Tony Hawk is considered one of the greatest skateboarders in the history of the sport. From his first turns on a board at age nine, Hawk has consistently challenged physics, gravity, and his own body by accomplishing astonishing acts on a piece of wood attached to four wheels. The California native was instrumental in the evolution of skateboarding from the preppy recreation of the 1960s to the daring and extreme test of physical limits and mental creativity it has become. In seventeen years as a professional skateboarder, Hawk has invented more than eighty tricks and competed in an estimated 103 contests, winning seventy-three and placing second in nineteen. He quit competing in 1999 after landing the first-ever "900"—which is two-and-a-half mid-air spins on the board.
Hawk was an accident; his parents were both in their mid-forties when he came into the world on May 12, 1968, in San Diego, California. Hawk's two sisters were already in college when he was born and his brother was a teenager. Frank Hawk was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, and Nancy Hawk took classes at night, eventually earning her doctorate. While Hawk's parents had aged into a relaxed style of childrearing, their youngest child was a self-described, high-strung "demon boy." He also was a gifted child who was pathologically determined and hard on himself when he could not achieve what he set out to do. He once had to be coaxed out of a forest by his father after striking out in baseball.
Skateboard Calmed Him Down
Hawk found an outlet for his hyperactivity in a skateboard that his brother gave him when he was nine years old. He became obsessed with his narrow Bahne board, and quickly became proficient riding it. Finding something he was good at calmed him down, which his mother appreciated. Still, his perfectionist nature plagued him once he started competing in 1980. Even if he won, he would banish himself to his room with his cat, Zorro, if he felt he had not skated his best. He was sponsored by the Dogtown skateboard company at age twelve, placing second overall in his first contest, and continuing to compete respectably.
Both of Hawk's parents were supportive of their son's athletic passion. His father was a regular part of Hawk's skateboarding life, driving Tony all over California to various skateboard competitions, and building countless skate ramps over the years. Frank Hawk founded the California Amateur Skateboard League in 1980 and the National Skateboarding Association (NSA) in 1983. The NSA organized many high-profile
skateboarding competitions and was a key factor in the resurgence of skate culture that took place in the 1980s.
Before his thirteenth birthday, Hawk was approached by skateboarding legend Stacy Peralta to ride for his Powell & Peralta skateboarding company. His Bones Brigade team dominated the sport for a decade, and Hawk skated for Powell until 1994. Peralta handpicked Hawk, as he had numerous other skaters who went on to superstardom, including Steve Caballero, Rodney Mullen, Colin McKay, and Bucky Lasek, among others. Hawk turned pro in 1982, at age fourteen, and placed third in his first professional contest. At the time, there were only about thirty-five professional skaters, compared to the hundreds of pros today. Hawk went pro years before skateboarders started making any serious money. Skaters earned money from boards, stickers, and T-shirts sold with their names on them. Hawk's first royalty check was for eighty-five cents.
An Outsider in Both Worlds
Small and underweight and dressed in worn, skatepunk clothes, Hawk was not popular in school and did what he could to remain unnoticed there. The fact that he was a professional skateboarder meant nothing to the bullies and jocks who harassed him. He got good grades, but school was just what he had to do when he wasn't riding his skateboard. His parents often excused him from class to travel to contests and demos.
Hawk appeared on the cover of Thrasher magazine shortly after turning pro, but was something of an outsider in the pro-skating world, as well. He was smaller, younger, and skated differently from other skaters, and invented so many "flippy tricks" that he was called the "Circus Skater." He could win contests at his home skatepark, Del Mar, but had trouble adapting to unfamiliar terrain. A string of miserable competition finishes after turning pro left Hawk frustrated.
Hawk spent the summer after ninth grade skating demos in Australia, Europe, Canada, and the United States. A change of graphics to his signature skateboard model at Powell translated into increased sales and bigger royalty checks for Hawk. After the release of the Bones Brigade Video Show, Hawk, aged fifteen, was making $3,000 a month.
Masters the McTwist
The McTwist is one-and-a-half rotations on a skateboard with a flip in the middle. A skater rides up a vert ramp, grabs his board, launches into the air, spins and flips around until he is headed facing back down the ramp. Hawk admitted it was one of the toughest to learn, but mastered the McTwist in 1983. He used the stunt to take first place at the St. Petersburg Pro Am that year. At the end of 1983, when all the contest results were calculated, Hawk turned up as the NSA's first world champion. He was the NSA's vert champion for each of its twelve years in existence.
Hawk mastered "720s," two full mid-air spins, while training in Sweden in 1985. The second Bones Brigade video, Future Primitive, captured Hawk at his best, landing tricks—with names like Airwalk, Switcheroo, and Saran Wrap—that he had yet to try in competition. Still a teen, he was one of the most popular skaters in the world, and became famous after starring in a Mountain Dew commercial. The video was a huge seller and Hawk began earning about $7,000 a month. He bought his first house before graduating high school.
