, as is common in families in Australia. He and his two siblings all began to develop an intense love for the water and waves. Harley, however, certainly took to the sport much more than his two siblings. Throughout his adolescence, Harley’s parents invested everything they had into developing his craft. For close to two decades, Harley has been on the water nearly every single day. His girlfriend even claims that he is sometimes on the water as much as four to five times in a single day. They, Harley and his girlfriend, both agree that this amount of riding is nearly insane, but is required to get his skill level at its peak.
Although Harley has certainly not peaked as an athlete, he has already surpassed the skill level of all of his counterparts. In fact, on his 21st birthday, of all days, Harley won several gold medals at the world championship of wake boarding. His father recalls the special day, saying that he can’t imagine a single day being better for his son, between his 21st birthday celebrations and his enormous wins at the competition.
These accomplishments came after he had one of the best runs in wakeboarding history. Harley has actually pulled off three double flips in a single run. Before that, the most ever completed by another rider was - one! This makes Harley a world record setting athlete.
As all who are close to Harley know, even though his accomplishments are unsurpassed by any other wake boarder, he still has yet to show crowds all that he is capable of. In order to maintain his high performance level, Harley is always making small tweaks to his riding style. By trying out different tricks and methods even while practicing, he continues to adapt his abilities.