All Photos by Jimmicane
Dragon calls it “Taylor’s School of Hard Knox.” A cheesy name, to be sure, but a terrific concept: Take a bunch of air-happy grommets and teach them to do a cutback. At 7am last Thursday morning on the south side of the Huntington Pier, 50 area high school students gathered in their wetsuits and were led through surf-specific stretches with Taylor’s trainer, Paul. During the warm up exercises, Taylor went from kid to kid and kicked sand on them while yelling, “Power surfing is not dead!” “Put it on a rail!” and “For every air you do, a kitten dies!” Nah, that’s a lie. Taylor was great with the grommets, and the purpose was not to kill their airs, but to round out their surfing.
Before they hit the water Taylor directed the kids through the basic functions of power surfing. Things like bottom turning on the lower 1/3 of the wave (not out in the flats). The importance of having a low center of gravity and pivoting around your front arm. When the groms hit the water Taylor stood on the sand and observed their surfing and took notes with the high school surf coach, who would later relay Taylor’s tips to each surfer. Then Taylor went surfing and led by example.
Post-surf everyone retired to the Junior Lifeguard headquarters and enjoyed Sugar Shack burritos while Taylor walked the kids through a few of his waves which, as you’d expect, were technically perfect and stunning. At 10am the bell rang and class was dismissed and all the kids went to actual school. They couldn’t concentrate in math or social studies or sex ed because all they could think about was bottom turning on the lower 1/3 of the wave. —Taylor Paul
*Thanks to Taylor Knox and Dragon for keeping helping to keep power surfing alive. Also to Rip Curl for the prize pack and the Sugar Shack for the burritos. If anyone knows who the unidentified groms are in the action photos, leave their names in the comment section. Thanks and happy carving.