Scott Byerly may not have officially invented wakeboarding, but the dude pretty much invented wakeboarding. He’s been the godfather for years and invented more than half of the tricks we all do today. He was the first rider to bring a true boardsports style to wakeboarding. If there has ever been a legend in our sport, it is he. After 20 + years as a professional athlete he has made an impact on our sport that is everlasting. A pioneer of both wakeboarding and now wakeskating, Scott has dedicating his life to making watersports legit. The guy has so much freaking style that riders even gave a name to the way he holds his trailing arm up when riding: “the byerly hook” (FYI: If you want to bust the hook, you better get permission first). His video parts from classics like Spray, Mayday, High Wake Drifters and so many more are timeless and inspiring, a must watch for all wakeboarders.
Get ready for a history lesson friends. All hail the godfather, Scott Byerly…
First wakeboard: Skurfer. My dad must have got it from Ski World. Before that we were on the lake every day kneeboarding, skiing, and riding the surfboard behind the boat.
First invert: Toeside backroll behind the the 1973 ski-tique tied off on the only pole, the low pole.
First big win: Orlando Bud tour I think. It was at Barnett Park in the early 90’s. Then the worlds in the Florida Keys 1994 was pretty huge. That was the first time we busted out the twin tip Flight 69. Darin was still ripping the pointer. I only won maybe 4 or 5 big contests back then…Darin Shapiro was a pimp in the contests back then. The scud. He was the main competition for a long time.
First video part you filmed for: Wake The Beast. G Bradley Jones and Tony Finn put the movie together. We went to Lake Powell for one of the first times for that movie. That was when Gator hit his ass on the rock. Rich Goforth was in it and CC Roberts was riding back then. We may have even driven to lake Powell from Florida for that with Goforth.
First trick you invented: Don’t remember. Gator and I invented a couple tricks a day back then! The front to Fakie was a pretty sick one that I always enjoy watching guys like Randall do. Also the Pete Rose or the pete 5. I did a pete Rose 5 in Sweden way back that stands out in my mind, and a couple for videos. People are still trying to do those in their runs aren’t they?
First time you met Gator: At a contest at Cypress Gardens in the early 90’s. I was with Rich Goforth and we saw him ride and started hooking him up with Wake Tech.
Gator Lutgert, Rich Goforth and Scott Byerly celebrating at the 1994 worlds. Down South Dave on top!
First time you met Parks: Soon after I met Gator. I can’t remember the details.
First wakeskate / time you wakeskated: On a Flight 69 in 1994. Brannon Meek made it with Astrodeck all over the top. It had a little strap for your foot so you could hit the double up and do big old one footers. We messed around on that for a while then started cutting the tips off a wake tech board and they would glass the tips, so those were our first wakeskates really until Cassette started. Thomas kick-flipped one of those boards in Decline of the Waterski Manopoloy.
First tattoo: Shitty tribal on my right arm.
First sponsor: Wake Tech. The blue big air was the first board I rode from them which was probably 1990. I was on-board with them as soon as they stated 20 years ago. It was right before my daughter Chelsea was born. I was 19.
First time winching: 10 years ago at the first Toe Jam I think. Tony Robinson and Thomas Horell made the first one. It was called the “Rewind”.
First time you realized wakeskating had the potential to be a sport of its own: When Thomas and myself stopped wakeboarding and just wakeskated full time.
Byerly was also the first wakeskater to ever receive a pro model wakeskate shoe, and we all had a pair.
First time someone called you the godfather: Shit I don’t know maybe Tony Finn?