SA Pro Wakeboard rookie Shaun Meredith is a guy who likes to party – whether it be on or off the water. He wakeboards like he parties – HARD! But there’s a serious side to this 22-year old from Boksburg. He’s passionate about wakeboarding, whether it’s promoting the sport or helping groms. Although he still has much to achieve, the future is looking bright for young Shaun Meredith.
Q: How’s the wakeboarding coming along?
I’ve been riding serious for two seasons now, competing hard and getting myself involved in the sport. Even though I mucked around on a wakeboard since the age of eight, it’s all been coming together over the last two years.
Q: Your best finish on the SA PWT?
Last year I did a lot of training to do better than I ever have. I finished 3rd place during the 2nd Stop of the PWT 2011 which was at the Riviera Aquatic Club, Vaal River. I rode a solid set and was rewarded with a podium place. There’s always room for improvement; and although that top spot would’ve been great, I’m very happy with my result.
Q: Where do you see yourself in wakeboarding years from now?
Wakeboarding is in my blood. I’ve been enjoying competitive riding and I will give it my best until the day I can’t keep up with the current up-coming talent. I realise that one day I will have to retire from competitions, but that’s not going to keep me from having fun on the water.
Even though I might never become the world’s greatest wakeboarder, I look forward to always being involved in the sport – like opening a wakeboard school for young and eager riders. Whatever my future holds, I will always try to help promote and grow the sport in South Africa.
Q: Your favourite riding spot?
I would definitely have to say the Vaal River. It’s the place where I train, and there’s always a spot with smooth water conditions, making it ideal for riding. Not only is it very scenic, but also a great spot where you can have a good time with some mates.
Q: What’s your training schedule like?
I don’t force myself into a strict schedule, but I do try and get on the water as much as possible. Riding behind the boat isn’t always an option, but I try to get onto the Vaal at least once or twice a month. But I always find myself at Base 3 in Midrand, shredding rails. Q: Favourite wakeboard comp? On the South Africa Pro Tour – I’d have to say the Vrede contest is definitely one of my favourites. The water conditions were good and everybody was in one place, this made for a great contest between locals guys. I also enjoy riding in the Wet & Wild. Every year the event is a jol There are loads of spectators, tough competition, Freestyle Moto X, top SA DJsÉenough said. However, one competition so far that will always be in my history books was the World Championships in Italy. The vibe and atmosphere was electric and I managed to get my personal best score there as well Đ so for me, that’s the competition that did it all.
Q: Favourite trick to land?
I’ve got a bit of a playlist of tricks that I like pulling out, but that doesn’t stop me from trying the more technical ones. My favourite would probably be the Heel Side BackrollÉ and a Fashion Air! (SM laughs)
Q: Any gnarly injuries?
I think I’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to injuries, but they do happen when you’re competing in just about anything. The important thing to remember is that you must learn from your mistakes. I’ve made mine over the years, and for it, I like to think I’ve become a better wakeboarder. The biggest one I just about don’t remember, happened during one of my heats in a Junior Men’s Division, I decided to hit the rail off a clean pass. Needless to say, it was an epic fail, and I ended up with a nasty concussion. Moral of the story: No pain. No gain.
Q: Favourite boat to wakeboard behind?
I’ve had the pleasure of wakeboarding behind some really impressive boats. From a rider point of view, I would have to say that the TigŽ RZ4 or 24VŽ has really stood out in my memories. These TigŽ boats have got a crisp, clean wake, and you’ll find you can get a lot of pop to ensure you get the most height possible. When you’re not pushing yourself, these TigŽ’s can be toned down too Đ and it’s not often that a boat comes along that you can surf or just about ski behind.
Q: Favourite wakeboarder?
It might be a bit predictable, but internationally, I have to give praise to Harley Clifford. He’s blown up overseas because he is the world’s best wakeboarder. However, he’s a humble, down to earth guy with qualities like you and I Đ which is a side of someone you don’t usually get to see when they have the prestigious title of ‘number 1’! Locally, Clayton Krause is consistently excelling at the sport. He’s been going out there, throwing down some hectic tricks, and being rewarded accordingly. Clayton is the guy that makes wakeboarding look easy, and always has fun doing it.
Q: When you’re not wakeboarding?
Wakeboarding is my passion; but all round, I like to challenge myself in different sports. When I’m not on the water, I’m most probably riding a motor bike. However, I try to balance my life out by spending as much time as I can with family and friends.