Anthony Frank Hawk, generally known as Tony Hawk, also known as the Birdman- was born on the 12 of May 1968. Tony is an American skateboarder, as well as an entrepreneur. Due to his love for the game, Hawk has also established a skateboard company called the Birdhouse.
His passion for the game, as well as success, make sure that people should see him as their mentor. His ability has led him to complete and documented his first 900 skateboarding tricks. And also, Hawk is regarded as the pioneer of modern vertical skateboarding.
Tony Hawk is widely known as the greatest to have ever played the game of skateboard and was also recognized by Foxweekly as the most influential skateboarders of all time back in 2014.
Hawk simply does it all, as he has also appeared in films and other media. He has also appeared in his series of video games and does a lot of philanthropic activities. Hawk has a foundation known as the Tony Hawk Foundation, whose main aim is to help build skateboard parks in unprivileged and underdeveloped areas.
What Skateboard Does Tony Hawk Use?
Tony Hawk’s first-ever skateboard deck (Bahne skateboard) was given to him by his elder brother Steve Hawk. The Bahne skateboard has got red stoker urethane metal wheels raised with wooden blocks beneath the board and truck.
Steve Hawk gave the skateboard deck out to Tony Hawk in the year 1977. And it was the first board that Tony Hawk used in starting his skateboard journey.
Although the board was not in very good shape, Tony being focused on learning how to ride a skateboard.
He attached the wooden blocks under the board which gave him great height to enable him to see clearly in terms of making turns as well as performing skateboarding tricks better and more efficiently.
Starting his skateboarding journey at the very early age of 12 and becoming a pro at 14 is a dream yet to be actualized for most aspiring children. But for Tony Hawk, it was a reality. He started learning at 12 and became a pro at 14.
He has competed in 100s of the tournament before he turned 25, and as far as I know, he is the first-ever skateboarder to land a 900 in competition.
Even after retiring from skateboarding in the year 1999, Hawk continued to skate in exhibitions and demos due to his great love for the game.
In 1999, which he retired, Tony Hawk went on to create a “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Video game franchise.” And this video game is one of the most popular video games in history to date.
Also, His foundation known as the Tony Hawk Foundation. With over $5 million, it has funded over 550 skate parks around the world.
How Tony Hawk Changed Skateboarding
Skateboarding used to be for teens in high schools and traditionally ends after school for them. But now, it’s been over 20 years since the greatest to have ever played the game, Tony Hawk, also known as the birdman changed the game forever.
Before the arrival of Hawk to the game, there were very towns that have skateparks where skateboarders practices skateboarding, and perform all kinds of tricks to help them become a better skater. As of then the game of skateboard was all for fun and no penny attached.
But during the mid-80s, everything changed. Skateboarding became a good means for pro skaters to earn cool money. And this was possible because of the ever-great Tony Hawk, the Birdman.
As if becoming a pro skater at the age of 14 was not amazing enough, Hawk, even at his early age, dominated the National Skateboard Association (NSA) Tour, by winning multiple titles.
In the UK, skateboarding was formerly seen as what teens and youths do in their own space to help them get out of troubles or what the Americans do for fun at the beach. But ever since Tony Hawk hit the UK that perspective of skateboarding has changed for good.
Tony Hawk has successfully made an impact in such a way that skateboarding has influenced other entertaining industries like music, fashion, arts, and lots more.
Tony Hawk said, “Many people have told me that the game kick-started their career in music, sports, or film-making because they saw that we – as pro skaters – had a different, more refreshing approach to life.”
Why did Tony Hawk Stop Skating?
Well, even though he is retired, Hawk has never really left the game. Hawk has been battling with a “900” or “9”- two-and-a-half mid-air spins on the board that has never been heard of-since about 1986.
He has tried it when practicing, and also in lots of competitions but never had success. So, as he was getting of age in the game, Hawk became so much obsessed with the mindset of landing the first-ever 9.
He finally did it in the year 1999 X Game, and after then, Hawk announced his retirement from competitions.
As earlier said, although he was retired, Hawk still had more on his to-do list even more than he had while he was still skating. As a means of cementing his status as the greatest to ever indulge in the game of skateboard, He stared in one of the most popular video game series ever, known as the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
Tony Hawk Sponsors
Tony Hawk has also appeared in countless numbers of Demos and also signed a contract with ESPN to commentate skate contest for them.
It didn’t end there, in addition to Birdhouse owned by Hawk; he also launched clothing lines and the very popular Hawk Shoes. At Club Tony Hawk, He quoted “I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out,” he went further to state that “I mean, I never thought I could make a career out of skateboarding.”