By 1987, skateboarding's popularity had skyrocketed, and Hawk was making large sums of money. But he was also beginning to feel pressured to maintain his winning streak. Burned out at age nineteen, Hawk retired from skateboarding. He soon missed competition, and returned before the year was through. He married Cindy Dunbar in April 1990. They had their first child, Hudson Riley, in 1992, and divorced in 1994.
|1968||Born May 12 in San Diego, California|
|1980||Father, Frank Hawk, forms California Amateur Skateboard League|
|1980||Is sponsored by Dogtown skateboards|
|1980||Joins Bones Brigade team|
|1983||Frank Hawk forms National Skateboarding Association|
|1983||Appears in Bones Brigade Video Show video|
|1984||Is considered best skateboarder in the world|
|1985||Appears in Future Primitive video|
|1986||Buys first home, appears in Mountain Dew commercial, and graduates high school|
|1987||Appears in The Search for Animal Chin video|
|1987||Plays a pizza boy in Gleaming the Cube|
|1988||Retires from skateboarding but returns to competition|
|1988||Appears in Public Domain video|
|1989||Appears in Ban This video|
|1990||Marries Cindy Dunbar|
|1992||First son, Hudson, is born; starts Birdhouse Projects|
|1994||Divorces Cindy Dunbar|
|1995||Skates in first X Games|
|1996||Marries second wife, Erin|
|1997||Is honored with his own Sports Illustrated for Kids trading card|
|1998||Produces first video, The End|
|1998||Launches Hawk Clothing|
|1999||Tony Hawk's Pro Skater video game debuts|
|1999||Second son, Spencer, is born|
|1999||Stops competing after landing the first-ever "900" at the X Games|
|2000||Autobiography, Hawk-Occupation: Skateboarder is published, becomes a New York Times bestseller|
|2001||Third son, Keegan, is born|
Awards and Accomplishments
|1980||Second place overall, ASPO Series (Amateur, 12 and under)|
|1982||Third place, World Challenge (Professional)|
|1983-95||Vert champion, National Skateboarding Association|
|1995||First place, vert competition, second place, street competition, X Games|
|1996||Second place, vert competition, X Games|
|1997||First place, vert and doubles vert competitions, X Games|
|1998||Third place, vert competition, first place, doubles vert competition, X Games|
|1999||Third place, vert competition, first place, best trick and doubles vert competitions, X Games|
Rough Times and the Year of the "9"
The skateboard industry plummeted in the early 1990s. Sponsors faded, prize money dried up, and Hawk's own income dwindled. Facing bankruptcy, Hawk raised enough money to start his own skate company, Birdhouse, with fellow Powell pro Per Welinder. The business was draining, and Hawk budgeted his meager contest winnings obsessively to support his family. The industry got a shot in the arm in 1995, with ESPN's first Extreme Games, which included bungee jumping, BMX riding, inline skating, and skateboarding. ESPN made Hawk the star of the games. Because of the X Game's mainstream success, Birdhouse sales shot up, and sponsorship money began to flow again. He married his second wife, Erin, in 1996. They had two sons: Spencer in 1999, and Keegan in 2001. By 1998, Birdhouse was one of the biggest companies in skateboarding, and Hawk was the sport's unofficial ambassador. Mainstream media latched onto Hawk and made him the most recognizable skateboarder in the world. He still was a leader in competition, and enjoyed skating demos around the world.
Hawk had been flirting with a "900" or "9"—an unheard-of two-and-a-half mid-air spins on the board—since about 1986. He tried it in practice and in competition many, many times, but never could land it. As he tired of winning contests and was facing a crossroads in his career, Hawk became obsessed with the notion of landing the world's first-ever 9. After finally landing one at the 1999 X Games, Hawk announced his retirement from competition.
Retirement meant nothing for Hawk; he was more in demand than ever. He retained his superstar status in the skateboarding world, and starred in one of the most popular video game series ever, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. He appears at countless demos and signed a contract with ESPN to commentate skate contests for the network. In addition to Birdhouse, he also launched the popular Hawk Shoes and Clothing lines. "I'm pretty happy with the way things turned out," Hawk is quoted as saying online at Club Tony Hawk. "I mean, I never thought I could make a career out of skateboarding."
Dogtown and Z-Boys
The 2001 documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys captures the development of skateboarding from surfing and rogue street culture in California in the 1970s to its pervasive presence in American pop culture. The legendary Z-Boys skateboarding team hailed from a run-down beachside section of Los Angeles, and was made up of ten boys and one girl, most from broken homes. The crew ignored the traditional upright stance and came up with low-to-the-ground movements and the high-flying stunts that gave way to the extreme skateboarding, snowboarding, and trick biking styles of today. Dogtown revisits the skaters today, some of whom parlayed their talents into lucrative careers, like Tony Alva, who started his own skate gear company. Others were not so lucky, like the scene's golden boy, Jay Adams, who is serving a prison term for drug-related charges. The film is full of vintage photos and film footage—journalists Craig Stecyk and Glen E. Friedman were part of the scene—and was directed by Stacy Peralta, one of the most commercially successful skateboarders and an original Z-Boy.
