Kieran McLaughlin Arrabri Ski Club Big Air

All I wanted to do was ski like Glen Plake (without the dyed Mohawh hairstyle) the pioneer of extreme skiing in America.

Interview by John Reddie, member and past Arrabri President

Outline what you consider are your best skiing achievements.

My best achievement is a 720º and 1080º aerial spin with skis in the 2002 Mt Hotham Rip Curl Freeski Pro when I came fifth.

Then there are my results in Mogul’s events in Canada and Spain in 2001, under the training of David Speirs, then Mt Hotham’s Official Mogul Trainer, Freestyle Head Coach, and Technical Director.

Other achievements include:

  • 2nd Place in the Extreme Skiing Competition (2000) at Mount Roberts Red Mountain BC Canada,
  • 9th Place in the Alpine Skiing Europa Cup (1999) at Ski Andorra France. (the Alpine Skiing Europa Cup is an international Alpine skiing circuit organized annually by the International Ski Federation (FIS)),
  • Membership of the Ski Stunt Show in South Korea (3 months in 2003) doing arial stunts through fire hoops.
  • Ski Model on Mt Hotham Rocking Hard 12th July 2014.

At what age did you start skiing and why?

I started skiing at three years of age at Mt Hotham with my parents, because they thought skiing would be a great family holiday each year. Of course, they bought the lodge membership!

Mention who has/have been the main supporter/s of your success.

My parents first, and then my coach David Speirs. David is an amazing coach and he became the biggest influence in my skiing career since he took me under his wing and for whom I am very grateful. Moreover, I then gained the following sponsors:

  • Dragon, Andrew Barnes (professional photographer),
  • Dean Shepherd, Mt Hotham Ski instructor.

I also joined the filming team at Mt Hotham as a ski model, helping to promote the mountain and all it has to offer during the “Mt Hotham Snow Reports 18th July 2014

How has Arrabri Ski Club assisted in your success?

Arrabri Ski Club supported my parents, Carol and Mal by having somewhere to stay, rest and rest then tackle my next day on the slopes.  Consequently, this helped me in my skiing career, for which I am very grateful.

Describe your next challenge/s in skiing?

My goals are to regularly ski back country, go ski touring, camping, and hiking Mt Feathertop and surrounding mountains in winter and summer.

Describe your interests outside of skiing?

Moto Moto bike racing, mountain biking and rock climbing.

What advice would you have for youngsters starting in skiing?

Three Key Points based on my experience:

  • Always strive to ski with others better than you.
  • Compete as much as possible.
  • Go to bed early when skiing the next day!