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He's a Natural

Four-year-old instantly takes to wakeboarding

Colt Scott instantly took to wakeboarding from the first time he tried it at age 4. Pictured here age 5, Colt now participates on the competition circuit. Photo on Lake Oconee by Leigh Lofgren

Story by Lynn Hobbs

Photos by Leigh Lofgren


A smooth-as-glass lake reflecting the shoreline and sunrise may be the epitome of paradise for the early morning kayaker or contemplative coffee drinker, but for one Lake Oconee 5-year-old, sunshine and choppy waters are synonymous with euphoria.


“When I see bumpy waves, I feel so happy because I can jump over them,” Colt Scott’s voice beamed. “When I was 4, mommy and daddy got me a wakeboard and I tried it and it cheered me up.”


Wakeboarding seems the perfect match for the young towhead’s energy. As he talked, he pulled out and demonstrated his favorite toys: Legos, a Pokémon Guess Pokéball, a brontosaurus, and Hot Wheels, among many others. All the while, Colt’s chatter was interrupted by his happy-tailed Golden Retriever puppy, Hamilton, whose energy equally matched Colt’s.


Colt and his pup Hamilton are inseparable no matter what they're doing, while Colt's parents' dog, Ellie, prefers relaxation. Photo by Leigh Lofgren

His mom, Kayla Scott, filled in the details as she skillfully orchestrated all the activity. Buying Colt a wakeboard was quite serendipitous. She said they all went to the store to buy Colt’s dad, Lance, a wakeboard and while they were there, Colt said he wanted one, too.


“I said, ‘well try one on and see if it fits,’ and we found one,” she recalled. “So, we went out on the boat, and I told him he wouldn’t be able to get up on the first try. But he just did it on the first try and hasn’t had any problem ever since.”


Colt said getting up on the board was “easy” and surfing it along the boat’s wake was “fun and cool. …The boat has to go fast, because if it goes slow, you fall,” he explained. “If I fall, the boat comes back to get me and I just grab the rope and go again.”


When Colt was 2, the Scotts moved from Decatur to Lake Oconee so they could enjoy the lake while being close to their parents and other family members who live on the lake nearby. Lance’s family has always had a place here, she said, and he grew up on the lake. But Kayla grew up at the ocean. It was Lance who first introduced her to Lake Oconee while they were in college and he wanted her to go water skiing with him.


“I was so afraid to get in because the water was stained and I couldn’t see my toes,” she laughed. “And I didn’t want to ski because I don’t like my feet trapped in anything.”


Explaining that her family is ocean oriented, Kayla said her great-grandfather was a shrimp boat captain and she was a dolphin trainer when she first got out of college. “I never thought we’d like the lake,” she said. “But when we moved here, we would go fishing or out on the boat, and I taught Colt to swim when he was 3, and then last summer he learned to wakeboard. I never expected any of us to fall for wakeboarding quite like this guy did.”


Lance and Colt with their wakeboards and Kayla with her surfboard on their dock at Lake Oconee. Photo by Leigh Lofgren

Remaining true to her oceanic background, Kayla surfs behind the boat on the lake these days. Lance and Colt can surf as well, but they usually wakeboard. When they first started, Kayla said she searched YouTube for instructional videos but couldn’t find any for young children. Hearing her, Colt chimed in and said he watched Shaun Murray on YouTube. Murray is an American four-time world champion wakeboarder, the main character of PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Game Boy Advance’s wakeboarding video games, an instructor and coach, as well as a developer of boating and watersport products.


And, just like Colt’s never-before planned introduction to wakeboarding, a bit of serendipity connected Shaun Murray and Colt for some instruction time.


On her Instagram page, Kayla posted a video of Colt wakeboarding when he first started. One of Kayla’s friends, a fellow volunteer at a sea turtle rescue organization in Florida, saw the video and asked if Kayla knew her nephew, Shaun Murray.


“And I was like, ‘we watch Shaun’s videos and he’s your nephew?’” Kayla spoke incredulously as she relayed the conversation. “We had just been watching him on YouTube that morning when she was messaging me this.”


So, Shaun called Kayla, and she told him she wanted to make sure they weren’t teaching Colt any bad habits on the board, or he wasn’t doing anything the wrong way. “So, we had one lesson with Shaun, and he said Colt was doing awesome.”


On his instructional videos, Shaun recommends practicing jumps and flips on a trampoline while holding onto a handlebar line that is used with wakeboards. Someone at the North Pole heard the suggestion and Santa left a trampoline in Colt’s backyard on Christmas morning.


Photo by Leigh Lofgren

Lance attached a handlebar line to the trampoline and the rest of the winter, Colt was jumping, turning and flipping with Hamilton barking and cheering him on from underneath. Colt’s playlist of favorite songs that keeps him moving includes, “All I Do is Win” followed by “Zig Zag” and then “Levels.”   


When the temps warmed up, Colt began lessons with professional wakeboarder Brandon Lee at GA Wake Lessons in White Plains. And he entered his first competition, Wake United’s Spivey Shootout on Lake Spivey in early May. Colt competed in the age 10 and under bracket. “He had the best time!” Kayla said. “He was super pumped by the crowd so it was really good for his confidence. But it was also good to meet other kids who wakeboard and we’ve already met up with some for a day of boating. We keep trying to find some other kids down here, so it was good to find somebody else.”


Colt is loving his first competition in May 2024. Photo by Kayla Scott.

The rest of the summer, the Scott’s calendar includes lessons, competitions, and outings with newfound friends, which enhances last summer’s experiences. Last year, they were out in the boat every day, April through November, although they stopped wakeboarding in the early fall when the water got cooler. They’d ride their golf cart down the hill to the dock every day after school, with Colt excitedly running ahead of them. They find a spot on the lake with no other boat traffic, and Colt is always the first one to wakeboard. Then his mom and dad have their turns, and sometimes, Colt rides along on Lance’s shoulders.


“And that’s what we do,” Kayla summarized. “We spend the day together on the boat every day until it gets too cold.”


Paradise, indeed.


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