GB skateboarding: Interview with team rider Tommy Calvert
Tommy Calvert is the junior skateboarding sensation whose remarkable talents come almost instinctively. At only twelve years old, he is the youngest member of the Skateboard GB team, but don’t let his age fool you…
Already an accomplished rider, sponsored by major brands in the world of skateboarding, Independent Trucks, Bones Wheels and 187, he is equally at home on the streets as he is on the bowls and greens. Originally from Liverpool, he now resides with his family in California, where you can usually find him blasting mega ramps, grinding pool copings or tearing up sidewalks and stairs.
Speaking with the gifted multi-sport rider, it’s also clear that he’s just as confident as a public speaker as he is a skateboarder (is there anything he can’t do?). Explaining everything from how he first got involved in the sport to why competitions are vitally important to his continued growth around the world – hear what this young skateboarding ambassador had to say in his full interview, below…
Tell us about how your skateboarding journey started; When did you have your first skateboard, what was the first trick you did that pushed you to get into this sport?
“I started skateboarding when I was 7. I snowboarded for a day and loved it. After that we went to a local snowboard/skate shop in Venice, I took a skateboard and I started skating in the store. It was like snowboarding. My dad was surprised that I could do it, so he bought me the board and I skated home on it. Then I skated to school every day. After that, I started going to the Venice skatepark with my mom after school and loved the vibe.”
“I started skating with all the older guys, and the first ‘good’ trick I learned was a reverse reverse park that made me feel like I was part of something.”
There would now be more than 85 million skateboarders in the world. What about this subculture that speaks to so many people? What makes it so different from other extreme sports?
“Skateboarding can be done just about anywhere. You don’t have to live near a mountain, forest, beach, or where other extreme sports take place. Skateboards are quite cheap compared to other sports equipment and you can literally be in the same park or stand as a pro and use the same equipment as them You don’t go down to the local field and play not in football with Ronaldo, but in skateboarding it’s different. Everyone is together. Not many other sports can say that. You can be a complete beginner or a pro and still find something fun. is also really cool and flying fast and high will always interest and excite people!”
Image credit: CJ Photography
A tough question – who do you personally consider to be the GOAT of the skateboarding world and why? You can only choose one.
“Keegan Palmer is the GOAT. He’s got the style, the speed and the technicality, and he’s also a really cool and funny guy. The most important thing is that he makes skateboarding fun when you skate with him.”
With regards to the second Virtual Skateboard GB Championships, taking place this month, how important are competitions like these to grassroots skating?
“Virtual competitions are fun and low pressure. It is good to encourage young people and all skaters to participate and to get used to putting lines together and thinking about them. There are no limits to the number of descents you can do, but you should give yourself a number of tries so you can get used to it when you do it for real.”
Skateboarding is now also an Olympic discipline, having been introduced in 2020. How do you think this will affect future generations of skateboarders? And who should we be watching for the UK squad at the 2024 games?
“You should look out for the whole team! We are all pushing really hard and going to show everyone British skateboarding! Skateboarding in the Olympics is good for everyone, it will advance the sport, bring the progression of tricks at a really high level and constantly progressing. It will also bring skateboarding to a new audience. Even my nana knows the names of the tricks now haha!”
Image credit: CJ Photography
Transition skating or going out on the street – Which do you prefer and why?
“I like both, I couldn’t really choose. I skate in transition because going up high and fast is a real rush for me, but skating the streets and finding spots is so much fun.”
Looking ahead, where do you see yourself competing in the years to come? What are your ambitions? And what aspirations do you have for the sport in the future?
“Obviously I’m really focused on Paris and really happy to have been chosen to be part of the GB skateboarding team. I’m excited to skate in the Olympic qualifiers.”
“I really want to push and promote skateboarding to the younger generation because I felt like the older skateboarders who were cool with me really helped me when I started and they still inspire and inspire me. inspire now. I also want to do as many great competitions as possible.”
“I personally want to learn as many new and interesting tricks and get creative with the lines and the speed and the power of the flow. All the promising new skaters are really pushing each other right now, bringing the level of skating to new heights.”
We know that watching skate videos is a popular pastime for skaters, so to that end, what’s your favorite skate video soundtrack?
“The music for the Nyjah video part with the Meek Mill Dreams and Nightmares soundtrack was super hyped!”
Last question – You’re about to go on a skate trip and you need a sweet playlist to accompany you on your travels. What are the five pieces that always make the cut?
“Right now I have these tracks on repeat… A92 – ‘Plugged-in session’, SR – ‘Brucky 2.0’, Russ Millions ‘Plugged in freestyle’, RV – ‘Water resistant’, SR – ‘Welcome to Brixton’.”
The Virtual Skateboard GB Championships are now underway and open to everyone. The qualifying registration period runs from monday september 20 until Thursday, September 29. The finalists will be announced on Saturday October 1 with all winners announced on Sunday October 2.
To find out more about the championships and our sponsorship of this year’s virtual event, click or tap – here.
Check out our What’s On guide for even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head over to our Things to Do page or get inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.