By Valentina Diaz
V. Diaz, a journalist and passionate skateboarder is a full-time writer for SHIT®️ Magazine.
Tommy Sandoval is a pro skateboarder from Chula Vista, California, located in the San Diego metropolitan area. It is one of the largest cities in California and is close to the border between the USA and Tijuana, Mexico. This place is beautiful and has amazing coastal landscapes.
Notably, Tommy is 34 years old and t throughout his career he has made history doing a huge amount of video parts, something that makes him a very special skateboarder. He skates in a regular stance and has competed in contests like Sun Diego, Dew Tour, Tampa Pro, Street League and more, by the way, he won an X-Game gold medal in 2010 in the Game of Sk8 modality.
He is supported by ZERO, Fallen, Krux, LRG, Ricta, Mob Grip, 9five and Bones Swiss. He e is also a reggae DJ and has a son and two daughters. He took up the 9th in Sun Diego AM 2018 and recorded his last video part in Mexico. In August, a man hacked his account with more than 100 thousand followers and now he has a new account.
Even though he is doing his best to recover it or at least close it. The latest occurrence is that his hackers began to change the nickname and putting his son in posts, Instagram hasn't solved it so he is asking people to report this profile.
We hope Sandoval manages to solve this problem and continue giving to his followers his amazing skateboarding content. Otherwise, he will have to start again, however, this mishap doesn't erase all that he has done as a skater or all his information through these years.
Where the Story Begins
He began to skate when he was pretty young, with a lot of passion to he threw out all his feelings through skateboarding and made an insane tricks list that made him respected. The relationship between him and his father was difficult, and to the contrary, his mom was more flexible.
"My dad was Church, he was a pastor like super religious and my mom was like the free-spirited kind of 'live your life how you wanted to, just be smart,' my dad just didn’t really like skateboarding. Obviously, he wanted me to finish school." Tommy said at On the Other Side by Transworld Skateboarding.
So Tommy was always a person that felt the freedom of skateboarding and his father didn't like that freedom, neither that he was skating and not studying. Additionally, he thought that it was too dangerous for Sandoval, “he was injured a couple of times and I actually told him I didn’t want him skating, so that caused the big riff and conflict between us," his father said to TWS.
In the case of Tommy, he accepted that he enjoyed going past his boundaries when he was young with weed, parties, cars, money, "just all the hijinks you can imagine as a young adult. I was really popular in skateboarding at Baker. Maybe 2G made me want to fucking be an alcoholic, at a young age."
When he won the Spring Break Yo'self in 2006, he decided to buy a limousine with his prize. A lot of memories of this have been part of his story. Imagine being with your friends, getting in a limo and moving around the city to skate and have fun, that was probably nuts!
Skateboarding gave Tommy a social circle to forget all the issues, also the way of seeing life as just study, work and do that for the rest of his life, he wanted to do something different with his life and so far, we could say that he made it.
This Made Him a Special Pro Skateboarder
Apart from the excesses which make Tommy Sandoval being Tommy Sandoval is his clean technique of skate, he traveled around the world looking for the best skate spots, since 2000 he has been recording his life on the board and he has proven that he was born to skateboarding.
When he got ZERO's support things got even brighter, he made parts like New Blood, Ride the Sky, Cold War, Damn it All and more. "He’s had a lot of video parts, and video parts are very hard to film, some of the most influential skateboarders haven’t had that many video parts," Chris Cole stated to TWS.
To Cole, Ride the Sky and Cold War were pretty good, he recognizes that "he did extremely hard tricks but I know that he did a lot of them more than once." Sandoval has made his entire life skating until now, he has made all kinds of tricks on all kinds of spots in all kinds of cities.
"Sandoval was a Thrasher Magazine Skater of the Year finalist in 2013 after putting out two amazing video parts: one with Fallen in "Road Less Traveled" and another with Zero in Cold War," X Games stated in Tommy's biography.
An Announcement That Helped Him Change His Life
Even though he said that he never faced his emotions because he always tried to avoid them and that skateboarding was perfect for that, about a year ago, he received news about his brother, "he had got diagnosed with Stage four lymphoma and he was pretty much on one of the last treatments that if it worked he’s gonna be with us and if it didn’t he wasn’t gonna do any more treatments," Sandoval told.
This made a deep impact on him and gave him a change of mind, he felt really bad about it because he thought that he has been wasting his life every day and the fact that his brother never did anything to risk his life as Tommy does, that this happens to him, in some way he felt guilty. His brother recovered and in the process, Tommy was headed for changes in his life.
"I just started thinking just like what the fuck am I doing dude like I just got so overwhelmed that I just started crying uncontrollably, I was super upset then I was laughing then I was crying and all these emotions kept coming out and I just couldn’t pick one," Sandoval said in his interview.
His brother's situation motivated him to step away from the party and dedicate more time to his son and daughters, so Tommy is constantly doing things that will distract him from the chaos like cooking, music and of course skateboarding.
A lot of his time is spent experiencing music, something that he's done since he was 16. "This is the other thing that keeps me away from all the stuff that I could be doing. I have plenty of time to spend making CDs, a CD you recorded right here and you just hook it up to my mixer, and then from there I just go back and forth dropping tunes."
“He’s such a gnarly person in every aspect of his life that he needed that change, for health reasons, for sanity reasons. He's definitely more productive, he's thinking better, no smoking, that’s definitely gonna have a positive impact on his skateboarding career," his filmer Danny Goycoolea said in the documentary.
Tommy feels that skateboarding is the way to be free of life issues, "I can honestly say, no matter what, I will always be riding the skateboard, I feel like I’m connected not only to the people involved in skateboarding but also skateboarding itself," he said too.
Transworld made a great documentary to show how a pro skateboarder career can spin out of control, but also to make people think that everything is possible, even negative behaviors.
So if you have to choose, do whatever you want but a bit of advice is that you can also think about where you want to be in the future and then start to work on it right now. What really matters is how skateboarding makes you feel every day.
"I go somewhere and skate and everything’s forgotten just in those moments of like hereness you know you just know your thought it becomes reality and that’’s like really where you can explore how strong you are in your mind and you know how much you’re willing to give something in order to get it done," he concludes at TWS.
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