Kirkman, from Calstock in Cornwall, is one of those frustrating
folk who are pretty good at most things they try. When he decided
to get off his skateboard for a minute, and have a crack at ATB,
no one could have guessed that it would lead to two World titles
and becoming the first professional in the sport.
fateful day, around three years ago, quickly led to a sponsorship
deal, international travel and a position at the top of the sport,
not bad for an under-18-year-old.
Tom was already an accomplished skateboarder when he first tried
his hand at ATB and had run his own skate shop from the age of thirteen
as part of his home schooling. This meant he had the freedom to
travel and at his first event, the legendary Maxtrack Classic, he
won the first race he entered.
© Paul Taylor/ATBmag
following year Tom was picked up by the Scrub team and by the end
of the year was crowned senior World Champion, at 15-years-old!
says: "I'm addicted to boarding. The relaxed nature of the
sport and competitions, the room for innovation and the ability
to ride any terrain means I can have the freedom to try anything
I wants when riding.
ripping up a skatepark or hitting woodland trails, its all about
friends, breaking new ground and having a laugh."
Whilst having a laugh, Tom has become one of the most influential
riders in the world. Often introducing new tricks or new takes on
existing favourites, he has pushed the sport's freestylers to new
not forgetting that fact that he has also been the fastest rider
on almost every boarder cross event he attended in the last couple
of years. But
its more than that. Some riders just have something
special. Whatever board sport you look at, some riders just go that
bit bigger, look that bit better or just do something no one else
will never acknowledge any of this amazing skill and isnt
a big fan of the attention it attracts. For him riding with friends
at any kind of spot is where the fun lies.
Tom is quick to state that all the innovation comes from social
riding, with less risks being taken in competition. But that detracts
from the fact that he regularly flys over 30ft high in the
air and covers ridiculous distances upside down, all whilst making
it look like the board is an extension of his body, another limb.
its fair to say that the sport is pretty full on at this level,
Tom is very quick to remind us that ATB is only as dangerous as
you make it. With Nelly and Barry, Toms parents, often seen
carving gentle hills alongside kids as young as five, ATB is accessible
two years on the ATBmag World Series circuit, Tom has raced all
over the world and is now looking forward to the new rounds in Costa
Rica, Brazil and South America, probably because the surf will be
as good as the dirt boarding.
can normally be found sessioning his back yard or riding local spots
round Calstock. Not only does he have some amazing free riding on
his doorstep, he also has an amazing selection of ramps in his back
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