We are in the heat of the tournament season and our Connelly pro teams have been making names all across the continent, and during these past few months there’s been no lack of bring home the hardware.
At the 2019 Swiss ProAm in May, two Connelly athletes earned bronzed medals, Sacha Descuns in pro men and Manon Costard in pro women. Although Joel Howely did not grace the podium in the finals, he did throw down an incredible performance in the preliminaries - a new Australian record of 5 buoys at 41 off! A few weeks later, Manon continued the Connelly streak by placing third at the prestigious Nautique Masters in Callaway Gardens.
Following the ski team’s lead Connelly riders Tony Iacconi and Erika Lang also popped up on multiple podiums this year. At the first PWT in Katy, TX, Tony kick-started his season with an impressive second place and then continued his podium appearances in Mantua, Utah at the second PWT stop with a bronze medal. Tony now currently sits in 3rd in the tour standings. YEW!
On the women’s side, our fearless women’s pro rider, Erika Lang, finished third behind the world’s best, Dallas Friday and Meagan Ethell, at the 2019 Nautique Masters over memorial day weekend. Did we mention she also won professional women’s trick skiing at the same event?
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
On the Ski Side:
One of our favorites, Joel Howely, is hanging out in Korea for a few months, spreading his love and knowledge of water skiing and sneaking in some training on the side for worlds.
On the Wake Side:
When it comes to pushing boundaries, Steel Lafferty and Mike Dowdy are industry icons. Recently at the Good Vibes Tour at Velocity Island Park, CA., Steel jumped a boat load of people (literally). Check it out here.
As for Mike…well…we suggest you just watch this video
THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO:
Although July will be a quiet month for our ski team, behind the scenes Sacha Descuns, Joel Howely, Siani Oliver, and Manon Costard will be tirelessly training for water skiing’s biggest event, the 2019 World Championships, which will take place in August in Malaysia.
For our wake team, keep an eye out for Mike and Tony at the next PWT stop #3 July 13 in Ypsilanti, MI and PWT stop #4 August 3 in Boise ID.
ingFined-tuned finesse, snappy spins and bad-ass, boss babe vibes. We are extremely stoked to be adding our very first wakesurf pro to the Connelly team. Say hello to Ashley Kidd! As a 4x World Champion, Ashley is carving a path to becoming one of the most successful wakesurfing women to ever touch the sport and we are honored to be part of her journey.
Check out our Q&A with Ashley Kidd to learn more about our newest family member:
Where did you grow up and how were you first introduced to wake surfing?
I grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas. My family had a house at Lake Medina and we used to drive up every weekend. Originally, I was just a wakeboarder, but after my brother begged me to try wakesurfing, I became obsessed. One year later, I decided to go to the 2010 World WakeSurfing Championships, entering the amateur female division. Immediately, I was recognized for my aggressive style and airs. I received my first sponsorship at that event and was moved up to the pro division. The rest is history.
Name three words that describe you.
Motivated. Happy. Honest.
What are your top 3 accomplishments?
What keeps you coming back to the water?
My passion and love for the sport. It always puts me in a good mood. It is where I have gone whenever I need to clear my mind.
How do you handle going through a slump or when things don’t feel quite right on the water?
I always tell myself that I should be thankful that my body can even do what it does everyday. I can’t get mad at myself when things are off. I just have to take a step back and reset. Yoga and visiting my family helps too.
Run us through your training schedule and what that looks like.
For the most part, I spend 1 hour working out in the gym doing either a spin class, yoga or pilates and then at least 1 hour wake surfing. Whenever I get sore I will just do 30 minutes of cardio and stretching. I always make sure to take at least one day off a week to rest and rejuvenate. Also, I am a very healthy eater. I cook almost every meal, which includes a lot of oatmeal, fruits, veggies and chicken. I believe eating healthy makes me feel good so my nutrition is extremely important to me.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate and shopping!
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I love baking and used to want to be a pastry chef before I learned how to wakesurf.
Why did you decide join Connelly and what about the brand do you appreciate?
Connelly is a huge, reputable brand well-known all over the world. Signing with Connelly is a huge step forward in my career and I’m so happy to work with such a fun company. I love that they are about getting people out on the water no matter what they are doing!
What are your goals for the 2019 season?
I would love to win another world title this year and just continue teaching people how to wakesurf. I love helping people learn new tricks. It’s one of the most rewarding feelings!
At what events can we look for you this year?
- Lake Anna, VA in June
- Lake Washington, WA in July
- Japan end of July
- Waco, TX in August
- World Championships in Sept.
