Tony Hawk turning 50, reflects on remarkable ride in skateboarding

Tony Hawk turning 50, reflects on remarkable ride in skateboarding

Long before social media took bullying for teenagers to a whole new level, Tony Hawkfelt the sting of disapproval from his skateboarding peers.

At the legendary and long-gone Del Mar Skate Ranch, he was a small, skinny kid with the Flock of Seagulls haircut who was making up goofy “circus” tricks that nobody else dreamed of. None of that made him popular or cool.

“In an outcast sport, I was an outcast,” Hawk said. “It was pretty isolating.

“But it made me believe in myself more. I would never advocate for that kind of bullying, but it made me strive to prove them wrong. I sort of hunkered down and forged my own way.”

Fame and a business empire built on skateboarding have shown the native San Diegan chose the right path.

Hawk’s life reflections are coming more into focus this week. On Saturday, the world’s most recognizable skateboarder celebrates his 50th birthday — a milestone that no doubt will leave his fans and peers nostalgic, with a touch of melancholy about the passing of time.

“Maybe I can raise some awareness about being active and old,” Hawk said with a laugh.

“I wasn’t thinking much about it until it started getting closer. People want to make a big deal out of it, so I’ve kind of embraced it.”

Since Hawk doesn’t do anything halfway, he set out on a quest to create a “50 Tricks at 50” video. The maneuvers covered the breadth of his career, and through hundreds of bone-rattling falls, he pulled it off.

“It was a fun idea in the beginning, but in the thick of it, it was a little bit daunting,” said Hawk, who plans to post the video Saturday on YouTube’s RIDE channel.

Hawk posted this trailer on Friday.

“For some of the tricks, it was my way of finding closure with them. I wasn’t trying to make it some monumental thing that ‘I’m finished,’ because I’m not. But there were some tricks that were hard back then, and even harder now, and that will be the end of it for me.”

Just three years ago, Hawk had the first-ever downward spiral loop built onto his private ramp — a mini-rollercoaster — and in the video he suffers ugly bloody scrapes and bruises before, of course, nailing the trick in the end. The video got 20 million views.

Hawk’s friends marvel at how he still attacks skating.

“He’s the Energizer Bunny,” said Mike McGill, 54, the Hall-of-Fame skater from Encinitas who has known Hawk since their teens.

“To have that drive, at whatever cost to your body. … He still has a passion for skating. It’s crazy and awesome. It’s inspiring for older skaters, like, ‘If Tony is still doing it, I guess I can, too.’ ”

McGill still skates with Hawk, but notes that, “If he says he’s skating at 10, you better be there then, because if you’re 15 minutes late, you’re probably only going to get five minutes with him.

“He’s very regimented. He probably wants to stay longer, but just like all of us, he has commitments. And his are times 10.”

With three children, ages 9 to 19, still at home in Encinitas, Hawk often has school drop-off duty before heading to his office and warehouse in Vista, where his private halfpipe ramp has been a skating mecca for years.

To skate at Hawk’s place is akin to a baseball fan taking batting practice at Yankee Stadium. It’s hallowed ground, because Hawk is his sport’s Joe DiMaggio or Derek Jeter.

During the 1990s, Hawk went from being a young dad — his son, Riley, was born in 1992 — barely making a living for his family to operating a conglomerate of businesses that pushed his current estimated worth to $140 million.

“I got the most pushback when I was younger,” Hawk said, “because people would ask, ‘You’re still skateboarding? Grow up. Get a job.’ I learned to ignore those comments, and now I feel like it’s more a joke on them if they think that what I do isn’t valid.”

Hawk had won dozens of national skateboard competitions when he struck a deal in 1999 to be the face of a video game, “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater,” which would be a staple in the market for two decades.

That pushed his stature to a new level, and in the same year at the X Games, Hawk backed it up by landing the first “900” in history — a trick on the halfpipe in which he spun his 6-foot-3 frame 2½ times before landing successfully. It was a move thought to be impossible at the time.

He called it the “apex of my competitive career.” (Hawk pulled it off, probably for the last time, at the age of 48.)

“I think his vision for tricks was a lot better than the rest of us,” McGill said.

Said Hawk: “There was a constant desire to challenge myself, regardless of the accolades or my standing. In a lot of ways, I was never satisfied with my performance.”

Hawk saw bigger opportunities everywhere. He started a clothing line that was in mainstream retail stores, began an arena and stadium tour, got amusement park rides named after him, and inaugurated a YouTube channel.

He was the early driving force in the popularity of the X Games, at which Hawk won nine gold medals between 1995 and 2002.

