Photo: Son of a Bishop Photography
Dark Arts talks to surfer Kyle Knox to learn more about growing up in Southern California, surfing and wine, and how he has yet to break a Dark Arts board.
Kyle Knox grew up in a family of surfers. His father and uncle began riding waves in the '60s at Imperial Beach, just five miles north of the Mexico/California border.
"Growing up just a block away from the beach, it wasn't long before I started surfing, around eight years old."
Kyle would go on to fuse his family's surfing lure in Southern California's column by way of a professional career. "Surfing has always been my 'church of the open sky.' I was fortunate to go after it professionally for about ten years of my life."
The water captures his wonder. It is a call in itself. But the highlight, after competing around the world, has been the new faces and distant, undiscovered lands he's come to meet. It's what eventually led him to co-found JJ Knox Wine, where he sees surfing and wine his common motif pertaining to all things life.
Kyle remembers seeing his first Dark Arts board on Instagram in 2017 and immediately knew he had to have it. "The board was pure magic. I called it Black Gold. These boards last so long that I end up having to name them because they become such permanent fixtures. I still ride that board."
It's hard to believe a surfer like Knox can keep and choose to ride a surfboard for three years and counting. On one of his favorite trips, pre-kids, he recalls breaking six boards in ten days chasing waves that would frighten a sea monster.
These days, standing just under six feet, weighing around 200 pounds, he rides two Dark Arts boards, The Ronson and The Dad Bod. He affectionately refers to The Ronson as White Gold, Black Gold's counterpart, measuring 5'10 and providing twenty-nine liters of volume. "My new favorite board is The Dad Bod, which I named. You can ride it in anything with a pulse. I don't need to carry more than these two boards in my quiver. They're pretty much surfable in any conditions."
When pressed to explain his "dark" conversion, his reasoning is simple:
"I've yet to break a Dark Arts board, which is kind of crazy when considering how many boards I've broken in my life. I have the opportunity to ride a lot of boards, but none hold the lasting pop I've found on my DA boards. I've ridden epoxy and polyester rides that have a great feel to start with, and then after a while, that pop disappears. My Dark Arts boards, if anything, get better with time. They're super fast, durable, light, and I've never found that pop missing in any of them."
A set of girl triplets, a son, a happy marriage, and a thriving wine business keeps Kyle on the move. Yet he makes every effort to get in the water when he finds even a small opening in his schedule.
"It's my therapy, man. Nothing like it. And if I can just get barreled one time when I'm out there, I come out a better man."