Brit Tom Penny is sponsored by Flip Skateboards, Supra Footwear and Kr3w. It doesn’t take too long to work out why Tom is a big Cheech and Chong fan (one of his favourite movies of all time is the stoner duo’s Up in Smoke) and his iconic signature Cheech and Chong graphic, introduced by Flip in 1996, remains one of the company’s best-selling boards.
Penny was born in Dorchester on 13th April 1977, but grew up in Oxford, where he began skateboarding with his friends. He emerged onto the scene with a bang in the early 90s, popping up in skateboard magazines and videos, including the first Flip video The Long Overdue in 1992, with tricks that were performed with such ease that people instantly took notice.
When Tom hit the USA in 1994, he continued landing once-thought-impossible tricks with fluidity and nonchalance, appearing in videos such as Etnies’ High 5 in 1995, and making the cover of Transworld. However, he was never in it for the fame or money, and soon disappeared, only to reappear over the next decade to feature in films including Flip’s Sorry, Really Sorry and Extremely Sorry.
Tom’s nomadic lifestyle – he has had spells living in Argentina, Barcelona and Christiania as well as the UK and the USA – only adds to the legend that has built up around him. Off the board, it comes as no surprise to learn that he chills out by doing graffiti, tai chi and meditation, and by playing chess.