Name: Andrea Neely
Hometown: Brentwood, California
School: California State University, Sacramento
Major: Interior design
First pro tournament: 2008 MasterCraft Pro Water Ski Tour (Diablo Shores)
WaterSki: What’s your favorite movie?
Andrea Neely: The Goonies.
WS: What’s your favorite song/genre of music?
AN: Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of country. Back in the day, I was really into punk, though.
WS: What exercise do you hate the most?
AN: I hate working on my lower body, especially my legs.
WS: What diet restriction do you hate the most?
AN: Chocolate. I have cravings for it all the time.
WS: Why did you go pro?
AN: Going pro was always a huge goal of mine. In fall 2007, I made a decision just to do it. So I started training really hard in the gym and on the water. I was in the gym four times a week, and I just kept practicing, which really helped. In September 2008 I qualified for pro at Shortline unexpectedly. It was out of nowhere. All of a sudden, I had this open rating.
WS: Where do you normally train?
AN: I used to train on my parents’ lake back home. Now I don’t really have one specific place. There are three lakes I really love: Shortline, Sky Lake and Liquid Zone.
WS: Who do you ski with?
AN: When I was younger, I trained with Scott Rabeneau and Marcus Brown, who helped develop my style. Now my boyfriend, Brian Kinney, trains with me.
WS: What are your goals for 2009?
AN: My goal is to ski at least two to three pro tournaments this year. I want to get deeper into 38 off, too. My best right now is one and a half. I’m also looking forward to graduating and getting a day job soon.
WS: Which pro inspires you the most?
AN: Definitely Regina Jaquess. During my first pro tournament, I had to go head-to-head with her, and she was just so nice. I was so nervous, but she helped me relax and really made me feel like a part of the competition. Sometimes I feel new skiers are easily excluded, but she was so sincere. I really admire her for that.
WS: Who is your favorite skier of all time?
AN: Terry Winter, hands down. He can just do the impossible. He’s an inspiration to everyone. He’s had some hard times, but he is proof that anything is reachable.
WS: What’s the best thing about being a skier?
AN: The people. You get to be really close with the people you ski with, and it’s a lot of fun.
WS: What’s your favorite pastime?
AN: Besides skiing, I used to horseback ride. I’ve actually won two world championships. But I had to choose between horses or skiing, and I chose to ski. I gave my horse to my mom, who plans to show it in the world championships this year.
WS: What’s a skier’s biggest fear?
AN: Getting hurt in a way that I could never ski again. I know I’ll be skiing for the rest of my life, and I don’t want anything to hinder that.