Watch: Alex Knost Shoots A Flaming Arrow Into Your Stockpile Of Performance Shortboards
You ever wonder what a Twonzer is?
When it comes to experimenting with obscure surf craft, Alex Knost is the guy. Like your buddy who just built a makeshift shaping bay in his back shed, Alex carves out midlengths, bonzers, and just about any other setup the mind can imagine.
However, the key difference between Mr. Knost and your friend is that Alex actually understands how the elongated boards work. Knost harnesses the ungodly amount of speed they provide and disperses or ditches it with carves, stalls, and cheater 5 barrels. Your friend, on the other hand, uses the extra board length to catch waves early and avoid eye contact with air sections.
Filmer Cole Walton recently sent us a clip of Alex doing a test run on his self-shaped twonzer and, naturally, I was intrigued. I shot Alex a few questions to try and make sense out of the cryptic fiberglass puzzle. See his answers below.
Did you shape that board in the video?
Yes, it’s a twonzer I shaped maybe 5 months ago. It’s the first one I made.
What exactly is a twonzer?
A twonzer has a twin fin set up with bonzer runners in front. The back twins are set super upright to eliminate surface area at the base of the fin. It compensates for all the base on the front bonzer runners. It’s loose but with a tracking feeling. Like loose trucks, but so loose you gotta avoid wheel bite.
What was the inspiration behind it?
Photos of this Mike Eaton shaped “zinger” model were floating around online. Having primarily ridden bonzers over the past five years, I was intrigued by the design and wanted to adapt it to a longer board. Ideally, it was for smaller California surf. The goal was to make something that trimmed across flat sections using the bonzer concaves and the lift that they provide.
It has just enough length to noseride but still utilizes every inch of the board. Since the fins are placed further up, you can place your back foot behind them and pivot at low speeds. For longer, drawn-out carves, you can put your back foot on top of the frontrunners and turn from further up on the board.
How does it ride compared to a normal bonzer? Or a single fin?
No center fin is new to me. It slides more, but I enjoy the new sensation. It’s a feeling that reminds you there are no rules in surfing—just a goal to utilize the surf in new ways.
Get any weird looks riding this? Any non-believers?
Probably. But, of all people, I saw Gorkin try it in Nicaragua. He had an ear-to-ear grin getting tubed on it. The mind works best when open.
What surfer would you like to see riding a twonzer?
This board? Not sure. Burch, maybe. But I made a new one that’s 5’8″ and looks like an ’80s kneeboard. I would like to see Creed, Ellis, Noa, Ozzie, Harry Bryant, Chippa, Justin Adams, or maybe Curren ride that one. Someone that can surf like Gonz skates.
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