And it doesn’t get much bigger in pop culture than to have been a guest star on “The Simpsons,” as Hawk did in 2003. He loses to a cheating Homer in a skate contest, with the champion declaring, “Whoo hoo, I rule this pseudo-sport!”

In McGill’s view, Hawk changed skateboarding because his well-spoken, clean-cut nature made parents comfortable with getting their kids involved.

“We’ve been stereotyped for so long,” McGill said. “Tony proved that all skateboarders weren’t punks. … Tony has always been a pretty straight-edged guy.”

In terms of acceptance, it doesn’t get much better than what Hawk experienced in 2009, when President Barack Obama invited him to the White House for a Father’s Day forum. Hawk was set loose to skate in the Old Executive Office Building.

Fittingly, Hawk is now in high demand as a speaker at corporate events, often talking less about skating than how to market and brand yourself. He also is heavily involved in the running of his foundation, which puts financial and political clout behind the construction of skate parks — many of them in low-income communities. The total thus far: 588 parks.

“I grew up near one of the last skate parks (at the time) at the Del Mar Skate Ranch,” Hawk said. “It was never lost on me how lucky I was to have it. I knew that skating was my salvation.”

Hawk, said McGill, has always held a healthy dose of perspective on his life and career.

“He didn’t forget his friends,” he said.

And sometimes, even among the greatest of Hawk’s peers, they have to bite their tongues and let Hawk own the spotlight.

McGill said he was boarding a cross-country flight with his skateboard, and another passenger — obviously noting McGill’s age — quipped, “Trying to be like Tony Hawk, huh?”

“I just smiled,” McGill recalled, “and said, ‘Yeah, I’d like to be like that guy.’ ”

 

Via: SD Tribune



25 COMMENTS

sfllaw
September 27, 2020 at 21:08

ray ban tech round as hat for sale air max 90 gs neon green new york yankees black baseball cap cheap sport oakley sunglasses detroit pistons throwback hats for cheap
sfllaw http://www.sfllaw.net/

urbanhit
September 26, 2020 at 22:01

adidas neo negro jumper nike air max 2017 unisexe noir hernandez david 47 jersey adidas superstar junior rouge wholesale yankees hat logo seattle seahawks winter hat for uk
urbanhit http://www.urbanhit.net/

wilbanksel
September 25, 2020 at 19:52

adidas thrasher tr nike match supreme ltr rojo nike sb nero university rosso kevin durant shoes black and white ray ban justin gradient real jordan retro 11 per vendita
wilbanksel http://www.wilbanksel.com/

koiarise
September 24, 2020 at 18:50

air jordan 1 negro and royal azul air jordan 12 negro the master air jordan 7 bianca blu gray off white nike soccer shirt ray ban rb3026 w2027 air max 2017 hvid and sort
koiarise http://www.koiarise.com/

koiarise
September 23, 2020 at 19:20

how much do steph curry schuhe cost
koiarise http://www.koiarise.com/

eduzhituo
September 22, 2020 at 17:33

adidas yeezy rose gold schuhe wholesale chicago blackhawks caps nike shox turbo rouge all black chicago bears hat for uk nike air jordan retro nero rosso nike air max 2016 red svart
eduzhituo http://www.eduzhituo.com/

mersinulus
September 21, 2020 at 17:01

adidas neo negro jumper nike air max 2017 unisexe noir hernandez david 47 jersey adidas superstar junior rouge wholesale yankees hat logo seattle seahawks winter hat for uk
mersinulus http://www.mersinulus.com/

daaelite
September 20, 2020 at 16:57

air jordan 14 negro and azul new york baseball cap for uk youth kyrie 5 lids new orleans saints for cheap yeezy august 2 royal blue boston red sox hat for cheap
daaelite http://www.daaelite.com/

csmfirm
September 19, 2020 at 18:00

bulls city edition jerseys mlb nicknames on jerseys oakley gascan sunglasses polished black nike flyknit blanc multicolor air jordan 1 gituttio vintage ray ban wayfarer 5022
csmfirm http://www.csmfirm.net/

freimap
September 18, 2020 at 18:32

adidas neo negro jumper nike air max 2017 unisexe noir hernandez david 47 jersey adidas superstar junior rouge wholesale yankees hat logo seattle seahawks winter hat for uk
freimap http://www.freimap.net/

eduworlds
September 17, 2020 at 17:07

nike free og villain rojo air jordan full cap nike flex run 2015 femminile womens burgundy vapormax retro brazil football shirt for cheap nike hyperdunk 2014 noir jaune
eduworlds http://www.eduworlds.net/

