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28 October 2014

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Calstock's own World champion
Mountainboarding is fun on all terrains © Paul Taylor/ATBmag

Mountainboarding reaching new heights © Paul Taylor/ATBmag

Cornwall is
home to World Champion mountainboarder Tom Kirkman. We find out more about the lad from Calstock.


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After 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.
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Tom 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.

That 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.

An accomplished skater
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.

mountainboarding  © Paul Taylor/ATBmag
mountainboarding © Paul Taylor/ATBmag

The 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!

Tom 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.

"Whether ripping up a skatepark or hitting woodland trails, its all about friends, breaking new ground and having a laugh."

Pushing the boundaries
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 heights.

That’s 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 it’s more than that. Some rider’s 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 can.

Tom will never acknowledge any of this amazing skill and isn’t a big fan of the attention it attracts. For him riding with friends at any kind of spot is where the fun lies.

30ft airs
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 fly’s 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.

Although 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, Tom’s parents, often seen carving gentle hills alongside kids as young as five, ATB is accessible to everyone.

After 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.

Tom 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 yard.

Written by J

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