With all the buzz online from the latest Global Rider Search winner, why not be the first to catch up with Scott Stewart. Scott is a very powerful rider who isn't afraid to take it big and risk taking the hard falls. It's not every day you get to meet someone so passionate about wakeboarding, so maybe getting to know Scott just might motivate you to have a more spiritual side of this sport. Let's jump inside the mind of Scott Stuart and see what he is all about.
WW: Scott, can you slap us down with some basic info (age, where you’re from, where you live now, etc.)?
SS: I am 24 years young, born and raised in Springville, California where all my family is. I am currently living in Orlando, Florida fulfilling the dream.
WW: For how long have you been wakeboarding?
SS: I have been riding since about the year 2000. I rode for about four years and then I was hurt where I wasn't able to ride off and on for a little over four years. I am so grateful for every moment to be back on my wakeboard and just feel the water under my feet again! So I didn't have as much water time as most, but just the last few months I have been able to get on it and I am thankful to be able to do so.
WW: Do you remember your first ride on a wakeboard?
SS: Yes, I had recently moved to Florida from Cali and I lived down in West Palm Beach. I was out at Lake Osbourne and saw a dude rippin’ and it looked like snowboarding. Since I wasn't gonna be snowboarding as much now living in Florida, I thought, “I gotta get on this.” I went that day and rented a board from Tommy's Surf Shop and it was on since then. Later I found out that the guy rippin’ down the lake all smooth was Watson! Pretty funny.
WW: Was there anyone you looked up to in wakeboarding as you were starting to get into the sport more?
SS: I looked up more to snowboarders and other athletes, but the more I got in to it, Parks Bonifay, Randall Harris and Keith Lyman were my inspiration to ride. I still feel Parks is the best that has ever done it, as well as Randall! Randall is so unique and so different and, obviously, it’s much more difficult to ride like that because he is one of the few that can go so big with such control. Keith's riding is a huge influence as well and is the definition of wakeboarding.
WW: 2Pac or Biggie?
SS: That’s a no brainer. Both are great artists, but Pac was a much more influential and talented artist. Pac used to live in New York and had helped Big come up and let him sleep on his couch. He helped Big learn about the game. I like Big as well, but nothing compares to Pac!
WW: Can you walk us through a normal day in your life right now?
SS: A normal day for me now is usually get up pretty early and get some grub. Figure out if and where I am riding for the day. Usually I will go out and get a boat set in and come back and eat some more. I train three days a week, so usually in between a set I will do a run, followed by a dynamic rolling program and warm up series, then do fast twitch explosive training about 16 sets. Then depending on how I am feeling, I may ride again. Then I eat again, rest for a little, then every night I do yoga for about 40-60 minutes. Then I rest and start again.
WW: Wow! That’s a very productive day for your body. Do you feel that all the training and yoga help your wakeboarding at all?
SS: There is not a doubt in my mind that it does! It prepares me for whatever is thrown at me and keeps me sharp and feeling good! I am gonna get the tricks out of my mind on the water and this will assist me in doing so.
WW: You have recently been quite the buzz from your Global Rider search video win. Has anything good come from that video for you yet?
SS: Yeah, it is a blessing to have such great vibes from everyone about my riding in that video since it was about two sets. Yes, many great things have come and are coming from this. I have met so many great people and friends through this experience that is so amazing!
Chuck Morrow from Buywake.com has been such a great guy and friend and so supportive of what I am doing and believe in. He set this whole thing up and thank you Chuck for doing so and selecting me and pushing my career! Jimmy Redmond, Don Wallace, Aaron Grace, pretty much everyone at Liquid Force are some of the greatest people in our sport I have ever met. They fully support, back and let me run with my visions and how I want to ride, which is awesome! Reef is jumping in with both feet and getting me set up and taken care of, which is phenomenal!
Major things are in the works in and outside of the wakeboarding market that are insane, but are on the down low until it’s all official. Autograph signing at Jamba Juice at the Mall in West Palm Beach on the November 5th. If anyone is in town, come check it out. Again, lots of amazing things and other sponsors that are in the works and I will announce them on my new web page when it is all official. So big ups to Buywake.com/Ambush, Liquid Force Wakeboards, Reef and USPlabs for fully backing my dream!
