Introducing our new Team Manager - Tom Steele
Tom with a textbook 360 flip to fakie in our latest ad!
Hey Tom, first off let's start with you telling us about yourself for those who don’t already know who you are?
Yeah okay, I’ll keep it short! My name’s Tom Steele, I’m 27 years old from a country called Wales in the UK! It’s a beautiful place for those that don’t know it, epic landscape, beautiful coastline and home to a truly one of a kind skate scene! It’s worth a visit if you can handle the bipolar weather and are particularly fond of sheep…
So how long have you been skating?
I’ve been skating for, erm…1,2,3,4…18 years now! Wow, it’s gone fast! I guess it’s true what they say, time flies when you’re having fun, either that or I’m just getting old. At least that’s what my body has been telling me the last couple of years!
But aren’t you super fit? We’ve seen those handstand push up videos on your Instagram…
Ha ha ha, so we’re going there! I mean I wouldn’t go as far as saying “super fit” but I do like to try and take care of myself. I was lucky to grow up doing gymnastics. The novelty of doing backflips soon wore off, but the love for health and fitness stuck around. The more damage I’ve put my body through over the years skating the more I’ve focused on stretching, diet, and wellbeing. To be honest it’s become my main focus recently.
Well, we’ve seen you skate and you seem to be able to bail out of anything…
I wish that was the case, it’s quicker to name the bones I haven’t broken than the ones I have.
Oh really!? Any good stories?
Too many! One of the most memorable injuries I took was about 6 years ago while out in Vancouver. I had just met Rob ‘Sluggo’ Boyce, now there’s a dude that can bail out of anything! We were skating Hastings bowl & I remember popping this f/s air in the deep end, the next thing I knew I was waking up in the flat bottom with two broken wrists and a fractured hip! It was pretty heavy, I clipped my back truck on the way in and just ate s#*%! I took a while to recover from that one. I remember flying home all f*%$*#@ up. I had no insurance and forced myself to fly back to the UK to get free healthcare. I learned a very valuable lesson that trip!!
That sounds gnarly!! So you’re taking it easy now then? I mean you’ve all these new responsibilities with Team Management and the direction of Bamboo Skateboards.
Yeah, you could say so, I’m starting to take everything a little easier in my life right now. I’ve just built a log cabin with my girlfriend for her, me, and our dog to live in. I’m all about that simple life, trying to be as self-sustainable as possible. The way we consume as a species I don’t necessarily agree with. It’s a huge part of why I’ve come on board with The Bamboo Skateboard Company. I love what they’re doing as a company, it’s so much more than a brand.
So what’s your take on the product and plans for the future of bamboo?
Man, that’s a big question at this point in time! I mean I’m a skater and have skated maple boards for over 15 years so I’m definitely not here to tell people that the shouldn’t ride them. What I am here to say though is that there is an alternative to riding a completely maple board. It’s an alternative that for me not only makes sense factually but also morally. Bamboo is stronger, lighter and has more pop. The guys at The Bamboo Skateboard Company own and manage their own bamboo farm to be sure they aren’t tampering with its natural wildlife! That’s right, no pandas are harmed in the making of these boards, ha ha!! I guess what I dig most is that these kinds of facts play as much of an importance in the production of these skateboards as the shape and structure of the actual board.
So are the boards made entirely of bamboo?
We’re aware that bamboo is too flexible so instead found a happy medium and created a bamboo x maple hybrid. This way we pay attention to the structural properties that maple has to offer a skateboard, such as keeping a good rigid structure while complementing it with the added strength and pop that comes from bamboo. I’m stoked on the boards, it’s a small step in the right direction environmentally and makes a significant difference in the board itself with it having more strength and pop! I’d love to see more board companies using bamboo, but as a skater, I’m completely aware of the challenges ahead.
What challenges might they be?
The skateboarding industry has been stung lots of times by companies bringing out products they claim to be better but quite simply are a novelty or have a ridiculous price tag attached to them. I’m not going to name names and point the finger at any companies, but skaters generally don’t like that shit! We like what we know and know that Canadian maple has served us well. So, of course, it’s going to be difficult getting people over to bamboo, all I can do is look to the future invest into skateboarding, skaters, and the industry as a whole and let them see for themselves that these boards really are rad. Like I said, it’s so much more than a brand and I’d like to see more companies using bamboo in their construction.
So what about the Team?
You’re just going to have to wait and see…
Thanks for your time Tom, looking forward to seeing more from you! You can reach Tom at: [email protected]