Michaela Davis Meehan, Livin’ the Dream

Michaela Davis-Meehan is livin’ the dream. An incredible athlete proving herself at the highest level of freeriding. Bar tending in Western Australia to save money, she has based herself in Revelstoke the last couple seasons and in 2024 she is back!

15th Jan, 2024. Words Mandy Lamont photos supplied.

The Early Years

A milo kid at Perisher when she was young, Michaela’s parents would take her and her brother Patrick down to the snow. One year they went every weekend for a whole season. A seven hour drive from Newcastle! And if the snow was good she didn’t go to school on Friday or Monday either. Starting Winter Sports Club at Perisher they went on to do snowboard camps both locally and at Mammoth with Peter Baff Fast Ride camps.

Getting Competitive

Loving it, Michaela was doing all the comps and doing well. With a competitive streak she wanted to get better and win. Traveling and competing in slopestyle for a while, she discovered free riding on a split board tour in Italy with former World Champ Aline Bock. “She asked me if I’d ever tried a free ride comp and I’d never heard of that before.” Michaela happened to be In New Zealand when a free ride competition was on. She thought she’d give it a go and won! Making the switch over the next year, deciding free riding is definitely for her.

Following the qualifying Tour, one year she hired a car with mate Amber Arazny. They were doing all the Euro comps, and checking out the Apres Ski. “It was a fun trip doing the comps then a year after that I blew my knee. I came back thinking I’d just ease back in, and I started winning everything.” Thinking she could have a chance at The World Tour she gave it her all. Rehabbing really hard for her knee, she made the world tour. “Sometimes you just need a break, and injuries make you ready for a comeback. Being on the World Tour was pretty awesome for a few years but it’s also pretty brutal cut off.”

Michaela on Tour

Finishing second overall on her first year on the 2020 Freeride World Tour, Michaela actually made money from snowboarding. Seeing that it can be done she’s been trying to get back on the World Tour ever since.

Third in the 2022 qualifiers wasn’t good enough and Michaela was knocked off. There are only six women on the World Tour, you have to win the qualifying tour to get on the World Tour. With five comps, if you don’t make the cut after three, you don’t get to go to the last two finals.

Planning on having last winter off, Michaela was on a surfing trip when she got a message from the head judge, Lolo, asking if she wanted to be a wildcard. Trying to get on The World Tour for so long, she couldn’t say no. “I’m super glad that it happened because now I’m fully frothing out on snowboarding again. With a coach this year, I’ve been going bigger, riding faster, carving harder, and improving my all-round riding.” Finishing 4th overall on the Freeride World Tour with first place at Kicking Horse, Michaela didn’t’ have the comp season she was after. But she did have one of her best seasons yet. Finding a new love for snowboarding and wanting to push her riding even more.

The Mental Game

“Competitions are definitely a mental game. I try not to think about it. I have a routine, the day before for the visual inspection. I just sit there and stare at the face for about an hour or so, finding things that I want to hit, linking them up and seeing where to start the line. I also like to have a couple of B and C options because sometimes things don’t work out, or something might change. Then I try not to think about it the rest of the day until I go to bed that night and I just visualise as if I was doing the actual run, eyes closed. Visualisations help with finding my lines because it can be easy to get lost.”

“On the hike up, I do it over and over in my head. It’s the best feeling in the world when you get to the bottom and you’ve gone exactly where you wanted to, it’s just such a good feeling. I always think before competitions, with nerves and early starts and the pressure around one run. Why do I do this? Then you get to the bottom after landing a run. And it’s like, Yep, that’s why. It’s awesome.” 

Looking Ahead

Now the goal is to get some into some film parts, something new for Michaela. Another avenue of snowboarding, filming big mountain riding will cross over and help in competing too.

2022 season in Perisher Michaela was testing out Wired Snowboards and now has her own collab board with Wired and Rhythm. Only available at Rhythm Snow Sports in Cooma, designing the specs and the graphics she wanted to have an Aussie theme, the snow gum. “I love the board it’s awesome for big mountain riding, jumping off cliffs, I also ride it in park. It’s an everything board.” Keep Livin’ the dream, Michaela Davis-Meehan.

You might also be interested in reading about Belle Brockhoff

You might also be interested in reading about Tess Coady here

You might also be interested in reading about Valentino Guseli here

Check out the Freeride World Tour here

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