(Featured: Sidewalk Magazine, 12th February 2015.)
Brick walls to stairs, awkward banks to road gaps, LA school yards, to lines spanning halfway around London; combined with an outstanding trick selection, eye for obscurities and an always fantastic choice of music – it’s no exaggeration to say that Tom Knox is one of the finest British skateboarders of today.
Now settled down with Isle Skateboards and New Balance Numeric, Tom’s output over the last few years has been non stop. After closing off Jacob Harris’ Eleventh Hour in 2013 Tom has kept productive, appearing in various web clips for New Balance whilst filming for the much anticipated Isle Skateboards video Vase. Since the release of said video towards the end of 2015 Tom has been getting more attention from overseas audiences, which is certainly deserved – as is his position as one of Isle’s newest pros.
The last few weeks have been an even more significant time in Tom’s life; witnessing Isle clean up at Bright European Skate Awards by taking ‘Brand of the Year’ and ‘Best Video’, Jake Harris receiving ‘Videographer of the Year’ and Tom himself winning ‘Part of the Year’ for Vase, all on top of becoming a dad! With all of his recent accomplishments in mind, we felt there couldn’t be a more fitting time to celebrate by taking a look back at Tom’s life on video over the last few years. As New Balance Numeric’s recent Oz tour edit shows, there’s plenty more to come…
Square One, Jacob Harris, 2009
Tom and Jake’s relationship extends to more than that of just skateboarder and filmer. Being good friends for a number of years allows each video part to be more of a collaboration between the two. Jake could be considered somewhat responsible for the approach Tom takes in this video part and, in turn, the way he has skated since. Regarding filming for Square One, Jake has said “Tom was just a kid that fucking loved skating, was really good at it and didn’t have many ideas about it at all… (I) sort of wanted to make him skate a certain way and that fed into his skating a lot.”
Emerica Europe introduces Tom Knox, Emerica, 2011
Whilst the motivation to skate stairs over a lower impact style of skating has arguably decreased over the last few years, it’s welcoming to note that Tom has kept a steady balance of both. This can be seen here by his opening of this section with a backside 360 down the Liverpool Street double set before stringing together an effortless Suciu-esque line without pushing once…
Eleventh Hour, Jacob Harris, 2013
Tom’s end section to one of the finest British videos since Blueprint’s Lost & Found  provided a bookend which left many yearning for another Knox/Harris video part.
As PP Arnold’s rendition of The First Cut Is The Deepest fades out, A Day In The Life by The Fall takes over and with it comes a shift in trick selection as the lines of the first half are mainly substituted for quick single tricks. Ending things by handling three stair sets (one of which boasts a handrail) in such quick succession perfectly demonstrates Tom’s ability to combine high impact tricks and quick, quirky footwork.
London Am Finals Run, 2014
Three tricks missed in a five minute run, first place deservedly earned and a little bit richer…
Not bad to say he wasn’t even going to enter.
VX4000, New Balance Numeric & Russell Houghten, 2015
With their amazing team and expert lens/drone/4k camera wielder Russell Houghten behind each project; New Balance Numeric offer something interesting every time. VX4000 is no exception and sees Tom take his fast footed finesse to sunnier terrain. While he may have been robbed of that backside smith back three at Euston in the credits to Vase, the one delivered to a picnic bench in the second half of this video can’t be faulted.
LA Vibes, sml wheels, 2015
Various bits of footage from trips over to the States during the last year here courtesy of SML Wheels. While possibly not as at home on pristine concrete as on the usual assortment of rugged brick and paving, a change of scenery is always nice…
Vase, Isle Skateboards & Jacob Harris, 2015
Isle’s debut video was by far one of the most celebrated releases of 2015 and rightly so. From the actual skateboarding to the in-house produced visuals and overall art direction, to call it a masterpiece is a fair claim.
Following on from his outstanding curtain call in Eleventh Hour, it seems fitting that Tom took the opening section this time. In keeping with his other video parts Vase presents a steady contrast of quirky, low impact skating, bigger terrain and a characteristic spot selection throughout. Once again fast feet and boldness come together, with one of the most memorable moments seeing Tom deliver a swift half cab over some blind bumps followed by a backside 360 down the following stair set.
Recognition deserves to be split between Tom and Jake for their joint efforts on this, with further props due to Jake for his dedication to Vase as a whole. Hopefully one day Jake will swallow his claims of “never making another full length video” and another Harris/Knox pairing will be on the cards. However what the two have produced so far has documented some of the finest British skateboarding of recent years. Their multiple and recent successes at BESA providing extra proof of that.
Jake is also the godfather to Tom’s kid which is a fitting title for a don behind the lens so, to round this off, we would like wish all the best to Tom, his girlfriend Kelly and their daughter, Rosie Knox.