SELECTED WRITINGS BY HAWK:
(With Sean Mortimer) Hawk—Occupation: Skateboarder, HarperCollins, 2000.
Hawk, Tony, with Sean Mortimer. Hawk—Occupation: Skateboarder. New York: HarperCollins, 2000.
Stewart, Mark. One Wild Ride: The Life of Skateboarding Superstar Tony Hawk. Brookfield, CT: Twenty-First Century Books, 2002.
Wingate, Brian. Tony Hawk: Skateboarding Champion. New York: Rosen Publishing, 2003.
Club Tony Hawk Fan Club Web site. http://www.clubtonyhawk.com (January 15, 2003).
"Tony Hawk," EXPN.com. http://expn.go.com/athletes/bios/HAWK_TONY.html (January 15, 2003).
Tony Hawk Foundation Web site. http://www.tonyhawkfoundation.org (January 15, 2003).
Sketch by Brenna Sanchez
According to Newsweek magazine, Tony Hawk is the "most famous skateboarder, like, ever." A big claim, but with a lot to support it. In the 1980s and 1990s, Hawk almost single-handedly transformed skateboarding from a kids' parking-lot pastime into a respected sport. He won virtually every skateboarding competition he entered, and before he was twenty, he was considered to be the number one vertical skateboarder in the world.
Hawk was equally talented off the ramp. His business ventures and product endorsements have made him a very wealthy man, and have also kept him in the spotlight. As skateboarding icon Stacy Peralta told Sports Illustrated, "Tony is the first skateboarder who has given the world a face to put on the sport. He has become a part of American pop culture."
Skateboarding to the rescue
When Anthony Frank Hawk was born on May 12, 1968, his parents could not have realized that skateboarding was eventually going to become such an integral part of their lives. As Hawk readily admitted in his autobiography, he was a "hyperactive demon child" who regularly terrorized his babysitters, his teachers, and his parents. He was very bright, with an IQ of 144, but he was also frustrated and unfocused, and would frequently fly into rages. His father, Frank, a retired U.S. Navy officer and small appliance salesman, and his mother, Nancy, a homemaker and part-time business teacher, were equally frustrated about what to do with their youngest child. When Hawk was eight, his older brother Steve bought him, on a whim, a blue fiberglass hand-me-down skateboard, and his father built a skating ramp in the backyard. They hoped that skateboarding might be the outlet that young Tony needed.
Hawk was instantly hooked, and soon the young boy with the behavior problems was practicing up to six hours a day, every day. He especially enjoyed the freedom that came with the sport. As he explained to Charlie Rose of CBS News, skateboarding was not like baseball or basketball, which required teamwork and regular practice schedules. "I liked that no one was telling me how to do it," he remarked. When Hawk outgrew his backyard ramp, he began practicing at skateparks near his home in San Diego, California. The scrawny kid with the wild blonde hair stood out among the other skaters. He was so skinny that he had to wear elbow pads on his knees, but the young skateboarder was already experimenting with daredevil moves.
"I feel like if I'm not out there getting banged up, then I'm not getting better."
Frank Hawk, realizing that the sport had virtually saved his son, became the ultimate skateboard supporter and Tony Hawk's numberone fan. He began by driving Hawk to and from competitions all over the state of California, and soon became even more involved. In 1980, dissatisfied by the quality of the competitions and the lack of sponsoring organizations, Frank Hawk founded the California Amateur Skateboard League (CASL). Three years later, in 1983, he established the National Skateboarding Association (NSA), the first professional skateboarding organization of its kind. Ultimately the high-profile events put on by the NSA were credited with boosting the popularity of skateboarding in the 1980s.
Street versus Vert
Inside the world of skateboarding there is a very real rivalry between two camps: street skaters and vertical skaters. Street skating is done on any surface or any structure found in the urban landscape, including parking lots, handrails, benches, or curbs. Vertical skating is performed on vertical ramps or other structures built specifically for the sport. Street skating came first, coming to light in the late 1970s in California with surfers executing dangerous stunts on the curved walls of empty swimming pools. There were no competitions with prize money, and skaters did not wear expensive designer duds. Street skaters considered themselves to be hip rebels, outside the mainstream.
