"Berate My Approach? Well I’d Love To See Theirs" – Alex Knost
Mr. Knost on the difficulties of Kelly's wave, what he rode, and a message to the critics.
Two days back we dropped an Instagram featuring the ruler-straight form of Kelly’s Ranch paired back with the vibrant flair of Alex Knost.
It was a dance. Al felt out the artificial wall with a buoyant craft, jived high, wet the rail for a speed check then stretched out into one of his signature frontside layback stalls. He squatted, stuck five on the nose, disappearing and reappearing a handful of times throughout the rest of short clip.
The post lit up.
It was a take we hadn’t yet seen at Lemoore, oh so refreshing and, according to the attached comments, a controversial one at that.
The haters fired off with everything from the usual 'hipster' ramblings—"that was like watching a rollerblading in a skate park!! PAINFUL," "boring", "waste of a wave" and social activist debate on whether Kelly's wave is an inappropriate use of the country's water supply.
Meanwhile, tucked in between were nods from the likes of the Hobgood brothers ("Wow that was rad"), Shane Dorian ("Wow!! Mental!!"), Matt Hoy ("Epic"), Nathan Webster and more.
There’s only one other name that excites and simultaneously infuriates certain segments of Stab's audience as much as Alex. Unfortunately Gabs won’t converse with us, even went to the extent of blocking us on Instagram, but thankfully @knostthankyou doesn’t mind us sliding into his DMs.
We fired a few questions Knost's way and he delivered a scroll-and-a-half of insight, including a mildly spicy return of service to his anti-fanbase.
Hey Al, hope you’re well. We’re digging your ride at Kelly’s. Talk us through the session.
Well, first off I want to say thanks to Kelly and Pat Tenore that I got to surf it. I believe with the elimination of various conditions I was able to really feel out the sensitivity of my boards – the Campbell Brother’s bonzer contour bottom.
It’s a hard wave to surf because you’re reacting to a non-visible section, it’s under you, not in front of you. Honestly, I was mostly inspired by Stephanie’s (Gilmore) approach.
I went out there with Bruce Irons, that was a treat. He’s a great friend and he has a real free spirit. We shared a few doubles… Pat Tenore from RVCA really made it happen. I feel pretty fortunate to have tried it out.
I bet. So what in god’s name were you riding? Thing looked silky.
I rode a 6’9” I’ve been riding for two years. I did the outline on it, it was a rip-off of a Barry Kanaiaupuni template, about 18.5 inches wide with an 11 inch tail. Malcolm (Campbell) did the Bonzer concave and rails.
The post went kinda wild with love and hate, yeah?
Although I’m not the Stab reader’s choice in approach, I’m open to criticism. It’s the natural response from onlookers… But I could say for sure, [the wave's] difficult. Most people that feel so inclined to berate my approach, well, I’d love to see theirs. Arrogance and ignorance often leave a variety of brush strokes, and I’m an art lover.
Slide on up for the extended video shot by Lyndie Irons and edited by Jimmy James Kinnaird.