Name: Tom Cookson

Age: 21

Years riding: 16

Location: Wigan, North West UK

Instagram: @tomcooksonbmx

Where is your favourite place to ride? Anywhere with a good crew!

What is your current frame and who are your sponsors? Proper Tecmatik frame, feels so solid, and the geometry is spot on! I'm currently riding for Proper, AlansBMX Shop, and WN Bikes. WN Bikes is our local Wigan BMX brand/scene – WN is the postcode for Wigan – and all profits are going towards materials for a DIY spot, so that's a really cool one.

What was your favourite BMX moment from last year? The Curbside jam in Bristol was a sick one. So many good lads and sick riding. It felt like the pinnacle of the UK BMX scene! Rom Jam was also a notable one. It was the first real jam after the pandemic and so many people turned out from all over the country – it was sick to see everyone ride a jam again.

Who was a BMX role model growing up and what has influenced your riding the most? Growing up I used to love the Ride to Glory DVDs, and the whole BSD team was a big influence for me – Kriss Kyle, Alex D, Mike Taylor, etc. Their edits were always a cut above the rest for me and I used to watch them on repeat religiously. Also, any local riders I used to spot in Rampworx and other parks when I was around eight or nine years old, Harry Main, Jason Phelan, Scott Ditchburn, and the DUB crew at the time.

What do you get up to when you're not riding? I like to go and watch live DJs, drink beers and even do a bit of DJing myself around the local area on weekends. I'm also a keen mountain biker and snowboarder when I'm not riding BMX.

What was the craziest thing you have ever done? BMX-wise, I'd say the last clip from my DIG Locals video was probably the biggest thing I've done. 360 down a 17-stair double set. That one got the blood pumping for sure.

Do you prefer going big, getting tech, or all about style? I like to try and have a mixture of everything in my riding. I grew up mostly riding ramps so I always love to flow around and hit some boxes, quarters, etc. But recently I have transitioned to riding more technical street setups. I love to just mix it up and I'll have a crack at riding whatever you throw at me.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to try our sport for the first time? Get a BMX, and head down to your local skatepark. It doesn't even matter if it's a 20 quid jobby or the latest top-spec complete, just get out there and find your feet, chat to some locals and see what you can do!

What is your favourite country you have visited so far? Has to be Spain for me. I was lucky enough to go on road trips around Spain/France with my parents growing up, so I always had the BMX with me in all these amazing cities, Paris, Lyon, Barcelona, and anywhere else we visited in between. Barca always stands out to me as a favourite, and Club Eurocamp is only an hour up the road from there too. So many fond memories from there.

What’s in your future then? I guess the plan for this year is to just keep riding and progressing. I'm heading out to Barcelona for a few days in summer, can't wait for that as I haven't visited Barca with my bike since 2018. I’m also aiming to get some video parts filmed. Weirdly I have only ever filmed one proper edit in my whole 16 years riding – my Dig Locals video last year. We are also working on a WN Bikes mixtape to showcase the local Wigan riders and scene. The idea is that the whole video is filmed on spots that are in areas with a WN postcode. I've just signed up for the first round of Backyard Jam too. So glad that this is returning this year, it's great for the scene. I think NASS is on the cards as well.