Street-style skaters are still very much present in the 2000s. According to skateboarding insiders, as reported in Sports Illustrated, there are between 350 and 400 street skaters who are considered to be professionals, some of them as young as sixteen. They earn their reputations the old-fashioned way, performing outrageous tricks, without safety gear, in out-of-the-way, illegal places. Although they consider themselves to be "outlaws," many of them make a living from skateboarding. Just like Hawk, they get contracts from skateboard apparel and accessory companies, and they can bring home anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 a month.
However, diehard street skaters do not appreciate the spotlight that Tony Hawk has turned on skateboarding. Many accuse him of selling out to corporate America and watering down what was once an edgy sport. Darrell Stanton, a teenage pro street skater who spoke with Sports Illustrated, echoed that sentiment: "I hope the whole skateboarding popularity thing stops before it gets too mainstream. I'd like for it to stay a raw sport." But statistics suggest that Stanton is unlikely to get his wish. According to the polling company American Sports Data, Inc., in 2003 more kids under the age of eighteen were skating than playing baseball.
The biggest boost, however, came in the form of Tony Hawk himself. By age fourteen Hawk had turned professional, joining the Powell Peralta skateboard team called the Bones Brigade. By age sixteen he was dominating the sport. The road, however, was not an easy one. As Hawk won competition after competition, some veteran skaters cried favoritism, since his father was the NSA president. They also dismissed his wild, crazy skating as showboating. But that same creative skating gave birth to the Ollie, which became one of the most important moves in vertical skating. It also helped Hawk win three NSA championships and almost twenty additional pro events by the time he was eighteen.
A skateboard slump
Before he graduated from Torrey Pines High School in 1986, Hawk was earning $100,000 a year from skating in competitions, making public appearances, and endorsing products such as Mountain Dew. Known as the Birdman because of his high-flying acrobatics, he was also a featured performer in Bones Brigade videos, which to this day are watched by would-be skaters. Hawk bought his first house just before graduation, and as he told the New York Times, "That was an inkling that [skateboarding] was already my career."
By the end of the 1980s skateboarding was a hot sport, and Hawk was its king. But, like all things, popularity goes in cycles, and in the 1990s the public's interest in skateboarding had begun to wane. Part of the problem was the high cost of insurance required to run competitions and maintain skateparks. As a result, competitions were cancelled and skateparks around the United States were closed. This signaled disaster for Hawk, who now had very little money coming in, and a wife and child to support. In 1990 he had married his first wife, Cindy; two years later the couple had a son, Riley. His career sport was losing popularity, and a worried Hawk considered getting a regular nine-to-five job, possibly in computers, since he was a self-proclaimed techno geek. "I did demos where I could count the spectators on two hands," he recalled to Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated.
Instead, Hawk decided to throw himself into a new business venture. In 1990 he and fellow skateboarder Per Welinder launched Birdhouse Projects, a company to manufacture skateboards and skate accessories. In 1992 Birdhouse was followed by Blitz, which distributed other skateboard brands. Hawk mortgaged and eventually sold his home in order to finance his businesses. The rocky start-up proved to be too much of a strain on his family, however, and Tony and Cindy divorced. But just when it seemed that things could not get any worse, skateboarding once again came to the rescue.
Back in the game
In 1995 Hawk got a call from executives at the television sports network ESPN, who asked him to skate in a new alternative competition called X Games (Extreme Games). A more-than-interested Hawk flew to Rhode Island, where the contest was being held, and took first place in the vertical competition and second place in street skating. The televised event was seen by millions of people, and almost overnight the interest in skateboarding was re-ignited, as well as interest in Hawk and his career. Soon he was again "hawking" products on television, appearing in countless commercials for companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Campbell's Soup. He also hosted a number of sports specials, including MTV's Sports and Music Festival.
Of course, Hawk also pumped up his skateboarding. He traveled around the world to skate in exhibitions, and year after year he swept the X Games, taking home both singles and doubles titles. By 1999 the king was back on his throne. During the 1999 X Games, Hawk made history during the Best Trick event, when he introduced a move called the 900, a move so spectacular and dangerous that no one has successfully landed it since. The 900 is a two-and-a-half rotation midair flip above the lip of the vertical ramp. Hawk had been working on the move for more than a decade, and had been seriously injured along the way. Landing the 900 was a personal triumph. As Hawk explained to Rose, "I just felt this great sense of relief that I'd finally conquered this beast that had plagued me for so long."
After the 900, it seemed that Hawk could do no wrong, especially in business, where he became a one-man marketing phenomenon. Birdhouse and Blitz took off, becoming two of the largest skate-boarding companies in the world. In 1999, however, Hawk ventured into what would become his most lucrative enterprise—video games. He had been trying to interest companies in a skateboarding game since the mid-1990s, but executives did not bite. "They just didn't get it," Hawk explained to Sports Illustrated. Finally Activision, a California-based company, approached Hawk in September of 1998 about developing a video game. Computer engineers mocked up a working version and Hawk tinkered with it for months, providing feedback and offering suggestions for improvement. When Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was introduced in the fall of 1999, it created an immediate buzz. By Christmas it had zoomed to the top of the video sales charts.
