Catching up with Dickies skater Tom Knox
STORIES | 28.04.2020
Within the world of skateboarding Tom Knox needs no introduction. At the age of 29 he’s achieved most of skateboarding’s highest regarded milestones: several celebrated video parts, pro boards on Isle Skateboards, a pro shoe on New Balance and recently featured on the cover of Thrasher Magazine, a publication known within the scene as the skate bible. While many skaters may have been tempted to look back on their achievements and slow down, this success only seems to have motivated him more. Born and bred in London, Tom still lives there with his wife and two young daughters. It’s hard to talk about Knox without also mentioning the speed of his feet. Famous for having the quickest feet in the game, he has the incredible ability to do multiple difficult skate tricks, back to back and in quick succession.
We caught up with Tom to get an insight into his life, and to see if he believes it’s possible to improve the speed of your feet from the comfort of your home.
When did you start skating and why?
I started when I was around 11. My oldest brother was skating so me and my other brothers just copied him.
How was it growing up and skating in London from a young age?
It was amazing. I would tag along with my brother and his mates and go into central, which as a kid was such an amazing experience. Buy a travel card and have an extra quid for some chips, just stay out all day. As I got older, I'd go out skating and filming every chance I could. London felt like ours on the weekends, we'd just rat around doing what we wanted. It's a very different city now, between the amount of tourists and security, everything has definitely changed and it’s a lot harder to feel free in.
Tom Knox feeble over skate stoppers in London
You were involved in the Dickies Life x Long Live Southbank collaboration which raised funds that went towards the restoration of the iconic skate spot, how important do you think Southbank is to the London scene and skating in London?
It's a very important place. Especially for people who don't necessarily have a good local park or scene; they can travel to Southbank and create their own. A lot of really talented people have grown up there. It feels a bit like a zoo with all the tourists watching but I do enjoy skating there especially now they've opened it up you can stick in the back corner which is nice.
Tom Knox BS lipslide at Southbank wearing the limited-edition Dickies Life x Long Live Southbank Double Knee Work Pants
Who were your early skate influences?
I guess as a kid I played Tony Hawk, watched jackass and all that. Then when I got a little older, I started watching videos and found a lot of inspirations especially within the UK skate scene. I liked watching videos where I could go out and try and imitate the skating. So I could watch something like the Portraits or Lost and Found, stumble across the spot that I saw in the video and skate it.
Tom Knox FS blunt in London
What are your favourite video parts?
I always have the classic ones I loved as a kid and still re-watch today, like Jensen in Lost and Found, Jake Johnson in Mindfield, and Rowley in Sorry. New videos don't seem to grip me in the same way though; it's all too over saturated that even when something is good it can just go past you. Recently I watched the Bobby Dekeyzer Quasi part a few times, which is rare. Usually I watch things once. But something about that part really felt proper and made me want to get out and skate, which is what videos should be doing.
You have two young daughters, how is it balancing being a pro-skater and a Father?
It's a challenge for sure, but my Mrs is a gem and helps out a lot. The hardest part is when I'm on trips, but when I'm in London I have a good routine, get nice time with the kids and get out skating a lot too.
You recently landed the cover of Thrasher; how does that feel?
Feels lovely. It's not something I ever expected would happen, so hyped on how it turned out.
How is it skating for Dickies?
It's great, everyone involved, Joe (Monteleone) and all the team are a pleasure to skate and travel with. Got some stuff planned this year so I'm excited to get on a mission with everyone again.
Which are your favourite Dickies pants to skate in and why?
The New York Combat Pant. They're good for winter, keep you nice and warm and there’s nothing I like more than a couple of cargo pockets. Any flex pants too. I really like that material, makes you feel real comfortable.
You’re known for having the quickest feet in the game, how did you get such quick feet?
Haha I’m not sure. Growing up in an old city the spots are really interesting but can be awkward too. So, when I found a spot that was decent, I would try and figure out how to skate it even if there were some challenges. So maybe that’s how I started doing quick foot stuff, just trying to work around my environment.
Is there anything that you can do at home to improve the speed of your feet?
Get a balance board or wobble cushion, strengthen up those ankles while you're watching TV.
What’s next for you?
I've been working on a part so hopefully that will be finished soon. Been sorting out my garden getting ready for some warm weather. Better get back to that, come to think of it.