Taylor Knox's Surfboards Are Shaped By An 80's Vert Ramp Hero
Here he puts it to use in a honky tonk down in Mexico.
In the foggy start of the week, Taylor Knox and filmmaker Mike Farkas sent us over this clip. It’s filmed over one day in Mexico, in a spot that we’re going to refrain from naming…but surely some self-righteous scoundrel will go ahead and blow the cover in the comment section – someone always does. It’s a short clip, and I’m a sucker for T Knox on rail, then they went ahead and added the ghastly voice of Sir Thom York and now I’m swooning, or having flashbacks...not sure which. Taylor was telling me a bit about his shaper Chris Borst, who’s been working with him for the better side of eight years. “He’s doing stuff with surfboards that I don’t think anyone else in the world is doing right now,” he said. “The way he works with technology and numbers sets him apart from the rest, my nickname for him is Rainman.” We go on for a bit and he says, “he has a pretty cool story, he was the head designer for Channel Islands and was on the Powell-Peralta Bones Brigade as one of the best vert skaters in the 80’s; he was one of the first guys to land a 540.”
Intrigued I gave Chris a call, not knowing who he is because my skate knowledge is well, subpar and I’d never heard of Borst Designs before. But that’s because after nearly 30 years of shaping Chris has flown under the radar, all while doing design for some of the heaviest hitters in surfboard industry. “For the past eight years, I did the designs for about 95 percent of what Channel Islands was putting out,” he says. “There was some funky stuff that Dane [Reynolds] was working on, and a couple other boards but for the most part I put together everything and provided those guys with the scaling models for their team. So basically they would take those and shovel them out to Australia and all their other little hubs. I worked closely with the team riders.”
“Before that, I was making my money skating, shaping was just a hobby,” Chris says. “I would have never thought it would become my profession 20 years ago. In the late 80’s I was hanging out with Jason and Benji Weatherly and we went by the Rusty shop. Maurice Cole was there and he picked up one of my shapes that I had with me. He brought Rusty out and they asked me if I wanted to help out around the shop. I was skateboarding at the time, so I just did it for the experience and wound up working for Rusty for 11 years. I would shape and skate, and basically had the life travelling to skate, the same way Taylor does with surfing.”
“As far as my shapes,” he continues. “I don’t use anything that the surfboard industry is using. I set up my own machines, software and scaling models.”
Chris was part of the golden age of skateboarding. In his prime he rode with Lance Mountain, Tony Hawk and Steve Caballero and was featured in such Bones Brigade classics as Strip Mall Heroes and the Search for Animal Chin.
To check out Borst designs, drag that white arrow here.