In 2004 Activison released the fourth version of Pro Skater and added Tony Hawk's Underground to its catalog of games. Each game sold better than the last, and the Hawk series became one of the bestselling video lines of all time, with worldwide yearly sales in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Eager to cash in on Hawk's obvious appeal, more businesses lined up to strike deals. In 2000 the skate-boarder became the spokesman for Hot Bites frozen snack foods. Hawk went on to lend his name to a slew of products, including toys, shoes, clothing, and DVDs. His most recent endorsement deals, which were reportedly worth over $1 million each, included McDonald's, Hershey's chocolate milk, and Frito Lay snacks. According to Jake Phelps, editor of Thrasher magazine (a skateboard magazine), who spoke with Layden, "Tony Hawk means ka-ching."
Boom Boom Huck Jam
Analysts have attributed Hawk's success to several factors. First, even in his thirties he continues to be one of the most talented skateboarders to ever hit the vertical ramp. Second, because of his many personal appearances, he is accessible to his fans. For example, every summer Hawk goes on a multi-city skateboarding tour with members of his Birdhouse team. For those who cannot make it to see Hawk in person, his tours are televised as ESPN specials. Third, according to marketers, Hawk has a squeaky-clean image and is viewed as the perfect family man, which makes him appealing not only to kids but to their parents. In 1999 Hawk remarried; he and his second wife, Erin, have two sons, Spencer and Keegan. All three of the Hawk boys seem to be following in their father's footsteps, and Riley, the oldest, has been skating since he was four.
Perhaps the biggest reason for Hawk's success, however, is that he remains passionate about the sport he picked up when he was a child. He still skates every day and, although he claims to be retired, he continues to compete in the X Games. In addition, Hawk is determined to grow the sport even further. One way to do that is through the Tony Hawk brainchild, Boom Boom Huck Jam, an annual event that combines rock music and extreme sports. As Hawk explained to Devin Gordon of Newsweek, "'Hucking' refers to launching in the air. 'Jam' is a gathering of talent. And 'boom boom' is just to give it some flavor." The ninety-minute spectacle was unveiled in 2002 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and featured the best skateboarders, BMX bikers, and motocrossers in the world. Fans were also entertained by some of the hottest new bands around, including The Offspring and Good Charlotte. Following the Las Vegas unveiling, the whole ensemble took off on a 24-city North America tour, performing to sellout crowds.
Boom Boom Huck Jam is introducing a whole new generation of kids to skateboarding, but Hawk also wants to make sure that every kid who wants to skate has a chance. In 2002 he established the Tony Hawk Foundation, which provides money to help build and promote skateparks in low-income urban centers throughout the United States. Since its inception the foundation has given assistance to more than 125 skateparks across the country.
Favorite male athlete
Hawk has endured many on-the-job hazards, including a broken elbow, cracked ribs, more sprains and scrapes than he can count, and multiple lost teeth. On the other hand, he has become a multi-millionaire and a living legend, all from riding on a board with wheels. A real pioneer of skateboarding, Hawk invented nearly one hundred tricks and moves that have been handed down to young skaters today. More important, he continues to serve as a role model and inspiration for children who consider him to be one of their all-time favorite sports stars. In fact, in the early 2000s, Hawk consistently topped most teen polls. For example, in 2003 and 2004 he was named Favorite Male Athlete at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. All this, however, is just icing on the cake for Hawk. As he explained to Sports Illustrated: "Here's what skateboarding is to me. It's my form of exercise, my sport, my means of expression since I was nine years old. It's what I love. I never expected it to give me anything more than that."
For More Information
Hawk, Tony, with Sean Mortimer. Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder. New York, ReganBooks, 2002.
Ault, Susanne. "Hawk Splices Games, Music, Sports for HuckJam." Billboard (September 28, 2002): p. 16.
Givens, Ron. "Skateboarding's Best Seller." New York Times Upfront (December 11, 2000): p. 20.
Gordon, Devin. "Newsmakers: Tony Hawk." Newsweek (October 14, 2002): p. 71.
Layden, Tim. "What Is This 34-Year-Old Man Doing On A Skateboard? Making Millions." Sports Illustrated (June 10, 2002): pp. 80+.
Rose, Charlie. "Tony Hawk Takes Off." CBSNews.com: 60 Minutes (June 16, 2004). http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/12/10/60II/main532506.shtml (accessed on June 21, 2004).
Tony Hawk Official Web site. http://www.tonyhawk.com (accessed on June 21, 2004).