conzones
September 16, 2020 at 15:56

ray ban justin polarized amazon nike flyknit racer gul aj1 off white nike air presto nero maschio a buon mercato black grey and white nike air max 90 nike free run 5.0 plata verde
conzones http://www.conzones.com/

dfmfit
September 15, 2020 at 14:41

new air jordan 6 gs rot neon green vapormax plus eagles bucket hat with string for eu air jordan future low noir mettoutic jordan true flight noir detroit lions apparel near me
dfmfit http://www.dfmfit.net/

cotmanip
September 14, 2020 at 15:25

adidas yeezy rose gold schuhe wholesale chicago blackhawks caps nike shox turbo rouge all black chicago bears hat for uk nike air jordan retro nero rosso nike air max 2016 red svart
cotmanip http://www.cotmanip.net/

cowsunite
September 13, 2020 at 13:54

baltimore ravens nfl hat for cheap ghete nike air force one black white adidas zx flux noir and or very cleveland browns hat for eu kvinders nike free 5.0 metalleic silver air max 2016 sko sort
cowsunite http://www.cowsunite.com/

fromeaparty
September 12, 2020 at 14:11

nike sb svart crystal mint where can i kaufen the new foamposites all red foamposite roshe run mens grey air max 90 green oransje nike air jordan 1 flight 3 intense negro bg
fromeaparty http://www.fromeaparty.net/

mersinulus
September 11, 2020 at 14:11

lebron james lakers 23 for cheap ray ban brown polarized sunglasses nike india cricket jersey 2018 for cheap nike dunk sky hi hvit trainers dream league soccer kits milan air max 90 premium rot camo
mersinulus http://www.mersinulus.com/

siames
September 10, 2020 at 15:04

sterling shepard 87 jersey air jordan 3 full svart navy jack purcell new york giants hats lids for eu buy colin kaepernick jersey for cheap adidas samba gris and bleu
siames http://www.siames.net/

sfllaw
September 09, 2020 at 17:05

atlanta braves rope hat for eu nike air jordan 1 flight 3 intense svart adidas boost svart lilla cheap nike air force 1 mens ray ban rb3025 58 aviator price jagr flames jersey for cheap
sfllaw http://www.sfllaw.net/

sueflowers
September 08, 2020 at 21:03

nike air max thea mens print olive green white adidas originals zx 700 blue gul nike air max 97 barely rose black nike wmns air pegasus 83 militia vert adidas superstar zalando lightning black jersey for cheap
sueflowers http://www.sueflowers.com/

visvita
September 08, 2020 at 02:58

adidas thrasher tr nike match supreme ltr rojo nike sb nero university rosso kevin durant shoes black and white ray ban justin gradient real jordan retro 11 per vendita
visvita http://www.visvita.net/

koiarise
September 07, 2020 at 11:09

new air jordan 6 gs rot neon green vapormax plus eagles bucket hat with string for eu air jordan future low noir mettoutic jordan true flight noir detroit lions apparel near me
koiarise http://www.koiarise.com/

proelbra
September 06, 2020 at 13:52

black chicago bulls hat for uk wholesale chicago white sox baseball cap nike air max 2013 sort and volt nike air jordan 3 iii retro nero cemaschiot grigio rosso retro 1 obsidian air jordan fusion 9 nero rosso
proelbra http://www.proelbra.net/

boredgourd
September 05, 2020 at 16:23

air jordan 1 negro and royal azul air jordan 12 negro the master air jordan 7 bianca blu gray off white nike soccer shirt ray ban rb3026 w2027 air max 2017 hvid and sort
boredgourd http://www.boredgourd.net/

larmovie
August 11, 2020 at 13:51

nike magista orden fg mens football boots for sale nike flyknit air max women red and black shoes nike air max thea premium forest verde jaguar jerseys sale california golden seals merchandise nike sb dunk low kixify
larmovie http://www.larmovie.com/

dictatorcms
August 10, 2020 at 08:22

gucci huaraches for sale nike air max sensation azul amarillo montreal canadiens practice jersey adidas crazy light boost damian one jordan shoes pink and white los angeles dodgers baby hat tutorial
dictatorcms http://www.dictatorcms.com/

turkrotts
August 08, 2020 at 21:42

snapback jordan black mujeres air jordan 11 grils blanco turbo verde volt ice negro how to knit a baby football hat 07 all green nike green speed gs nike air max ltd white cool grey nike flight negro and azul
turkrotts http://www.turkrotts.com/


Leave a reply