TNF snowboarder Michaela Davis Meehan talks freeriding

Photo: Christian Koopman. Switzerland.

Aussie, Michaela Davis Meehan, is known for her big mountain snowboarding and her Freeride World Tour podiums.

She made the move from park to big mountain and has never looked back. Now part of The North Face famed athlete fold, she is the Aussie face of the new Team Kit outerwear, a dedicated freeride range for women.

When and why did you make the move from park to big mountain?

I was in one of my favourite resorts, Livigno, Italy and there was a freeride event on, it might have even been a FWT stop. My mum said I should give that a go and I remember getting butterflies just thinking about standing at the top and getting ready to drop in thinking no way, they’re crazy!

I then went on my very first splitboard trip with former FWT champ Aline Bock and she told me the same thing. So in 2016 I went in The North Face freeride event in NZ and won. I did a few more events overseas and less slopestyle comps and one day was like, yep, this is me now, freeriding is where it’s at and I want to make the World Tour!

I still love riding park and hitting the jumps every now and then.

What do you love about freeride?

It’s always different and so creative. You’re always exploring new runs and it’s fun to find natural features to jump off. I love riding with others because everyone see’s something different and will hit a feature in a way you wouldn’t have thought to. And of course my favourite part of freeriding is shredding untracked POW.

What do you learn about life from freeriding?

To have fun and enjoy the ride! There might be a line or feature that looks good from the bottom but turns out you can’t hit it when you get to it, you’re not going to stop snowboarding and dwell on it, you keep riding and find the next thing to hit. So I guess you can apply that to life, when something doesn’t work out, you just move onto the next thing. Keep the flow going.

Can anyone freeride? What skills do you need?

All you need is a pair of skis or a snowboard. And then it’s up to you what level you want to take it. Whether it’s off the side of a run, hiking a line you can see from the chair or heading way out into the backcountry. If you’re shredding around and having a good time, you’re probably already doing it.

Where is your favourite place to snowboard big mountains and why?

Probably Nendaz, Switzerland! It has some awesome mountains and is right next to Verbier. They have some great runs that are easy to access from the resort or a small hike out. The runs are big and steep with insane views and nothing like what we have here in Aus. I based myself there this year and apart from the snow, the town and people are awesome. I love it!

Who do you look up to within the sport and why?

Everyone competing in the Freeride qualifiers and the World Tour. It’s so awesome to watch everyone throwing down and like I said before I love watching everyones line choice as sometimes they hit things you didn’t even see or think of. It makes you want to get back up there and do it again. So many riders go absolutely massive. It’s insane to watch and props to them.

The North Face launches women freeride Team Kit outerwear

What do you love about riding with women?

I don’t notice what gender people are out in the mountains. I just love being out with mates who like to go for it and we can push each other, and enjoy it no matter what the gender.

What did the Covid years 2020 and 2021 teach you?

Turns out i’ve been training for COVID life for years. I’m a last minute planner, I’m great at chilling tf out and I love solo adventures.

What is your favourite piece of outerwear from TNF The Team Kit and why?

The bib pants are a game changer. I love rocking these on a pow day. No snow is getting down these pants. The material is great for hiking, lots of pockets and I’m all about the bright colours.

Check out The North Face Team Kit here.

Five days, a motorbike, a tent and FWT athlete Michaela Davis-Meehan

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.