Hawk, Tony 1968–
Hawk, Tony 1968–
Full name, Anthony Frank Hawk; born May 12, 1968, in Carlsbad, CA; son of Frank and Nancy Hawk; married Cindy Dunbar, April, 1990 (divorced, 1993); married Erin Lee, September 28, 1996 (divorced, 2004);married Lhotse Merriam (a businesswoman), January12, 2006; children: (first marriage) Hudson Riley;(second marriage) Spencer, Keegan; (third marriage) Kadence Clover.
Addresses: Office—900 Films, 1203 Activity Dr., Vista,CA 92081. Agent—Creative Artists Agency, 2000Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067.
Career: Actor. Professional skateboarder, c. 1973—cofounder of Birdhouse Projects (later BirdhouseSkateboards), 1992; Blitz Distribution, cofounder; 900Films (a film and television production company),owner; founded Hawk Clothing. Appeared in televisioncommercials, including Apple Computers, McDonaldsrestaurants, Bagel Bites snack foods, Hershey's Milk,the California Tourism Board, and Domino's Pizza; appeared as himself, Tom Green Live!(an internet series),2007; cohost of Tony Hawk's Demolition Radio,SiriusSatellite Radio channel 28 Faction. Won six gold medals for skateboarding in the ESPN X–Games.
Awards, Honors: Young Hollywood Award, culturalicon, 2002; MTV Video Music Award, best video gamesoundtrack, 2004, for Underground.
Pool skater, Thrashin', Fries Entertainment, 1986.
Skateboarder, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (also known as Citizens on Patrol: Police Academy 4), Warner Bros., 1987.
Himself, The Search for Animal Chin, 1987.
Buddy, Gleaming the Cube (also known as A Brother's Justice and Skate or Die), Twentieth Century–Fox, 1989.
Himself, The Contest(documentary short), ColumbiaTriStar, 1990.
Colony of Summer(documentary), Video Action Sports,1996.
Himself, Boob, 1999.
Transmission 7, Transworld Media, 1999.
Himself, The End (documentary short), 2000.
CKY 3, 2001.
Destroying America, Redline Entertainment, 2001.
Sight Unseen, Transworld Skateboarding, 2001.
Himself, Dogtown and the Z–Boys, Sony Pictures Classics, 2001.
Himself, Max Keeble's Big Move, Buena Vista, 2001.
Himself, Tic Tac 2 Heelflip (documentary), 2001.
Drillers fan, The New Guy, Columbia, 2002.
Caddy driver, xXx (also known as Triple X), Columbia, 2002.
Himself, Ultimate X: The Movie (documentary short; also known as ESPN's "Ultimate X: The Movie" and Ultimate X), Buena Vista, 2002.
Himself, Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator (documentary), Palm Pictures, 2002.
Himself, Jackass: The Movie (also known as Jackass), Paramount, 2002.
Himself, CKY 4 Latest & Greatest (also known as CKY 4 the Latest and Greatest; documentary), Atlas Distribution, 2002.
Himself, One Step Beyond, 2002.
Cop, Haggard: The Movie (also known as Haggard), 411 Productions, 2003.
Himself, xXx: A Filmmaker's Diary (documentary short), Columbia, 2003.
Himself, Gumball 3000: The Movie, Universal, 2003.
Himself, Mike V's Greatest Hits (documentary), Ventura, 2003.
Jackass: Volume Two, 2004.
Astronaut, Lords of Dogtown (also known as American Knights and Dogtown Boys), TriStar, 2005.
Himself, Deck Dogz, Media Blasters, 2005.
Himself, Who Cares?: The Duane Peters (documentary), 2005.
Himself, Gumball 3000: 6 Days in May (documentary), Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2005.
Himself, The Reality of Bob Burnquist, 2005.
Gumball 3000: Drivin' Me Crazy, Optimum, 2006.
Himself, Boom Boom Sabotage, Funimation Entertainment, 2006.
Himself, Rising Son: The Legend of Skateboarder Hosoi (documentary), 2006.
Himself, Jackass Number Two, Paramount Pictures, 2006.
3000 Miles(documentary), Revolver Entertainment, 2007.
Narrator, One Nine Nine Four(documentary), 2008.
Himself, Dream Seller,2008.
Stunts, Collage, 2001.
Motion capture actor: skateboarder and executiveproducer, Boom Boom Sabotage, Funimation Entertainment, 2006.
Television Appearances; Movies:
Drake & Josh Go Hollywood,Nickelodeon, 2006.
Television Appearances; Specials:
The Contest, 1989.
MTV Sports & Music Festival 2,MTV, 1998.
MTV Sports & Music Festival 3: Skate Trick,MTV, 1999.
ESPY Awards,ESPN, 2000.
The 2000 Billboard Music Awards,Fox, 2000.
The 7th Annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, Fox, 2001.
Presenter, Nickelodeon's 14th Annual Kids' Choice Awards, Nickelodeon, 2001.
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards '02,Nickelodeon,2002.
The Skateboard Show, The WB, 2002.
