Kieran McLaughlin


Kieran McLaughlin Arrabri Ski Club Big Air

From 12 years of age, Kieran set out on a mission to become one of Australia’s top snowboarders.


Interview by John Reddie, member and past Arrabri President

What do you consider is your best skiing achievement?

The one achievement that stands out for me was winning the Falls Creek Big Air in 2008. Although a relatively small event – it was my first competition after returning from a serious knee injury. The rehab and work dedicated to get back on snow, made the win on the night, all that much sweeter.

At what age did you start skiing and why?

In 2000, aged 12, I started following my two older brothers up the Mount Hotham summit and down into the shrubs below.  Immediately I established a strong affinity with the mountains. I just loved the freedom of exploring the mountains with my brothers and friends.  This love continues today.

Who have been the main supporters of your success?

My mother, Yolanta, was definitely the greatest supporter of my success.  Her own enthusiasm for the sport and love of the snow began when she was a competitive ice skater in Poland as a young girl.

[In talking to Yolanta, she said that Kieran did not necessarily have more natural ability than her other children but his ‘never give up attitude’ led to his successful snowboarding feats].

At age fourteen, my parents cobbled together enough funds to enable me to attend a 6 weeks training course on snowboarding in Canada. I attribute much of my success to these early snow programs.

How has Arrabri Lodge assisted in your success

Arrabri also was a big help, as it was the springboard onto the Davenport Access trail and the place to rest for another day.

Ash Muller, the then Arrabri Ski Club Lodge Manager and Coach at the time had positive influence in my approach to snowboarding and I still consider him a living legend! Also, I could not have achieved my success without the generous support of long time sponsors whose products I promoted worldwide: Ride, Dragon, and Rip Curl.

Where to from now with Snowboarding?

I am happy just to keep limber!

What is your main sporting interest today?

Surfing now occupies my time and pumps my adrenaline as I live down on the Surf Coast.  The ocean was always a foreign place for me. I plan to continue having fun surfing and getting comfortable in bigger swells.  But I will still visit often my favourite ski field: Mt Hotham.

What advice would you have for youngsters starting out today in skiing?

A saying from an old coach: “Always respect and listen to the mountain as well as the people who ride it”

Overview of Kieran’s Skiing Career

An eager Arrabri member, he was often the first to leave the lodge in the morning and last to return at night, always with a big smile.

Since childhood, Kieran excelled at snowboarding as it became a great passion and focus in his athletic career as well as his life in general. As a professional snowboarder, he competed globally between 2002-2014 and always strived for epic results.

He achieved some great results in the global snowboard tour TTR (‘Ticket to Ride’) World Snowboard Tour (2005-2012); with several top ten placings and the highest ranked Australian competitor (2006 & 2008). This was at a time when snowboarding events broke rank from the FIS organised snowboard events and were considered as a higher calibre of snowboard events in the freestyle sphere.

Kieran featured regularly in the media between 2005-2009. For example, He was the Co-Presenter on the Ballistyx Snowboard Show on Ch 10 (2006-2008) and regularly interviewed on TV Shows: ‘Snow TV‘(Channel 7),  ‘Fuel’ (Foxtel).   He also had roles in major Australian snowboard films and have regularly featured in print media with interviews in all major Australian snowboard magazines; ‘Aus NZ Snowboarding’, ‘Transfer’ & ‘Australian Snowboarder’)

In 2002, Kieran attended the Jnr World Championship in Wanaka, New Zealand. In 2003, Kieran also competed in the Fructis Freewide Snowboard Nationals held in Falls Creek which, was attended by many international professional riders. Kieran achieved a 2nd place in Youth Parallel Giant Slalom Snowboard cross, 3rd place Big Air and 4th place Half-pipe.

Competition results

Biography – FIS SKI

TTR Works Snowboard Tour results:


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