The world of skateboarding just wouldn’t be the same without legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk. An inspiration for many new skaters, he has taken the sport to new limits, setting dozens of records for his amazing skateboard tricks.
Though Hawk is clearly a leader in the sport, it is important to remember that he started off where all skateboarders did. At one time, Tony Hawk had to learn how to skateboard, like all other skateboarders. He has put a lot of hard work into becoming the top pro skateboarder that he is today.
Born in San Diego, California, he first began skateboarding at the age of 8 after his older brother bought him a used skateboard. His father, a retired U.S. Navy officer, built a ramp in their backyard for Tony to practice. He won his first skateboarding contest just three years later, and turned pro at the young age of fourteen. Since then he has won dozens of major competitions in the world of skateboarding, becoming a top name in the sport.
Tony Hawk is known for completing the first 900, or spinning around for two and a half rotations while on a skateboard. This feat was accomplished at the 1999 X-Games, the world’s largest alternative sports competition. It took twelve attempts for him to land this trick during the 1999 competition; he again successfully completed the 900 during the X Games in 2001.
Tony Hawk is best known as a vert skateboarder, meaning that he uses ramps and bowls rather than skating on flat ground. Vert skateboarding is known as being very difficult; it can take quite a while just to learn how to drop in to the bowl, making his tricks all the more impressive.
Tony Hawk is known not only for his skateboarding tricks, but also for his video game line distributed by Activision. These realistic games provide an opportunity to practice tricks virtually by taking on the persona of a pro skateboarder. The series debuted in 1999, and there have been 11 titles to date, including the Pro Skater and Underground series and the latest game, 2009’s “Tony Hawk: Ride.”
His skateboarding-related activities extend beyond competitions and video games. In 2002 Hawk started the Boom Boom Huck Jam, a live show featuring displays in motocross, skateboarding, and BMX. He has also appeared in many films, including “Police Academy 4” in 1987, “Gleaming the Cube” in 1989, “Jackass: The Movie” with Bam Margera, Lords of Dogtown about the history of skateboarding, and several other movies.
He has also donated money to help build skate parks across the country and provide skateboards for kids who can’t afford them. He has spent years encouraging others to take part in the sport he loves. He often interacts with his younger fans at competitions and other appearances, and is known as somewhat of an ambassador in the sport.
Tony Hawk is among the best-known names in the world of skateboarding, and for good reason. His story, competition record, impressive tricks, and other skateboarding activities have earned him a place in the history of the sport.