Presenter, The Teen Choice Awards 2002, Fox, 2002.
Gigantic Skate Park Tour: Summer 2000, 2002.
The Making of "Jackass: The Movie" (also known as MTV's "The Making of 'Jackass: The Movie'"), MTV, 2002.
Gigantic Skate Park Tour: Summer 2002(also knownas Tony Hawk's"Gigantic Skate Park Tour: Summer2002"), 2002.
The 6th Annual Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Awards, 2003.
The Teen Choice Awards 2003, Fox, 2003.
G–Phoria, G4, 2003.
I Love the '70s, VH1, 2003.
MTV Video Music Awards 2003, MTV, 2003.
When I Was 17, MTV, 2003.
Spike TV VGA Video Games Awards, Spike, 2003.
Nickelodeon's 16th Annual Kids' Choice Awards, Nickelodeon, 2003.
Reunion X, ESPN, 2004.
Presenter, The 6th Annual Family Television Awards,The WB, 2004.
Host and narrator, Video Game Invasion: The History of a Global Obsession, GSN, 2004.
Presenter, G–Phoria 2004, G4Tech, 2004. The Teen Choice Awards 2004, Fox, 2004.
Presenter, MTV Video Music Awards 2004, MTV, 2004.
Presenter, The 6th Annual Family Television Awards, The WB, 2004.
Presenter, The 2004 MTV Europe Music Awards,MTV,2004.
Presenter, Nickelodeon's 17th Annual Kids' ChoiceAwards,Nickelodeon, 2004.
MTV Presents: Xbox, the Next Generation Revealed,MTV, 2005.
I Love the 80's 3–D, VH1, 2005.
Dear Santa,Fox, 2005.
"All That" 10th Anniversary Reunion Special,Nickel-odeon, 2005.
Spike TV VGA Video Game Awards,Spike TV, 2005.
Video Games Awards 2005,Spike TV, 2005.
The Kelly Slater Celebrity Surf Invitational,MTV, 2006.
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards '06,2006.
Presenter, The 2006 American Music Awards,ABC, 2006.
Spike TV's Video Game Awards 2006, Spike TV, 2006.
Himself, Dear Santa, ABC Family, 2006.
Arby's Action Sports Awards, 2006.
3000 Miles with Bam and Hawk, 2007.
Presenter, The 2007 American Music Awards,ABC,2007.
World's Greatest Bloopers,ABC, 2007.
Spike TV's Video Game Awards 2007,Spike TV, 2007.
Stand Up to Cancer,2008.
Teleflora Presents America's Favorite Mom,NBC, 2008.
Television Appearances; Pilots:
Himself, What I Like About You,The WB, 2002.
Television Appearances; Episodic:
The Bottom Line, 1995.
Arli$$, HBO, 1996.
The Martin Short Show, syndicated, 1999.
Himself, "Twelfth Step to Hell," Action, Fox, 1999.
Himself, "The Girlfriend," The Jersey, The Disney Channel, 2000.
MTV Cribs, MTV, 2000.
Jackass, MTV, 2000, 2001.
"Being Badass," Turn Ben Stein On, Comedy Central, 2001.
Extreme Air 2001, 2001.
Voice of himself, "Enter the Hawk–Trik/Vert vs. Street,"
Rocket Power (animated), Nickelodeon, 2001. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, ABC, 2001.
RI:SE, Channel 4, 2002.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 2002, 2004,
Mad TV, Fox, 2002, 2003.
Voice of himself, "Barting Over," The Simpsons (animated), Fox, 2003.
"Road Ramp," Monster Garage, Discovery Channel, 2003.
The New Tom Green Show, MTV, 2003.
"Tony Hawk," Beyond the Glory, Fox Sports, 2003.
"Phil's Hell Day/Bam's Skate Park," Viva la Bam, MTV, 2003.
"Mardi Gras: Parts1&2," Viva la Bam, MTV, 2004.
Himself, "Finnegan Again, Begin Again," LAX, NBC, 2004.
Himself, "Nick Kicks Butt," Complete Savages, ABC, 2004.
Celebrity Poker Showdown, Bravo, 2004.
"Geeks" captain, "MXC Almost Live," Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (also known as MXC), Spike, 2004.
Jimmy Kimmel Live!, ABC, 2004, 2005, 2006.
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, CBS, 2005.
Dinner for Five, Independent Film Channel, 2005.
Punk'd, MTV, 2005.
Inked, Arts and Entertainment, 2005.
TV Total, 2005.
E! Hollywood Hold 'Em, E! Entertainment Television, 2005.
Jake Sullivan, "Game Over," CSI: Miami, CBS, 2005.
Voice of Coop, "Measure for Measure," Cyberchase, 2005.
Narrator, The L.A. Hardcore, Extreme Sports, 2005.
Mind of Mencia, Comedy Central, 2005.