WW: Wow again! It sounds like you have picked up some new sponsors then. So what are you currently carving butter in?
SS: Yes many new sponsors and am blessed to have them on my side and a few more are kicking in, but, again, I will announce them when they are 100% official. My current deck is the new 2011 Liquid Force S4 with 2011 Liquid Force Soven boots.
WW: Do you like to do anything else besides wakeboarding?
SS: Snowboarding! Snowboarding is a strong passion and desire of mine. It has a huge influence on my wakeboarding. I skateboard occasionally now. I used to skate every day, but stopped when I got hurt and didn't skate for years until a few months ago. I train and do yoga quite a bit and it’s a big part of my lifestyle as well. I help out organizing and setting up grassroots tournaments down in South Florida with Jimmy Beno and Morgan Baer at the SFWA. I also train people and get them to the level of highest performance for whatever sport they are in, or just back to optimum health and flexibility.
WW: Do you have a group of guys you normally ride with?
SS: I ride with everyone! Anyone who has a positive vibe and is truly in love with wakeboarding and just enjoys wakeboarding for what it is…FUN! But my coach, Scott Harwood, is my man to ride with!
WW: So what is your take on the contest scene for wakeboarding? Is it something in this sport that strikes interest to you at all?
SS: I think the contest scene is great and it is what is needed to legitimize our sport. I think it is where you can go and showcase runs you have been working on and consistency, and I love it! People have been asking me why I haven't gone or go and it’s a good question. I fully supported myself, so at times in the past it was hard to be able to make it there because it was either that for one weekend and not freeride for a month or get to freeride for two months. So my goal is to push myself and wakeboarding as far as it is in my mind, so I decided to train, rather than set runs. But now I have such great sponsors and support, so who knows what will happen this next season. But still the same overall goal, N.E.C.I.! Never Ending Constant Improvement
WW: N.E.C.I. That’s pretty clever. Did you make that up?
SS: The abbreviation, I think I did, but I can't take credit for the saying. It came from my coach and great friend Scott Harwood. He has always told me that it will never stop for me and I can go and do as much as I envision.
WW: Trick you will land first try...
SS: Most tricks I do are first try, but my favorite trick is either of my late blind 180's in the flats, and those are spot on!
WW: What makes wakeboarding such a big part of your life?
SS: Wakeboarding really saved my life! I know it may sound cliché, but it is truth. When I got hurt for such a long time it allowed me to realize what is important in life. And without knowing it, wakeboarding brought me to a state of awareness in my body and mind because of all the rehabbing, training and self-realizing in my mind over the years. Wakeboarding took me off of a bad road that I was traveling on for quite some time and helped me really know who I am and how blessed I am to be alive! It gives me such strong passion and motivation every day and to be able to experience all of it, everything! It has showed me hard work and patience and how if you work super hard and truly, honestly desire something, you can get it! I love wakeboarding!
WW: There is no doubt about it that you love wakeboarding! Do you have any words of advice for the generation of riders that love the sport as much as you do?
SS: Just remember why you ride! Everyone started riding for fun and that is what it is truly about. When you lose sight of that riding becomes not so much fun. I have been there in the past, but once you let go and enjoy every turn, every power slide, you remember why you wakeboard and then your riding flourishes! So go out and ride with your friends and thank God for the blessing that you have to be out in the boat on the water just being able to ride!
WW: How about some thank yous to finish this puppy off?
SS: I might need five pages to do this, but I will try and keep it short. I have so many people to thank. I would like to thank God for blessing me with life! My parents and all of my family who have always encouraged me to work hard and believe in myself for whatever I desire. My coach Scott Harwood for training me and helping me renew myself and my wakeboarding, as well as being one of my greatest friends! Tommy Phillips for being one of my greatest mentors and friend. All my homies; Crank G, Jurz, Snipes, Digi, Dyer. All my sponsors, Chuck Morrow from Buywake.com, Jimmy Redmond, Aaron Grace, Don Wallace, Tony Finn and Patrick Cerne from Liquid Force, Matt Long from Reef, Bill McCaffray from Alliance, Casey Bard from USP Labs supplements and everyone else who is in the works of stepping up for me. I really appreciate it! If I missed anyone, I apologize and I do truly thank you and appreciate everyone who has helped me get to where I am at and helping me get where I'm going and I will never stop moving! Much Love.