This is the Central Valley, you skate, so you probably already know Tom Knox, or at least know of him. If not, you will . . . again
I have had the privilege of knowing Tom for . . . awhile now. I can easily say that he is my favorite skater. More than that, he is one of my favorite humans on this planet, and if I had “it” to do over again, he would be one of the main models. His individuality, drive, focus, sense of humor, and sobriety are just a few of his quality characteristics. Hey, pay attention! This guy RIPS - pools, ramps, curbs, banks, parks, drums, guitar, golf, jujitsu . . . life.
It is my pleasure to introduce, my friend, Tom Knox.
Backside Air on the cinderblock wallP: Micheal Barden
Where and when did you start skating?
I got my first board in 1983,it was a Variflex, and it was here in Visalia.
What were some of the first spots to get skated in Visalia?
At first we just rode quarter pipes and little half pipes that people had built, then as street skating came around we started riding curbs and parking lots. Redwood High School was probably one of the better spots.
What was it like already being an experienced professional when people like Karma, Richard and Jesse Paez and Tim Garner were just little groms?
Well, karma is only like two years younger than me, and I had known him since we had played soccer together as kids, so we sort of progressed together. It was nice watching Richard, Jesse and Tim come up. They all came up in the early nineties so they have that all around skill.
How does such a small town as Visalia produce so many gnarly skaters?
There is nothing else to do and there is just an attitude of gnarliness that comes out of this town.
Do you see any young kids coming up today?
Morris. He skates everything. Street skaters really limit themselves. Learn to ride it all.
FS 5050P: Micheal Barden
Before you were known as more of a street skaters, but now you seem to skate a lot of vert and pools. Do you still skate street?
Every now and then, but my street skating consists of ledges and curbs, not gaps and rails. Skating tranny is just easier on your body when you get older. I just love blasting airs.
What was up with the Black Flag graphics?
I really like black flag and I don't like cops.
In the early 90's you pretty much disappeared from skateboarding, what happened?
Well, i would not say early nineties, I rode for Santa Cruz until 94', then sonic until 97'. That is when I went back to college. It is just that around 94' skating really changed and went to full tech street. I was into riding everything. Skating has always been cyclical and trendy, you will always have the flavor of the month club getting coverage.
Where did Sonic go?
It just could not survive the times. The Nineties really sucked to own a skate company.
Were you still skating during that time, if so, where at?
I never stopped riding my skateboard, I just chose to step away from the industry. It really sucked how trendy and one-sided skateboarding got.
Lien to Tail, SeattleP: Micheal Barden
Doubles with Timmy G.P: Scott Obradovich
Any shouts and and/or thanks yous?
Thanks to my wife Margie for supporting me through my career. Tim, Richard, Dale, Scott, Jamie, Morris, Eric D. You guys inspire me to shred. Santa Cruz, Indy, Dekline, and Sabrevision for supporting me. Ted Terrebone, Greg Hall, Mike Barden for shooting photos of me. Jeff Duncan and Dave Metty for filming me. Anybody who skates for fun, remember that the only reason to skate.