Props – Sparrow Knox

Sparrow's best friends on why he's the man

Everyone reckons that their mate is the best snowboarder going, the one who deserves all the coverage and accolades, so we decided to let those same folk have a go at explaining exactly why their hometown hero is the most deserving-est. Introducing: Props.

To kick things off, and as part of our #aweekwith project, we decided Sparrow Knox would be an appropriate instigator, as there are few riders that draw such wide acclaim from so many voices. It’s fitting then that in the summer he works for the props department on Rude Tube, a job which includes such tasks as being an off-screen ‘dildo wicket keeper’. You can already see why so many hold him in such high regard…

Photo: Matt Georges

Scott Penman

Sparrow’s friend and general loose cannon

If positive energy, skill and style were legal tender, Sparrow would be old money. He’d be in the 1% of the ruling elite; he’d be funding missions to Mars to cultivate crops on other planets.

Sparrow is London’s favourite snowboarding son. He has all the charm of the east end wise guy, with the unique steeze and innovation of the city’s most avant garde. His DNA is different from most humans, as it’s got the Knox gene in there – casually doing hand plants and transferring from different sections of the double helix. Just look at the roster: Dad – show business; Mum – DJ; Bro 1 – skate pro; Bro 2 – film maker; Bro 3 – fireman… and that’s only a few of them! The Knox’s house is full of life, I’m sure there’s little brothers and sisters preparing to collect Oscars or paint masterpieces. And I’m sure Sparrow will one day be a household name himself – he’s too cool for just snowboarding, skateboarding and handstands. Send him over to the United Nations to settle a world peace agreement over a few spliffs and a beatbox freestyle!

Photo: Matt Georges

Niels Schack

Sparrow’s best friend and Burton team member

Sparrow is genuinely an awesome human being because he:

– Takes his time when he eats
– Is always down to open any spots
– Smiles more then 87% of the time
– Finds a bit of home wherever he goes
– Uses coco oil for toothpaste
– Always has food on him
– Has a set early alarm clock in his head
– Is the mud dawg
– Never forgets your birthday (throws in a little recorded rap if you’re lucky too)
– Is going to sound like David Attenborough when he gets older
– Is so good at skating tranny
– Rocks the craziest clothes and gets away with it so well
– Says please
– Is the god of mega mix
– His lucky number is 32
– Has a diary which he writes in everyday
– Follows his instincts (not always the safest or smartest but he is definitely true to himself)
– Has the best and most loving family
– Never really gets scared
– Loves the unknown
– Has crooked teeth that make smiley faces when he bites apples
– Has an email address called skatesnowboy
– Can ride under the influence
– Is truly gifted at accents
– Plays the trumpet
– Makes banging tacos
– Is the embodiment of being enthusiastic
– Is travelling presently on our Loose Change adventure
– Can rap of his dome
– Laughs when he slams
– Is the #1 motivator
– Gets over hyped on simple things (like rope)

However for me, on top of all of these awesome qualities it’s because we grew up together! Since we were 14 we have been in the strangest and most wonderful situations through snowboarding and other crazy adventures. I feel lucky to have him around to put me in trouble, or get me out of it. 

Photo: Ed Blomfield

Tom Knox

Sparrow’s older brother and professional skateboarder for Isle Skateboards

Sparrow’s technically the middle child – out of the seven he’s number four. I guess he didn’t try and stand out, he naturally does. He’s that kind of person, pretty energetic… A good spirit to be around.

He definitely has this natural gift, I dunno if it’s because he’s naturally athletic or what but he definitely figures stuff out quicker than most people.

We actually got into snowboarding together… We’d go visit my Grandma and go ride this place called Hillend, a dryslope. We went up there one summer and we went every day, just ‘cos my parents needed us to go get some exercise and get out the house, we went up there a whole summer.

I shared a room with Sparrow for 21 years of my life and he very rarely, well,never actually annoyed me. No matter what he did, he’s such a happy spirit that he can be anywhere, do anything and he’ll do it to the limit of happiness. He’s just the happiest dude basically, Sparrow.

Phil Young

Sparrow’s ex-team manager at Nike 6.0

Back when Sparrow was about 13 and was on the Nike 6.0 team, I took him over to Portland for a meeting at their headquarters. Louie Vito was there, as well as BMX rider Garret Reynolds, downhill mountain biker Josh Bryceland, and surfers Nat Young and Carissa Moore. They were there to be presented as “the future of action sports talent” – but Sparrow wasn’t at all fazed. He was just doing his thing, getting excited about all the American sweets he’d be able to take home and sell to his mates.

We’d been wakeboarding and paintballing, and then they took us for a burger. The restaurant had a PA system – one of those ones for calling customers to the counter or whatever. Sparrow ran off and somehow got himself round the back of the kitchen, grabbed the microphone and started swearing at everyone in the restaurant. “You’re all a bunch of shits, you lot!” and stuff like that.

One of the guys at the table was Sandy Bodecker, who was essentially the man responsible for getting Nike into action sports (as well as football). A bigger figure in the industry you’d struggle to find – and yet there was Sparrow, in his first opportunity to impress the bigwigs, just abusing everybody.

The guys had to go up and ‘discipline’ him in a sense, and remind him that what might be suitable in North London might not fly in the homeland of corporate sportswear – or words to that effect! I liked it though – it was just Sparrow being Sparrow, and set the tone for his whole career.


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