Strong-willed, persevering, relentless. If anyone can breach the pro realm and hold her own, its Siani Oliver. Although a new face among the elite, Siani is a fierce opponent, and her exponentially growing buoy count speaks for itself. Within two years, Siani excelled from a few at 35 off to running mid 39 1/2 off, breaking records and placing at pro tournaments left and right. But don't let her aggressive style fool you, Siani is one of the most warm and welcoming skiers around and her vibrant, fresh personality meshes perfectly with our Connelly family.
We recently caught up with Siani to take a peak into her ski career - how it began, where she’s at currently and what her dreams and aspirations are for the future.
How did you get involved in skiing and where did you ski most of your life?
My family and family friends all skied on rivers growing up. It was a social thing. Without a doubt, those were the highlights of my skiing memories. But it wasn’t until my teens that I discovered a slalom course and started properly competing. I fell head over heels in love with the sport and began to train at a site in my home city in Gold Coast, AUS. I also worked on and off at Stoney Park in Port Macquarie.
When did you first come over to the States and why?
After I graduated from high school in 2012, I came over to the States to ski at Trophy Lakes in Charleston, SC. I skied there for a month before I ventured back to Europe to back pack, meet people and make memories. I fell in love with exploring but I also realized I really loved skiing. Every year since, I’ve jumped back and forth between Europe and the States, and have been lucky enough to continue traveling as a part of my skiing career. Most recently, these past few years have been spent in the States, especially since attending college in Monroe, LA.
What’s a typical day like for you when you are training hard?
Currently, I’m training at Jodi’s Ski Skool in Orlando and preparing for Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). Normally, I try to give myself 4 weeks of solid training before a tournament. To be at my best, I start my mornings with some stretching, movement, and mobility for half an hour, have some breakfast, then aim to get on the water before lunch. I also use the gym in the early evenings for some off-water training. Along with physical activity, nutrition is also extremely important to me. I try to keep my food choices as fresh and clean as possible. My diet is quite simple - eggs, proteins, fruit, veggies, nuts and lots of tea! I also love to bake, so once a week I’ll get in the kitchen and bake something yummy, and when I make it myself I know exactly what is in it, so throughout the week I can treat myself.
What’s a goal you’ve set to accomplish this ski season?
I want to run 39 1/2 off (10.75 m) in tournament. That definitely has been a big personal goal for me. Also, this year is my first Worlds! I cannot wait. Skiing at a World Championship has been a goal of mine since I started competing.
Talk about Connelly’s role in your ski career.
I learned the course on the Connelly Prophecy. It took me from upping the speed through to shortening the line. When I was skiing in the States after high school, I tried a few other skis from other brands, but once the 2017 GT was released, I never turned back! The ski is awesome, and every year since, Connelly has released one great ski after another.
A formidable force with an impressive winning streak, Manon Costard has asserted her dominance among the greats. During the month of July, Manon swept multiple gold medals across the globe.
Her first win was claimed at Italy’s San Gervasio ProAm, where she breezed her way through 38 off in all three rounds and clinched the title with 4@ 39 ½ off. Shortly after, Manon took gold at France’s Fungliss ProAm with a massive score of 5@ 39 ½ off. To cap off an impressive month, our Connelly sweetheart ventured into Canadian territory and once again did not disappoint, claiming the top of the podium with 3@ 39 ½ off. There is no doubt Manon will be a favorite at her next appearance in the Malibu Open August 17-18. Keep your eyes peeled!
Determination, strength, perseverance and focus, topped with an occasional smile...that's what girls are made of.
We caught Stokesperson and Connelly skier, Ellie Horton training with fellow athletes, Natascha Roettcher, Manon Costard and Siani Oliver.
Hide yo buoys - These girls slay.
This past weekend at Callaway Gardens’ Robin Lake, Connelly Skis newest elite athlete Manon Costard competed for the women’s slalom title at the 59th Nautique Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard tournament. In the preliminaries, Costard put up an impressive score of 3 at 39.5 off to seize the third spot into the finals. Despite battling stiff winds and tricky rollers in the championship round, Costard showed extreme confidence, relying on the predicability and stability of her GT.
“All weekend, the ski helped me create angle and stay early in the course, which gave me some room to deal with the challenging conditions without having to panic or rush at any point,” Costard said.
Initially tying for first, Costard dueled it out for gold with world record holder Regina Jaquess and clinched the win with a score of 3 buoys at 38 feet off for her first ever Masters triumph.
