Interview to the freerider Michaela Davis-Meehan
Hi Michaela! How are you?
Yeah great thanks!
Luckily you made it through before the Coronavirus hit Europe. You just arrived back to your home in Australia from The Worldwide Snowboard Freeride event in Andorra. And, you won! The first Australian woman winning on the Freeride world tour! How was it? 🙂
Winning the Andorra event was amazing!! And to be able to claim being the first Australian to do so was the cherry top! I hope I can inspire other Aussie’s to get involved and get onto the Freeride circuit!
I can imagine 🙂
Was it hard to travel back to Australia? Have you seen some changes at airports due to Coronavirus?
It did suck to have the season cut short and the Verbier Xtreme Finals cancelled! But I was just happy to have made it home before the borders shut.
I didn’t actually notice any changes at the airports on my way home apart from a few extra people wearing masks. And I haven’t been able to see the carnage at supermarket’s yet as I’ve been in self quarantine since I arrived back.
“And I haven’t been able to see the carnage at supermarket’s yet” 😂😂😂
I’ve heard stories! 😂
Can you tell us a bit about freeride snowboard competition? How does it work?
Freeride competitions take place on challenging alpine faces around the World! At each event we get one run, and one run only to show off our skills! There is no practice, only what we call a “face check” where we scope out our lines, take some photos and then make our way to the top where we will get judged on our overall performance that’s made up of difficulty of line, control, fluidity, air and style and technique
You come from slopestyle what is exactly freeride about?
Freeriding is all about creativity! With slope style the course is set out for you and you have a certain amount of features you must hit. With freeriding it sums it up in the name! Riding free, you choose your lines, what features you want to hit, and depending how you’re feeling on the day you can cruise or send it as big as you like!
Uuu looks quite wild!
So judges have to look for a variety of circumstances to decide who had the best run. And just one run?
Just one run!! So you have to make it count!
I’ve seen you competing… and have to tell all readers that fuck you are good! How is the feelling on those events?
How is a normal day at a freeride competition?
Haha thank you!!! It’s amazing! Being on the top of those mountains about to shred down!Especially coming into the finish line, with a run that you’re happy with…it’s one of the best feelings in the world!
It starts off ridiculously early. We get in a quick face check then hike our way up to the top where the competition run is usually your first run of the day! Once it’s done the vibes are high and everyone hangs out at the finish line to cheer the others on, the award ceremony happens…and then we party!
That’s a pretty standard Comp day right there! 🥳
How can people see the event? It looks you go pretty high on inaccessible areas?
It looks all very steep… 😅
Usually there is a viewing area for the public from the bottom or close by where they can see the face! They also do a live steam for anyone watching from home.
Fieberbrunn has the steepest chute I have ever been on! When on my toe edge I was practically laying on my stomach, that’s how steep it was!!
Do countries support riders financially?
Quick answer haha. I work in our winters and save up so I can take the 3 months off to travel and follow the tour!
Because it’s not an Olympic pathway there is no funding unfortunately
Are there any sponsors supporting freeride?
I’m not too sure sorry, but Australia is not one of them
I ride for The North Face, NFPD, Twelve Boardstore, SunGod and K2 snowboarding. All which have been a huge help with making this all happen!
Where have you been competing so far?
All over! That’s one of my favourite things about it, is the places it takes you! Just this year alone I competed in Japan, Canada, Andorra, Austria and Switzerland!
Oh, that’s awesome!
The coolest place I ever went for snowboarding was Iran! It wasn’t for a competition, but I went with people I met through competing on the tour!
Yes! I’ve heard about Iran… Would you like to share any anecdote during your trips?
They have amazing mountains, no lift lines and of everyone I met there I’d say they have the nicest and most welcoming people!
You also are organising snowboard trips for groups right?
Yes! “Discover Freeride” it’s a camp in NZ for people who want to have a go at an entry level 2* event on the Freeride World Qualifying Tour! For people who want to test their skills, get onto the Freeride circuit but don’t know where to start or just do a competition for the fun of it! We will be teaching them everything they need to know for their first event for example, choosing lines, what judges are looking for and how to use their avalanche equipment.
I’m super excited about putting it all together and was hoping to launch this year, but it might have to wait for next year due to current circumstances.
Oh that’s super interesting Michaela!
Great, thanks !!! 😊
Please let us know about all future events that you organize!
You are doing adventure films. Do you have something in mind with this?
Not yet! But I’ve got a lot of quarantine time left to get some ideas going!
Are you just doing it for fun or do you have something in mind? Are you already doing it for some sponsors?
Yeah for sure I would love to work with some of my sponsors and put something together! Ideally some big pow lines in the middle of no where!
Time has run fast! We have come to the end of the interview… First would like to know if you have some more projects for the future and feel free to share anything… 🙂
Thank you!!! Great questions! So far just the discover Freeride camp is on the horizon
Congrats for you Worldwide winning!! It was an honour to talk to you 🙂
For any expressions of interest they can contact me via my fb @michaeladavismeehan or Instagram @michaeladavismeehan
Thanks!! Talk soon! 😊
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