Meah Collins’s current ASP World Ranking is #91. Straight A Student. Successful model. Not bad for a 13 year old. But not surprising considering she’s been coached by her father Richie her entire surfing life, and why you’d see Rich shouting her into waves out at Blackies from such an early age, and making damn sure she stayed out surfing even when she wanted to come in… to work on bottom turns, top turns, all the basics…. And it was like this wave after wave, day after day, year after year. More often than not she took her dad’s advice and course of directions and it’s worked out pretty darn well so far. Enjoy the article and check out the photos of Meah from 2009 – present day.
Skip Snead interviews the Future Star and current Young American….
Do you have any idea how many surfing contests you’ve won the past 5 years?
Geez…no! I surfed so many contests!! I have at like 100 trophies in my house from WSA, Primes, Volcom’s, and tons of other events…and I’ve only been surfing comps for the past 4 years.
What’s the most memorable contest victory?
Definitely at the USA Championships at Lowers. The waves were perfect 4 -6 ft faces! I think my heat total in the finals was 18 pts. All the kids were ripping in that event so it was super fun to watch all the other heats too. It inspired me to surf my best!
Tell our audience when and how you started surfing?
When I was little, I watched Jaws, so I would never go surfing with my dad. Then when I was 7, we went to Hawaii where my dad’s friend, uncle Bob, is a fireman on the North Shore. So for some reason I felt safe to go paddle out with uncle Bob at Haleiwa. My dad freaked out, saying that he could protect me in the water and uncle Bob only saves people on land! Anyways, I paddled out the next day with the local kids on one of my dad’s bigger boards and surfed for like 5 hours! When I got home, I didn’t surf for about 6 months, until I entered a Menehune contest at Goldenwest where I won the mini grom division.
Skip Snead: Would you say your dad has been an influence?
YES! He’s been a big influence with everything I do! It’s really cool to see old surf videos of him. I’ve seen some of the Bud Tour events he surfed and even the Bells that he won! A lot of people say that my style is just like his and I take that as a BIG compliment! People always tell me that I’m ripping, even when I think I’m surfing bad. My dad always tells me how I’m doing good or bad, so I can rely on his advice and improve on my surfing. He’s always pushing me to be my best!
What’s the level of competition like in the grommet division?
It’s actually pretty intense because we are all super competitive. Everyone wants to win! No one is really there to just hang out, we are all really focused on heats and strategy. So many kids now have coaches, nutritionists, etc. My dad said it’s way different from when he was growing up where all they did was try to find a ride to contest and just surfed them with one board and one wetsuit. I don’t know any kids now who don’t bring at least 2-3 boards and suits with them..haha
You just turned 13 and have so much going on. Where does school fit in? Do you like school?
I love school! I love hanging out with my friends, learning new things, getting to dissect a pigs heart…it’s all super fun. I just can’t stand homework J I go to school 6 hrs a day and do about 4-5 hrs of homework everyday! It’s really hard to practice during the week. And it’s especially hard to complete all the work that I miss during school plus homework while I’m traveling and surfing a WQS event…that’s when I don’t love it so much.
Finally, what are your dreams for the future?
I want to change women’s surfing and bring more attention to it. The level of surfing of women today is incredible, and they deserve much more than they are getting! I want to be able to inspire other kids to surf or just do something they love and make a career out of it. I also think it would be cool to be accredited for a new maneuver like my dad and the floater!
All Photos by Diane EdmondsTags: Diane Edmonds, Meah Collins