Join Us As We Take You Through Our Last Fifty Years Of Fun And Innovation!
In the beginning the line was simple with just a few slalom ski models. Construction was mahogany and white cedar with beautiful wood veneer tops and bottoms. The first skis were flat bottom and even some “banana” style bottoms. In the late 60’s tunnel skis started taking over with the Hook, Combination and Competition models. The advertising was: “We take pride in producing truly beautiful skis with pleasure and responsiveness built into every turn. You too will be proud and eager for your next ski ride when you buy a Connelly.” (1969 brochure)
Fiberglass skis were introduced to the line with the Super Glass Hook. Fiberglass is lighter and stronger than wood, producing a quicker responding ski. It also proved to be easier to control the flex pattern. By 1975 the line consisted of 2 glass models: Shortline Hook & Super Glass Hook, and 2 wood skis: Hook and Comp-2. Later in the 70’s we added compression molded fiberglass trick skis and jump skis. This decade also marked the move from Pat’s basement operation to the current manufacturing plant in Lynnwood WA.
Fiberglass started dominating production and 1982 marked the last year we produced wood Hook skis. The fiberglass skis expanded into models like the HP, SP, Shadow and Shortline. In 1988 the Concept was born, probably the most famous of all Connelly glass skis. Kneeboards and Hawaiian skis also started increasing in popularity. Our tournament success started exploding as well with over half of the entries at the US Nationals skiing on Connelly.
“Today we invented skiing!” was our slogan in the 90’s. Built for the big guy, the Big Easy was born. This was followed by the Little Easy for kids and women. These skis caught fire and spawned parabolic “Shaped Skis”. We were the first waterski company with a wide tip and wide tail and an hourglass shape under foot, making the skis easy to get up on and turn. The Mid SX and Mid LX made a huge impact on the market and other brands followed with shaped ski designs. CAPT – Connelly Advanced Profile Technology was introduced making flat top skis obsolete with shaping and curving on the top of the ski to support its flex. By the mid 90’s CWB Board Co. brand was born as the wakeboard division of Connelly Skis.
Hinge Tech changed the industry! Our patented flip lever heel mechanism addressed the issue of bindings being hard to get into and out of and also featured amazing heel hold. Our design forced the industry to change their binding designs in order to compete. Hinge is still part of our product line and features more function and value than any other binding technology. Ski models like the Carbon Course, the Course GS, RS2 and Outlaw were introduced as well as the infamous F1
Ski technology exploded with the new high-end ski design of the Prophecy and Intermediate design of the V ski. V step technology was first introduced on the V and is so successful at reducing drag that it has been implemented on every new Connelly slalom design since. The Carbon V came into the line as our first 34 MPH slalom design. Stealth releasable hard shell slalom bindings were introduced as well as the new category of Stand Up Paddleboards.
Connelly continues to innovate, test, and experiment with new designs to improve the performance of watersports. We do so with a staff that has been dedicated to watersports and the Connelly brand for 20, 30 and even 40 years! The same passion that drove the company in 1965 is the same energy that drives it today. Our skis are hand built in USA with 50 years of research and development behind each and every ski. Experience DOES make a difference, and we weren’t born yesterday.
Numerous regional, national and world records have been set on our products. There are just too many to list. We have also had the privilege of some of the best pro athletes on our brand. Mike Hazelwood, Cindy Todd, Mike Kjellander, Helena Kjellander, Kristi Overton, Dave Reinhart and Zane Schwenk are just a few stand outs in a large family that has been associated and won on Connelly.
Pat moved from Chicago to Seattle in 1955 after developing a passion for skiing, both water and snow. He worked alongside Wally Burr repairing wood snow skis before founding Connelly Skis, Inc. in 1965. What started as a garage operation quickly turned into a worldwide brand and business. Pat’s passion for performance and innovation led to many patented designs, industry standards, national and world records and phenomenal quality products for recreational waters sports users. He was a hands on design and prototype guru whose eye for detail was unlike any other. Five decades later Connelly Skis continues Pat’s traditions as one of the leading watersports brands worldwide. Recognized by the Water Ski Hall of Fame in 2011 with an award of distinction was a proud moment for Pat. Patrick J. Connelly passed away on April 29th in Seattle.