Himself, "Drake and Josh Go Hollywood," Drake & Josh, Nickelodeon, 2006.
Guest, "California," Wildboyz, 2006.
Himself, "Tony Hawk," Hi–Jinks, Nickelodeon, 2006.
The Colbert Report, Comedy Central, 2006.
Much Adrenaline, Much Music, 2006.
Fuse Celebrity Playlist, Fuse, 2006.
Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith, ESPN, 2007.
"Tony Hawk Tag Team," Wild World of Spike, Spike TV, 2007.
Himself, Identity, NBC, 2007.
Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, ABC, 2007.
Rome Is Burning(also known as Jim Rome Is Burning),ESPN, 2007.
"Tony Hawk," Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?,Fox,2007.
The Naked Brothers Band, Nickelodeon, 2007.
Million Dollar Password, CBS, 2008.
Himself, "Foiled Again," The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (also known as TSL), The Disney Channel, 2008.
Himself, "The New Intern," Free Radio, 2008.
The Big Give (also known as Oprah's "The Big Give"), ABC, 2008.
Tavis Smiley,PBS, 2008.
Also appeared as himself, "Perpetual Motion," SportFigures,ESPN; voice of himself, "Extreme," Max Steel,The WB.
Himself, Perros callejoeros skateboarding video,1995–2003,2003.
Himself, Pro Skater(also known as Tony Hawk's"Pro Skater"), Activision, 1999.
Tony Hawk, Duelin' Fireman!, 2000.
Himself, Pro Skater 2(also known as Tony Hawk's"Pro Skater 2"), Activision, 2000.
Himself, Pro BMX(also known as Mat Hoffman's"Pro BMX"), Activision, 2001.
Himself, Pro Skater 3(also known as Tony Hawk's"Pro Skater 3"), Activision, 2001.
Himself, Pro Surfer(also known as Kelly Slater's"Pro Surfer"), 2002.
Himself, Pro Skater 4(also known as Tony Hawk's"Pro Skater 4"), Activision, 2002.
Voice of himself, Underground (also known as Tony Hawk's "Pro Skater 5" and Tony Hawk's "Underground"), 2003.
Himself and skater, Underground 2 (also known as Tony Hawk's "Underground 2"), Activision, 2004.
Himself, American Wasteland (also known as Tony Hawk's "American Wasteland"), Activision, 2005.
Himself, Downhill Jam, 2006.
Himself, Tony Hawk's Project 8,2006.
HAWK: Occupation: Skateboarder(autobiography),Regan, 2000.
Also wrote Hawk(a young adult autobiography); Between Boardslides(a road journal); Tony Hawk: Professional Skateboarder.
Newsmakers, Issue 4, Gale Group, 2001.
Notable Sports Figures,Gale, 2004.
Forbes, July 5, 2004, p. 98.
USA Today,March 10, 2008, p. 1B.
Tony Hawk has parlayed teenage excellence in the operation of a skateboard into a profile career as the most recognized athlete in the history of the extreme sports.
Among other physical achievements, Hawk was the first skateboarder to execute a 720° rotation during a trick. He followed this trick with the development of a 900° rotational maneuver that he first demonstrated at the X Games in 1999.
Hawk was a professional skateboarder in the then lucrative California pro circuit at age 14. At age 16, he was regarded as the very best skateboarder in the world. As a professional skateboarder, Hawk has won more events than any other athlete. Hawk' meteoric rise to professional acclaim coincided with the worldwide boom in skateboarding in the 1980s. He also became skateboarding's most recognizable symbol; he was used in the marketing campaign by the shoe manufacturer Airwalk among other commercial linkages to his skating skills.
The first skateboards were pieces or plywood attached to roller skates. As the tricks attempted by skateboarders became more involved, the composition of the equipment included fiber glass and composite materials, with sophisticated wheels. The physical principles that govern skateboard jumps and tricks has never changed.
As with other extreme sports, skateboarding becomes more dangerous when the force of gravity and the corresponding speed of the skateboarder are more pronounced. Hawk achieved his considerable reputation through successfully navigating dangerous half pipe layouts that cause the skateboarder to be sent several feet above the surface of the half pipe at high speeds, often upside down.
Skateboarding suffered through a decline in popularity in the early 1990s. Hawk helped precipitate the revival of skateboarding in the late 1990s with the introduction of a PlayStation home entertainment video game, entitled Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, a product that served to introduce Hawk and his high flying acrobatic talents to a new generation of young people. Hawk achieved the distinction of gaining name recognition among an audience who never saw him compete at the height of his professional powers in the late 1980s.
Pro Skater has been released in a number of successive versions. Hawk has become a fixture in the television commercial medium, where his skateboarding is used as a backdrop to the advertisement. Hawk's line of skateboards, known as Birdhouse boards, and his line of proprietary skateboard clothing are also symbols of his commercial appeal.