The Megan Nel Interview – South Africas Brightest Young Wakeboarding Talent

The Megan Nel Interview – South Africas Brightest Young Wakeboarding Talent

Megan Nel is a 16 year old wakeboarder from South Africa who took home the win in the Junior Women at the 2017 WWA Wake Park World Championships in CWC, she is certainly a girl with talent.

Megan Nel is a 16 year old wakeboarder from South Africa who we think you should know a little bit more about. Having been invited to compete at Plastic Playground in the Pro Women’s category this year and then taking home the win in the Junior Women at the 2017 WWA Wake Park World Championships in CWC, she is certainly a girl with talent.

We caught up with her to find out a little bit more about where she comes from, what makes her tick and what we can expect to see form her in the future.

Megan Nel wakeboarder

Hi Megan, tell us a little bit more about where you are from and where you grew up?

Megan: Hi I’m from a small town called Gordon’s Bay about 50km away from the city of Cape Town, in South Africa and I have lived here my whole life.

How did you get into Wakeboarding in the first place?

Megan: It all started with a family outing to our local cable park, Blue Rock. That is where I saw wakeboarding for the first time and when I immediately realised that I also wanted to wakeboard.

Megan Nel wakeboarder

Does your brother really call you Wake?

Megan: He used to call me “Wake” when he was little, and it is such a coincidence because wakeboarding is both of our favourite things to do

You guys are pretty close, …but who is the better wakeboarder? Seriously though, how much do you think it helps to have this close rivalry and support on the water?

Megan: I’m obviously the better wakeboarder, haha, but even if he was better than me I still wouldn’t admit it. I think it is the best thing to have because we push each other to always do better and in the end we always have so much fun even if its just laughing at each others attempts.

Megan Nel wakeboarder

We hear from a little birdie that you are also a bit nerdy and like your maths …what do you think about staying in school and the balance and sacrifice of education to pursue a pro wakeboard career?

Megan: I think it is very important to stay in school and always to have a back up plan with education in case something happens and you become injured, also I enjoy school so it doesn’t bother me.

Megan Nel wakeboarder

The same little birdie told us you give the boys a run for their money in pull up competitions …do you spend a lot of time working on your personal fitness level or is this just part of being a 16 year old girl and having a lot of energy?

Megan: Haha, I honestly have no idea, it might just be all those air tricks

Megan Nel wakeboarder

Talking about balance …you rock dreads and yet love your nails to look pretty …is creating your own personal style something you think about a lot or does it just kind of happen?

Megan: It just kind of happened as I’ve always wanted dreads, but I also enjoy looking after myself and just seeing fresh painted matte black nails when I wakeboard, I guess.

Megan Nel wakeboarder

We know you recently competed at Plastic Playground in London and then the WWA in CWC… how did those comps work out for you?

Megan: The Plastic Playground competition didn’t go as well, but it was my first international competition and I did better than I thought I would. The WWA competition was just a dream come true for me and it couldn’t have gone any better.

Megan Nel wakeboarder

Is it harder coming from SA and getting sponsorship and support to travel to international competitions …or is just the same challenge as the europeans have to get to the US, the Americans to Europe and the Ozzies to ..well everywhere?

Megan: Yes it is, it is extremely difficult to get sponsorships as South Africa has no board suppliers or sponsors so you immediately have to approach international companies. All of the travelling I do, we pay for ourselves.

Megan Nel wakeboarder

We saw you were featured in an ad campaign for Nissan X-Trail …how did that come about, and how sketchy was it riding so close to the rocks with the line catching on the plants and trees all the time?

Megan: The ad was so much fun and I would definitely do it again even though freezing in that water without a wetsuit was terrible, I got the ad all thanks to another wakeboarder who Nissan approached looking for a female wakeboarder. Riding so close to the rocks and the plants catching the rope was very sketchy but I enjoyed it probably because I love the feeling of adrenaline.

Riding so close to the rocks and the plants catching the rope was very sketchy but I enjoyed it probably because I love the feeling of adrenaline.

Megan Nel wakeboarder

Apparently you also tried kite surfing but didn’t like the salt water …what is that about 😉 and planning on giving it a second go?

Megan: I don’t know what it is about the sea, maybe its just the fact that I’m not used to having sand in my wetsuit at all or just the feeling of the salt water burning my nose when I face plant, haha, but i probably will try it again when I get the chance.

What else is on the horizon for the rest of the year and 2018?

Megan: The rest of this year will just mostly be training and coaching at Blue Rock, but 2018 will be a busy year as I will be going back to the WWA worlds to defend my title as well as trying to do more international competitions and also that it is a really important year of school and I’ll have to work extra hard.

Thank you so much for your time Megan, we wish you all the best for 2018 and will be keeping our readers up to date with what you get up to.

You can follow Megan on Facebook and Instagram.

Megan Nel wakeboarder


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