Tomek Przybylik: New Polish Powerhouse
If you’re not familiar yet with the name Tomek Przybylik, you will be very soon. An exciting blade talent that is as comfortable in the skatepark as he is on the streets, Tomek blends power and fluidity to create a blade cadence that’s all his own. The same goes for his career options and goals, where Tomek has learned from other disciplines and athletes how to diversity his options and create unique opportunities for himself through sponsorship and travel. Last year he was in the U.S. for awhile, ripping up the Venice Beach skatepark, and this year we watched him shred the course at Winterclash. Along the way he teamed up with ONE’s own Steve Steinmetz to answer questions for this BLADE LIFE interview. Read along to learn more about Tomek and what sets him apart from the pack.
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What’s up, Tomek! Tell the readers who you are, how old you are, how long you have been inline skating, where you are from, and list your sponsors?
Hello, I’m Tomek Przybylik, I’m 26, and I’ve been skating since I was a kid, but aggressively from 2005-’06. I’m from the south side of beautiful Poland. My current blade sponsors are Gawds Skates, Hedonskate, and Bladeclub. Also, right now I have a deal with Bobby Burger Poland and Hemp Juice Poland, they’re a company that produces CBD drops; I’m trying to make some deals for 2020 with other companies out of our industry.
What is the scene like in Poland?
The Polish scene is excellent, mostly street skaters but a lot of good ones. There are a few crews located all around Poland. I live on the south side in a city called Katowice that is also home to Hedonskate shop. I think the Silesia area is the biggest blading area in Poland. Hedonskate does Wednesday sessions there, and in the summertime we have big meetings in the local plaza. So yeah, Polish scene is pretty good. You can also see that on the results from Winterclash 2020, Polish crew made podium in women’s and kid’s categories, and also top 10 in Amateurs and Pros. But for everybody who is up on the topic, they all know that Poland is strong from a long time, no cap.
Are you one of the first professionals to come out of Poland?
There are a lot of good bladers in Poland, but nobody else does competitions like FISE or travels to the United States for the Blading Cup, so I’m trying to change it up. Back in the day when I started street skating, I remember the Polish scene was massive! I remember seeing local guys winning international competitions. I also remember a guy named Adam Zurawiecki, who had his pro frame with Kizer. That makes me the second person from Poland to receive a pro product, and I’m super proud of it.
Tell us a little bit about your travels to California this past trip. Does Southern California live up to the hype compared to other places you have skated?
Traveling is always amazing, but there are challenges. I enjoyed meeting new people, tasting some of the goods, and experiencing a different culture than my own. Traveling makes me step outside my comfort zone and forces me to make some magic happen within the amount of time I have. Luckily California still has a great blading scene, perfect weather, and good vibes to help make the experience amazing. I love that.
Tell the readers about that journey of getting a pro wheel from Gawds Brand?
I’ve always dreamed of having a pro product and of being a professional blader. I’ve been skating for a long time. I have participated in competitions throughout the world for many years. I do shows in front of 1,000s of people on the mega ramp. I’ve filmed a street section every year for many years too. I believe if you love something and you put your passion into it, then good things will come of that effort.
What are you doing professionally to get more kids on skates?
I do daily classes for kids, plus sometimes workshops and shows in front of the public. The main thing I do is to skate and have fun at my local skate park. I believe that when I session with the kids and show them my passion for skating, they soon understand and want to do that too.
What is the essential part of teaching inline skating to this new generation? What can others do to follow your lead in regards to getting more youth to participate in our sport?
I think we have to be open, help the new kids at the skatepark, and share the passion. Others can follow my lead by doing shows, workshops, and classes in their city or local park; it’s an excellent way to show our sport to the general public.
How did you get involved with doing shows on the mega ramp?
It started a few years ago. I was inspired by watching Chris Haffey doing the Nitro Circus shows online. After seeing Chris, I decided I had to try a mega ramp. Luckily, I know the Godziek Brothers, and they are some of the best BMX/MTB riders in the world and part of the Red Bull Team. I knew they did big air shows around Europe, so I asked if they would be interested in doing a show with blading in it. After a few talks, they agreed to let me participate in their upcoming show. I got to practice a few times on this unique airbag, and then I went for it. The first show was successful, and everything worked out. When I showed them my skills, they were willing to involve more blading into the show. I’ve always believed that if you want to do something special, you can ask people their opinion and then work with them to make things happen the way you have envisioned it. All it took for me was some inspiration from Chris and some connections that were involved in mega ramp shows, and a few months later that inspiration was a reality. It is crucial when approaching other professional athletes like I did to stay humble and show them you are willing to work hard and be a team player. There are not too many shows and places to train, but it’s an awesome discipline, and I’m sure the public likes to watch. I love it and hate it all at the same time. It takes a lot out of my body, but the feeling I get from the mega is dope.
Speaking of things taking a toll on your body, what are the benefits of CBD?
After competitions or big shows, I use CBD drops. I believe that it helps a lot with muscle pressure release after hard training, and it helps my body recover faster.
How important is it for you to branch out to other industries to expand your brand and make a comfortable living off inline skating?
I think it’s imperative because, as we know, there are only a few big companies in our industry. I also feel that I need sponsors from outside of our industry to promote skating in general. By including more businesses, it can also help our industry grow stronger. In every other sport, many companies sponsor events and athletes, so I think we should start to do that in blading.
Please walk us through the process of your trick selection, the way you approach a spot, and what you are trying to accomplish.
I like to feel the pleasure of the trick, and sometimes depending on my mood, I will want to challenge myself and do something crazy, like the biggest roll in or a big kinked rail.
How do you want to impact inline skating both at home and abroad?
I want to show kids and people that there are a lot of ways to live life. I want people to know that you have to try, and sometimes it’s hard, but you know — no risk, no reward.
You’ve had a few skate sponsors, but Gwads is your first pro product. Why did you choose Gawds Brand over staying with a company like Remz or another Powerslide branch company like the Aeon?
Shoutout to Kato for all the support and everything, but Remz was a long time ago, and I was still looking for my perfect skates. USD was good. I skated Aeons for a long time, and I was already working with Powerslide. Then Powerslide asked me if I wanted to try new skates, which turned into the Gawds brand. They asked me because we’re trying to promote Gawds more in Europe. I was open to the unique opportunity and said, “yes” to the offer. Now it’s my second year skating Gawds Brand, and I have a pro wheel. Let’s see where it will go from there, but for right now, I have a good deal. I like the skates so what more can I say!
Awesome, Tomek! Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and give our readers some insight into who you are and why you are someone to watch in the future. Would you like to do any shoutouts and or some final thoughts?
My final thoughts are that I would like to thank everyone who supported me and helped with this project, especially to:
– Przemek Madej for designing the wheel
– Basza, Pilch bros, Andy Bonder, my Lady, and everyone who helped with filming and editing
– Krystian Zarzeczny, Piotr RzoÅ„ca, and Sandra Biegun for the pictures
– All my sponsors: Hedonskate, Gawds brand, Bladeclub, Hempjuice Poland
So yeah, enjoy the video, keep rolling, have a good time on blades, and of course shout out to all my Katowice, Polish and worldwide homies and much love to my fiancé.
See you guys somewhere around the globe, and thank you very much, Steve, for the questions!
Photos by Krystian Zarzeczny, Sandra Biegun, and Piotr Rzonca.