Barossa’s World Class Champion
How many of us get to live out our dreams? I mean to have the satisfaction of doing what we enjoy most in this world as a living. When asked as a child what Parker Siegele would like to be when he grows up, his only answer was a pro wakeboarder. And that’s exactly what he’s become.
Early on a perfect, still morning at the Murray River, with the silence broken only by the slow call of crows and the occasional splash of fish rippling the surface, I am welcomed by Parker to his family’s shack, his Malibu MXZ 22 wake boat already tied to the wharf.
Growing up, Parker’s weekends were spent at the shack. He had skateboarded from a young age and at seven years old became interested in wakeboarding.
At the time, his parents said that if they were going to get a wakeboard, Parker would first have to learn to ski. Parker’s first experience behind the boat was on a set of adult skis that were far too big. Still, Parker was up on his first attempt.
His parents, unaware that a wakeboard’s size is determined by the rider’s height and weight, purchased a wakeboard that was not the correct size for a seven year old but one that could be used by everyone. Still, Parker picked it up with ease.
Recognising Parker’s talent, his parents invited a wakeboarding instructor to their shack, who was impressed with Parker’s ability and encouraged him to enter an under nine’s competition in Murray Bridge, which he won.
From then on, Parker’s family holidays were spent following the wakeboarding nationals around Australia.
“I didn’t go to high school too much once I was there,” Parker admits. “But thankfully Faith Lutheran College was good about it. They allowed me to have the time off that helped me to chase my dream.”
After becoming number one in the Australian Nationals at the age of thirteen, Parker’s next step was to compete in the US juniors.
Parker remembers his parents’ concern when flying to Florida alone to live for six months at fifteen years of age.
Parker entered the US junior circuit each year that followed, working his way to number one at the age of nineteen.
It was in Parker’s final year in the US juniors that his major sponsors, Malibu, O’Brien and Fox, started backing him completely allowing him to wakeboard full-time for a living. The following year Parker was competing in the pro circuit and is currently ranked seventh in the world.
Each year, the Pro circuit kicks off at Moomba, Australia in March, an event that attracts around 50,000 people. The second is held in April at Florida USA before continuing throughout the US, Europe, Asia, Brazil, Japan and Korea.
From April, Parker is based in Florida for the following six months, where he shares a house on a lake and his US Malibu wake boat at his doorstep.
Parker trains on the lake four times a week, spends an hour in the gym three days a week then flies out to competitions each Friday to compete for two days before flying back to Florida on Sunday to do it all again.
On top of that, Parker is expected to attend photo shoots, video shoots, sponsor trips, catalogue shoots and many other commitments to promote the brands that make it all happen.
Parker modestly dismisses any comment of his accomplishments but his achievements speak for themselves.
As great as it is travelling all over the world, Parker is always ready to return home.
“It’s hard, being away from my girlfriend, family and a place I love for half a year,” Parker says. “When I was young I always wanted to get out of the Barossa. Now it’s great coming home, I love the Barossa.”
When he’s home, Parker spends his time training and working on new techniques. In his effort to broaden the wakeboarding community within South Australia, Parker also enjoys coaching wakeboarding. From beginners, young kids to adults, through to experienced boarders looking to further their skills, Parker is thrilled to get everyone on the water, at either at his family shack, or a location of choice.
Recently, Parker has also begun holding weekend camps at his family’s shack. These camps include wakeboard coaching, meals, accommodation and many other activities, like yabbying and boat cruises to give the full river-life experience.
After spending a full day with Parker myself, I can highly recommend this to anyone.
Parker welcomes anyone interested in being coached or interested in attending these camps to get in touch.
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