Boards: Taylor Knox
Taylor Knox, rolling thunder. Photo: Jimmicane
Channel Islands Zeus, 6'0" x 19 1/8" x 2 1/2″
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They say that the flutter of a butterfly's wings in China could cause a typhoon to hit the other side of the world. Others say that a Taylor Knox hack at Swamis could send a typhoon toward China. And while the first statement remains but a theory, the latter is quite possibly fact — Taylor's arcs are just that good. It's no surprise that his newest C.I. model is called the Zeus, as his thunderous frontside wrap seems charged by a bolt of lightning. While Taylor claims he's only just a fan of Hellenistic tales, it'd be tough to argue that he himself hasn't achieved sacred status upon surfing's Mount Olympus. And now, with his new model, any mortal can have a shot at riding the lightning. —Beau Flemister

TAYLOR: This is my new model that I've created with Chris Borst at Channel Islands. It's called the Zeus, like the Greek god. I like Greek mythology and thought it would be a cool name — Zeus is like the father of the other gods and I'm kind of the older guy, so… [laughs]

I wanted to do a standard, really nice short board — a 6'0" squash tail you can ride when it is 2-foot and when it's 6-foot. There are some boards that feel great going down the line, and others that feel great in the pocket, but then there are those situations where it digs a rail here or there. I think we've found that perfect balance with the Zeus. It's loose and really responsive and we have gotten it to the point where it feels free and drivey — it just doesn't dig rail at all. People are going to love it; I feel like it combines three boards into one. They just made a couple for Jordy and Kelly, so I'm looking forward to hearing what they think.

With this particular board [pictured], I wanted to use some bigger fins, so we made it a little looser with the rocker at the bottom, double concave between fins, like a little vee — that way I can use the thicker fins and have it still be loose. These days I've been leaning toward using bigger fins and more tail rocker instead of a flatter rocker and smaller fins. It seems to be the magic balance.