After recently retiring from an unprecedented 20-plus-year run on the ASP World Tour, Taylor Knox is stronger, fitter, and faster than he's ever been, and seeing him—in the water and on land—is believing. At 42 years old, Knox is ripped, flexible, and surfing better than ever, and with the launch of his new series of exercise videos, he is sharing his knowledge and know-how with the world. SURFfit is the brainchild of Knox and his longtime friend and professional trainer, Paul Hiniker. SURFfit is described as "a total-body premier exercise system that utilizes FIT: functional integrated training." Knox puts it in simpler terms: "Simple exercises to make you better, faster, and stronger."
I am one of those people who look at Knox with a mixture of jealousy and inspiration. I'm jealous of his rig: He's strong, fit, and has abs for days. In standing next to him and looking down at my soft midsection and squishy love handles, I'm inspired to do something "from chunk to hunk," for lack of a better description. I'm stubborn, and when it comes to actually training or working out, I'm lazy. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say my training for surfing is surfing, and my workout for skateboarding is skateboarding; sounds simple, but I'm pretty sure it's not working. I had the chance to pick Knox's brain about what he does to get and stay so incredibly fit, his answer was easy: SURFit.
What is SURFit and why do I need to do it?
You're actually a great candidate for someone who would benefit from doing SURFit. It comes down to being better, faster, stronger. I've had a lot of friends—and I'm sure you have, too—that have been injured doing boardsports. I see a lot of people rehabbing and trying to get back to doing the sports they love and it takes a long time. The type of exercises we do and teach in our videos help keep you out of the position of getting injured in the first place; it's about prevention as much as it's about performance.
Will it make me surf and skate better?
No promises. [Laughs.] My partner, Paul Hiniker, was a professional vert skater when he was younger, he's a great snowboarder, and [he] has been surfing for over 30 years. Between him and I, we watch all kinds of surf videos, skate videos. We watch a lot of surfing video and take note of what body position works with a lot of elite athletes like Danny Way and top-level snowboarders like Gretchen Bleiler and Elena Hight. Between the two of us, Paul and I have a lot of years of experience with these sports, so we've put that experience into these workouts, making them very specific to surfing, skating, and snowboarding. It's not just for pros, though; these videos are for anybody that wants to get strong [and] look good in their core section—something a lot of us could use some work on, including you, Chris. Again, it's not a bodybuilding bulk-up thing, it's about speed and agility—go fast, turn hard.
How old are you and how the hell are you still so ripped?
Thanks. I'm 42 and I feel like I'm close to the best shape of my life.
So you do the same workouts you show in the videos?
This is a passion for me, so yeah, I'm not just a paid spokesman. [Laughs.] People always ask me how I train, so finally I just decided to show everyone. I know what it's like to have terrible back pain; I've had nine pieces of metal in my back for 26 years, and when I was younger I had a doctor tell me I'd never surf again. I want to share what I've learned through all these years of experience. Not everybody can have a guy like Paul [Hiniker] around to train with them, so through these videos, Paul and I can hopefully help people out there get better at what they do, stay injury free, or come back from previous injuries.
Sounds good, but I seriously don't like to work out.
I can tell. [Laughs.] No, but seriously, we tried to make the videos entertaining and easy to do. If you don't want to do a full-blown workout, do a few sections of the workout; if you want to go for it, do the whole workout. Like I said, these workouts are for anyone, and you don't need a lot of time to get the benefits. You look good, Chris, but I want you to look and feel better. [Laughs.] Oh, and surf better too.
So other than becoming the Richard Simmons of the surf world, how have you been spending your time in "retirement"?
Very funny. Well, I don't feel retired. I've been travelling a lot, surfing a lot of great waves. I recently had two great trips. I went to New Zealand and I just love it there. The people are amazing, the waves are really fun, and it's got to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. After that, I went on a trip with the Reef team to Barbados, and that's another place I just love. Barbados was actually my first international surf trip when I was a kid, so it's very special to me. Plus, any time you get to travel with the Reef team is cool. Hanging out with Rob Machado is cool.
Do you miss surfing contests?
Sometimes, but that goes away when I'm surfing great waves with not a lot of people around. I think I'll miss contests when Jeffreys Bay comes around.
Dude, you NEED to be in that contest!
I think so too. [Laughs.] I'd really like to push for a wildcard. Seems like a long shot, though.
No problem! To anyone reading this, take to the web and get the message to the ASP! #knoxjbay2014 Let's go viral with this! Thanks for talking to us. I'm gonna do the tape and report back to you and GrindTV with results. Wish me luck.
No luck needed, my friend. Just do the tapes and have fun; you'll be feeling good and surfing better than ever.
Check out SURFit at https://surffit.tv/taylor-and-paul/.
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