Tom is a true skater in the purest form riding for the love of it. His ability to flow smooth solid lines in pools, on ramps, pipes, ditches and parks continues to be a style worth emulating. Any session with Tom is a great session watching him rip inspires you to go for more and leave stoked!
When did you start skateboarding?
I can’t remember not having a skateboard, though I do remember my first one. I’d say the early 70’s was the starting point.
What was your favorite thing about riding or place?
My favorite thing about riding is standing on my board and using gravity and momentum to propel myself up, over and out of any smooth terrain. My favorite places to ride are pools, pipes and parks. Downhill is a blast too.
Who were some of the skaters you looked up to and did you ever get to meet any of them?
I’ve been inspired by so many and have been fortunate enough to meet most of ‘em - early on. It was the surf/skate rats at the monster bowl in NJ. Later at Cherry Hill it was Brad Bowman, Victor Perez, Jami Godfrey and Steve Herring.
When/How did you get sponsored?
My first sponsor was Brad Bowman of Sims flowing me boards etc...we skated at cherry Hill in 80-81. I was stoked!
You have one of the most fluid powerful pool styles of riding even on ramps. Coming from NJ how'd you develop that?
Thanks man. NJ has it’s share or surfers brah. I’ve always enjoyed the flow and smoothness of certain skaters. I don’t surf, it’s just my translation.
I know the east coast had a cool scene, lot's of diy, brotherhood and a killer style of riding as did Texas where you moved late 80's. What lead to the move and How did the scenes compare?
Being outside of california and the parks closing is where and why the DIY/Brotherhood thing came from. We had no choice. I’ve always had a great time visiting Texas in the past. I wanted to ride with the locals more. Plus there were killer pools and the ramp at the skatepark was a favorite of mine. Geography and climate is where the difference lies. The approach and attitude was/is quite similar.
I remember the time we were skating metro bowl and we saw security driving up and ran off. Then when we went back to skating he snuck up and told us he was trying to find us to say it was alright to skate until they fenced it. So many fun sessions happened there. You had such rad lines and runs and were killing it the day Salba and crew came out along with Phillips and Murf that was in the Texas Style video. What was it like to ride with all those guys there?
Great friends skating a killer pool equals a great day. Easily my favorite pool. Salba opened up the shallow step line - I’m glad to see you captured some of it on film!
You used to get a picture of every pool you skated, how many pools have you ridden?
I’d try and snap a shot or two, I usually would end up skating and forgetting! As for a specific number, it’s hard to say. Not as many as I’d like.
Now they are building so many parks with bowls etc like a new one in Houston that's supposed to have a Texas shaped bowl. How do you like this compared to the days of hunting down, cleaning and riding pools?
Backyards are a different animal...there’s so much more to it than just showing up and having everything handed to you. I appreciate both and am stoked to see all of the parks popping up, but it’s hard to get a really good backyard.
If you could design your own pool or bowl what would it be like?
I really like right hand kidneys, Not real deep, wide open deep end, rolled lip in the shallow- tile and pool block. Basically the end pool at Cherry Hill.
Who were/are some of your favorite people to session with?
A handful of friends from anywhere make for a fun session. My new favorite pool is in our park in New Smyrna Beach Florida.
Who would you like to ride with now?
I’d like to go back to that day at the Metro - or any day at Cherry Hill.
I know you and Chuck Treece from McRad go way back and interestingly enough I'm also interviewing him to kick off the Interview page. What are some of the coolest moments skating or hanging with him.
Hanging out with Chuck's always cool. Our early road trips stand out, punk shows in Philly stand out, sessions at my ramp really stand out.
Favorite tunes to skate to?
Seventies rock, Early Punk/Hardcore, Early Metal.
With all the parks being built there seems to be a renewed appreciation for bowl, tranny and vert riding. who do you think are some people to watch?
I enjoy watching the masters, seeing the young guns kill it is really fun though. Ben Raybourne, Jake Reuter, Pedro Barros from brazil and mike barnes of florida are my favorites to watch.
You ride for Pocket Pistol how did that come together?
Chuck Hooked that up - I have history with most of the guys on the team. A lot has come full circle, so much so that it’s really cool. I’m happy to be a part of it, there’s no pressure just fun. Get out and skateboard.
Any plans to do a skate tour?
As for tours, I try to take a trip somewhere once a year - Oregon, California, the east is always a good road trip. A trip to Texas has been long overdue!
I like how all the older pros and skaters are still riding and knocking down the age barrier. Do you think it's possible to progress after the late 30's?
I like it too, though I’m thinking in the 40 and up range. I do think progress is possible, it depends on what your after as to what that definition is. I’m really just out to have a good session, maybe doing something where I’ve never done it - ride some new terrain and live to do it again. Skating’s so young that the boundaries have yet to be defined.
Any final comments?
Skateboarding has given and shown me so muc. I’m forever grateful and i owe bigtime. Stoked to do the interview, thanks Greg!