“This first win at Masters, in addition to the amazing emotions it comes with, brings me even deeper certainty in my decision of skiing on the GT.”
Lynnwood, WA. March 15, 2018 - Connelly Skis, a renowned water sports and towables brand of more than 50 years, welcomes its newest sales representative, Nick Ithomitis, to the Connelly sales team. Ithomitis brings more than 15 years of experience as a watersports enthusiast and sales rep to the Washington, Oregon and North Idaho region. He will report to Jay Quam, VP Sales and Marketing.
Ithomitis’ experience as a sales rep in the Northwest territory includes working with many crossover dealers to the wintersports business, particularly as the Territory Manager for Nordica Skis and Boots. He also reps Alp-N-Rock, Strafe Outerwear.
“Nick has a great track record of delivering consistently on the sales of his brands, and provides excellent customer service to the dealers and field at large, and we are excited to have him on board.” Quam said.
Ithomitis began waterskiing at the age of 2 and has served as a collegiate team president for Western Washington University in addition to serving the sport as a participant, driver, Malibu Boats promo team member and more.
“Having grown up three-event tournament skiing, and skiing on Connelly for years, not only do I have a ton of confidence in the brand, but also an extreme passion for the products Connelly builds, Ithomitis said. “It really is the perfect fit, and I am excited to begin working with the Connelly retail partners.”
About Connelly Skis, Inc.
Based in Lynnwood, Washington and founded by Pat Connelly, Connelly Skis, Inc. was established in 1965 and originated with a simple line of slalom ski models. What started as a garage operation quickly evolved into a worldwide brand and business. To this day, Connelly boasts hand built-craftsmanship in the U.S. with more than 50 years of research and development behind each design and staff that have been dedicated to water sports for more than 40 years. As a result, the company boasts numerous regional, national and world records on their skis and is considered one of the leading water sports brands worldwide. For more information, please visit https://connellyskis.com/
It’s no secret that collegiate water skiing is one of the greatest times in life. Many of our addictions for chasing buoys are born during this unforgettable season. At Connelly Skis, we are determined to make those moments behind the boat even sweeter by being each athlete’s and team’s biggest advocates. We’ve been there for them since the beginning, and we’ll be there with them through their collegiate career.
Cue our Connelly University program! We established a segment of our brand that is college focused. Along with being the title sponsor of collegiate nationals, we also plan to integrate ourselves in small, helpful ways, like alleviating some of the sting that comes with buying ski equipment. We not only want to help progress and sharpen the skills of seasoned skiers, but we also want to share the stoke of being on the water with newcomers.
Stay in touch through our #ConnellyU hashtag and learn more information at www.connellyskis.com/connellyuniversity
Shred is in Session!
Lynnwood, WA. (February 22, 2018) - Connelly Skis, a renowned water sports and towables brand of more than 50 years, welcomes professional athlete and 2017 Alliance Wake Rider of the Year Steel Lafferty to their elite wake team.
Lafferty’s expertise on the water and influence in the industry have driven him to be one of the sport’s most reputable athletes and well-known figures. Coupled with his prominent social media presence, Lafferty’s addition to Connelly will seamlessly integrate with the brand’s new direction and strategy.
“I’m stoked to associate with a company that has supported water sports since the beginning,” Lafferty said. “My goal was to sign with a company as a partner, not just a rider, and one where I can make a difference and implement my own creativity. With Connelly, I’ll be able to promote my ideas so that my fans will be able to ride what I do.”
As an industry influencer, Lafferty’s ability to connect people of all different sports and levels aligns with the #connellycollective initiative to bring more unity to water sports. Lafferty reflects Connelly’s confidence, boldness and success on the water and embodies the true spirit of the business.
“We believe Steel perfectly personifies the ethos of the Connelly brand,” Jay Quam, VP of sales and marketing at Connelly Skis says. “He’s more than just a sensational athlete, he’s funny, relatable and engaging, and he’s exactly what we need to take Connelly to the next level.”
For more information check out www.connellywake.com/steel
About Connelly Skis, Inc.
Based in Lynnwood, Washington and founded by Pat Connelly, Connelly Skis, Inc. was established in 1965 and originated with a simple line of slalom ski models. What started as a garage operation quickly evolved into a worldwide brand and business. To this day, Connelly boasts hand built-craftsmanship in the U.S. with 50 years of research and development behind each design and staff that have been dedicated to water sports for more than 40 years. As a result, the company boasts numerous regional, national and world records on their skis and is considered one of the leading water sports brands worldwide. For more information, please visit https://connellyskis.com/