Andrew Reynolds will go down in history as one of those skateboarders who showed us that the rest of us mortals sell ourselves short when we think certain things might be impossible on a skateboard. And if you know anything about Andrew Reynolds, you know that half of his take on skateboarding (i.e. frontside flips) can be traced directly back to this week's #TBT: Tom Penny. I know this because we both met Tom on a trip to Europe in the mid ‘90s and Andrew and I were fanning out on him and studying his every move. At least one of us picked some of them up.
This is Tom Penny’s part from the etnies High 5 video from 1995. It’s filmed terribly, but the Bowie song rules it and legend has it that most of the tricks in it were done within a few tries. The five tricks in the hallway on and over the rail were at San Dieguito High School in Encinitas, CA. People who were there said he skated it for less than half an hour total. The switch flip, switch boardslide down the 13 rail, then kickflip into the street line is one of my personal favorites. That was at Carlsbad High and Dave Swift of all people filmed it, there’s a sequence of it out there somewhere with old Swifty hoofing it down the stairs, camera in hand. Do I need to even mention the kickflip backside ollie to tail revert in Chicken's pool? In my opinion, even at 1:19 seconds, this is Tom’s greatest video part.