feature article A2 march 22
Most people have heard the name, but they don’t know what it took to build it. Tony is known through the skating community as the first person to land a 900 on a vertical ramp. He’s the founder of the Tony Hawk foundation, which fundraises money for cities to build skate parks when they cant afford it. He helped spread the sport of skateboarding across the world.
When tony was 9 years old, his older brother gave him his first skateboard. It became a daily routine to practice at the oasis skate park in San Diego where he was growing up. At the age of 12 he was competing in contests throughout California, and at 14, he went pro. At only age 16 he was regarded as the best competitive skateboarder in the world. He had enough to buy his own house as soon as he graduated high school. Through the late 80’s, he traveled the world, doing skate demos and contests. In the year of 1991 however, the sport of skateboarding died without warning. People weren’t skating anymore. Tony refinanced his first house and started his own skate company, Birdhouse Projects. He was confident skating would rebound. The first few years was rough, Birdhouse wasn’t making enough money, and it’s future wasn’t looking good. But, almost as abruptly as it died, skateboarding blew up with popularity. Birdhouse became one of the biggest and best known skate companies in the world.
In 1999, Tony teamed up with Activision to create the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game franchise, becoming one of the most popular video game franchises in the world. In a stroke of good luck and timing, at the X Games that year, Tony became the first skateboarder to ever land a 900, a trick that had eluded him and other skateboarders for years. It was one of skating’s biggest moments, happening on live tv. This, along with his successful video game helped establish Tony’s mainstream celebrity.
After the 1999 X Games, Tony retired from competition, although he continues to perform in demos and exhibitions all over the world. He started Boom Boom Huck Jam tour, a yearly world tour featuring some of the world’s best BMXers, skateboarders, and freestyle motocross riders in the world. the tours still happen to this day.