And Now, A Few Words From Taylor Knox

posted by / News / August 22, 2011

Taylor Knox // 40 // Carlsbad, CA:

Power surfing used to be the gauge of what a good surfer was. Back in the day it was style, but when we moved out of the longboard era it was style and power that set you apart from everybody else. That’s when you had such great surfers like Simon Anderson, Dane Kealoha. Then there was Occy, [Tom] Carroll, [Martin] Potter.

When I was growing up I was a huge fan of Tom Curren, and I just remember it was like, “Why does he stand apart from all of the other guys?” And the thing I saw as a kid growing up was how strong he was. You kind of had to be back then because he was competing against guys like Gary Elkerton, Tom Carroll, Pottz and Luke Egan and that was where it was at —going fast and turning hard and using your rail. I gravitated towards that.

Power surfing still has plenty of fans, and I think that if it ever went away, surfing would almost be a different sport, because it’s so embedded in our history and where we come from.

I mean, the new aerial surfing is amazing for sure. I watch it, but you’ve got guys like Dane and Jordy who can do both. So I think the future, and where those two are taking it, is not just saying one’s better than the other — you can’t just have one and not the other. But if you do, I think you have to have more of the power surfing skills because that will always be appreciated.

I feel like I’ve been judged pretty good, even recently. It still seems like the judges appreciate power surfing. It would be really sad, and would be a huge disappointment in surfing if it just became like street skating.

When you’re looking at a six-foot wave at J-Bay, you’re there to see one thing, and that’s a huge carve. Go fast and do a big carve. You’re not there to see a nose-pick tail reverse — although they might throw a couple [laughs]. And you’re not going to see an air reverse at 12-foot Sunset, either.

I really enjoy watching Conner Coffin and Kolohe [Andino]. I can tell that both of them care about having it all. Conner’s a pretty strong kid, he’s just naturally built pretty strong and has a low center of gravity. And you can tell with Kolohe too that he’s putting emphasis — I’ve talked with Kolohe a lot and he’s definitely into [power surfing]. He’s not going to leave that stone unturned.

If you have a bad style you’re going to get very exposed at J-Bay and Trestles. Especially a place like J-Bay and maybe Snapper where you actually have to draw lines and have technique and style and everybody…I mean, your peers know. That’s the bottom line. For me if I were to finish my career and I didn’t have the respect of my peers then my career wouldn’t really be worth much.

For the past six months to a year I’ve been trying [airs] a bunch and am having a lot of fun with it. It’s fun to learn. I wish I would have started before, but for whatever reason now’s the time for me. Physically I can do it, so it’s just a matter of practice and technique. I mean, I’m never going to be a true air guy or invited to air shows, but I’d like to have a couple in my pocket. That’d be kinda cool.

Interviewed by Taylor Paul. Portrait by Steve Sherman


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  • Jeff

    HAHAHAHAHA “Portrait??? by Steve Sherman”

  • Mik

    thnx for the insightful comments TK. especially about your approach to surfing J Bay.

  • Yoda

    Taylor’s surfing is timeless. 40 & still ripping!

  • John

    Taylors surfing is timeless. Momentum 2 – full rail surfing – It made the cut then, and it still makes the cut now. What a legend!

  • dipshit

    fuck i just want to be alive when im 40… taylor killzzz!!

  • Rad Dude

    tricks are for kids

  • Will Smith

    Taylor is an old goat. haha Legend!

  • Tommypoe

    If i could have anyones style, it would be Taylors for sure. There was so much variety in styles during the days of Dorian, Williams, Machado, Robb etc. But Taylors style was always a standout!!!! Focus section was and still is alltime!!

  • Yeah Right

    Yep, right! Keep going Taylor. Love to watch you still beating guys like you beat me before they were all born!

  • Wills

    ….And he’s a nice guy too-

  • Mic

    Taylor use to workout at the Gym I managed in Encinats way back when he won the 50 g’s for the big one down in Mex. Cool humble kid even then. I waived him over to congratulate him and he told me “Mike the whole horizon just went black my heart was pounding, but I knew I was in the spot and had to go. When I started the drop I couldnt believe how far down it was and I just remember everything went silent, I was amazed that I made it” Its great to see all the fitness, passion and hard work paying off for Taylor to this day.
    Love the rail grab turns in the barrel at Chops too!

  • vladimir from brazil

    Taylor´s an inspiration for all kind of surfers, specially for his unmovable faith in power/styling surfing, and for his fitness.
    Thanks a lot, man !

  • Brazzo 4 Life

    B4L proposing a trading with TK. B4L arranges air and claiming lessons from new school Brazilians. He can show them how to burying the rail. This will give Taylor complete package.

    With a few airs and claims throwing in his game Taylor would have a few world titles by now.

    Brazzo 4 Life