Last month, Fountain Valley, Calif. native Tom Karangelov (Tom K.) was officially added to the Zero team after rising through the flow ranks. Still filming for Zero's upcoming "Cold War" video, we recently caught up with Tom K. to discuss his addition to the Zero team, college education and what it takes to make it onto one of the most respected teams in skateboarding. And yes, PE is a college-level course.
ESPN.com: How often do people mispronounce your last name?
Karangelov: A lot actually, people always mess it up but it's pronounced exactly how it's spelled. I don't know why they mess it up all the time, but it happens almost every day.
How does it feel to be officially on Zero now?
It feels awesome. It still feels unreal.
Tell the kids how you did it.
I guess I went on a few trips and I kept filming tricks for "Cold War" and eventually they asked me for an ad. I always wanted to grind that Huntington Beach hubba, so I took the opportunity and did that for my first Zero ad. Sounds corny, I know, but I'm stoked.
Was it a let down getting introduced as an am compared to already receiving a pro model on Zero for your One in a Million victory a few years back?
[Laughs] Yeah, kinda. That's so funny, nobody ever asked me that one. It wasn't really a pro model. It was more like a memento. I gave it to my parents. The bros liked it but I felt weird about it. I didn't know how to act about it. Who would?
Has Jamie Thomas talked about releasing that pro model to the public if the day ever comes?
No he hasn't. I'm trying to bring back the OG Zero bird board. Myself and Jamie Tancowny want to bring back that board. That board is so sick.
How's filming for "Cold War" going?
It's going good, I just have to find really weird or new spots riding my bike or driving in my car. I want to skate a different rail or stairs for my part instead of the played out spots. It's tough but it's slowly coming together.
Who has been killing themselves the most for "Cold War" that you have seen?
Probably John Fitz, he's so gnarly. Tommy Sandoval too. He's always gnarly and killing himself.
Any other secret weapons for Zero?
I don't think so but that would be tight. Wait, we got Alex Gall -- he's making a comeback!
Did you finish high school?
Yeah, I did.
Yeah, I'm almost done with college. I got PE and math left and I'm done for college.
What's your major?
I don't have one -- it's just general education.
Have you or will you ever tutor Tony Cervantes if he asked you?
I'm down. I'm sure he could tutor me too, I know I could learn a lot from him.
Name one trick Chris Cole can't do.
Back three kickflip. I don't think he's got that one.
Advice for someone trying to get on Zero?
Probably just skate and be yourself and have fun and if you want to ride for Zero, I'm sure it will happen. Skate with your bros and stay motivated.
Who else do you get stuff from and what do you got going on with them?
Gravis, Analog and Spitfire. I'm filming a bunch with Russel Houghten and he's helping me work on my Zero part too.