The McKnight family couldn’t wait to test their wake surfing prowess at the 2018 Centurion World Wake Surfing Championships from Sept. 6-8 in Ogden Valley, Utah.
In early September, Gregg, Cole and Margie took a flight to Utah for the biggest sports competition of their lives.
The trio returned home with a plethora of hardware.
Gregg McKnight, 62, captured first place in the World Wake Surf Masters Men division. Gregg’s 16-year-old son Cole earned a title in the World Wake Surf Amateur division. Gregg’s 13-year-old daughter Margie competed in Utah and is ranked the No. 2 girl in the World Wake Surf junior division.
“It was great. It was my first year competing. I only have been surfing for about a year, so this was really awesome. I definitely did not see this coming,” Cole said with a smile.
Cole, who attends the International High School in Bellevue, said he wants to continue his ascent in the world of wake boarding.
“I want to continue to learn and do harder tricks. Hopefully after next year I will go pro,” Cole said.
Margie said watching her older brother and dad win titles in Utah was an awesome experience.
“I actually teared up. It was a very special moment for me,” Margie said. “It has been really awesome to watch my brother progress and learn new tricks every single day. Wake surfing is always a topic (of conversation) when we’re driving to school, driving home from school or just going anywhere. It is always a topic.”
Gregg, who partook in water skiing since he was a kid, is thrilled his son and daughter have embraced wake surfing. He grew up on the water and had a childhood dream of being a competitive water skier.
“It is a dream come true to see them in wake surfing. In wake surfing, you are the only one back there. If you fall, you have to pick yourself up and try to get better. You can’t hide. It is not like a team sport, so you really have to have the self confidence and have that goal in mind when you are competing. That helped me in business. I retired a few years ago. I want the kids to learn that grit, learn that determination and learn that self control. It has taught them to be cool under pressure. I see it happening. It is just a dream come true as a parent,” Gregg said.
In 2015, the McKnight family purchased a boat and the rest is history.
“I really wanted the kids to experience this (the water). The falls weren’t too hard and you were constantly challenged. We had been going out in the summers (beginning in 2015) four or five days a week just training. Last year we finally got the bug to try to compete,” Gregg said. “This was our first year competing. To go from zero to a world champion and have two in one family is pretty unprecedented. It was a total surprise. I was in shock and I’m still in a little shock. Cole is so gifted. He does some tricks that the pros are doing right now. Margie is going to be a world champion one day.”