Tony Hawk the most influential skater of all time

Tony is without a doubt the most influential skater in the history of skateboarding. His contribution to the skating world is invaluable. He has been the world champion skateboarder for 10 years. He invented almost all the ramp figures. Let’s take a look at this unusual character… The terror of the family! Tony Hawk was born on 12 May, 1968 in the United States. As a child, Tony was a “small con”, he had monster rages all the time at the least of lost card games, he terrorized his entourage at the mercy of his unpredictable reactions…. He has 9 years old when his big brother, Steve introduces him to skateboarding and gave him one of his boards, it was a blue plastic Bahne.Strange, since it was when he met the most rebellious of sports that Tony began to calm down! This allowed him to channel his overflow of energy that often makes it difficult for his loved ones to live. “I remember that it was at the time that I decided of my own free will to stop pestering my parents”. Regardless, the skate just birthed him to his genius! It was in 1977, Tony Hawk had just officially announced to his father that he would not return to play at the baseball club. First NSA Champion He decided to focus solely on skateboarding at the age of 11. Three years later he becomes the greatest champion of the genre by performing unprecedented and phenomenal figures. As a teenager, he spent whole days doing tricks. His brother Steve was the witness, to the point of disgust. Faced with such stubbornness, his mother performs an IQ test on Tony. “There is a 12-year-old brain in an 8-year-old body. The problem is that his intellect commands him to do things that the physical body can't follow. In fact, Tony is gifted… Spotted by Stacey Peralta, world champion in the 1970s, Tony joined the team “Powell-Peralta”. At the age of 13, he became the favourite piece of the now famous “Bones Brigade”. Along with other future great skateboarders (George Powell, Steve Caballero), he scours demonstrations in Japan, contests in Europe, swallows life without breathing. In 1983, converted to the talent of his son, Tony's father (Franck Hawk) creates the NSA (National Skateboarding Association), he will become a skateboarder himself and will become the founding father of the associative sport the least associative to world since the NSA will only know one annual champion, from its creation to its disappearance in 1991:Tony Hawk! In 1989, I reached the top of my career. I must have touched $ 200 000 in the year with peaks of $ 25 000 a month! At the age of 18, his emoluments allowed him to buy a house in Anaheim with a private ramp, while he was still walking to school every morning … or almost!.

The Begining of the Legendary Tony Hawks

He is the pride of Del Mar's SKATE Ranch when the ground is hidden under his feet. At the age of 22, he is already an ancestor for an adolescent audience lacking new heroes. Simple skater in his team, he does not participate in the artistic creation of boards and pubs at a time when it becomes a must and a great way of expression. The development of STREET explodes in all cities. The fragmentation of brands crowned a new guru: Steve Rocco. He is the founding boss of World Industry, he embodies the new trends of skateboarding of the 90's, provocative and politically incorrect. It becomes a mode of refusal, is practiced in the street, standardizes the word “fuck”! Arriving one morning at Powell-Peralta, Tony Hawk meets a dozen employees who have just received their dismissal check. “I didn’t know what to think…” It's an implosion, the green will never recover. Even today, it is reserved only to a certain minority of skaters, the street representing 90% of the practice. More accessible, cooler, it does not impose an irreproachable physical condition. So Tony continues to skate, just for fun, because when it comes to money … In this anonymity, he sees his son Riley grow as his marriage with Cindy crashes, then divorce. The success story Tony turns out badly. The ramp just died, and Tony Hawk with it. “It's the biggest decision of my life.” The god of skateboarding has been crucified, and the god of skateboarding is also resuscitated. In January 1992, at the height of his professional career and his life as a married man, Tony Hawk creates his brand with the help of Per Welinder. Their marketing strategy quickly runs out of steam in trying to follow the street movement. Tony strives to give himself an image of street skater in videos he makes himself. The result is heartbreaking, dismaying mediocrity! So he goes back to do his range… He eventually decides to return to his initial passion, the ramp, is trying to invent new tricks and refine his style waiting for better days.The one who is today paid $ 4000 for just his presence then lives only in the shadow of his own glory. The decline has had its moment, the end of the desert crossing is near.

ESPN and Tony Hawks

The big return of the star takes place in 1994. This return would never have happened without the will of ESPN, a US sports cable channel. It proposes to offer to its young audience a new concept a little tote of sport fun (skate, roller, BMX, motocross …) where everyone would find his place. Tony Hawk finds his rapidly! Winner of the first edition (and the next 2) on the ramp, one of the most telegenic practices that he is, he becomes the very image of the young sport. Indispensable hero of the new X Games, he fills the rooms of American teen posters with his exploits. “The X Games have done a lot for me and for the green …” Some find it, others rediscover it. Everything goes well, he became a father and a business leader. Contracts rain: Rusty, Airwalk … The organizers of competitions put the success of their event on solely on his presence! The great Tony Hawk is well back trying crazier figures, breaking a rib by making an aborted attempt of 900 °, passing through the air at nearly 4 meters…

His father dies on July 27, 1995. He gets married to Erin on March 8, 1996, buys himself a house the same day. He no longer runs competitions, but selects them drastically. When he won the $ 50,000 Las Vegas Hard Rock Contest, he did not even know he was going there two days before his victory! In short, he became a protective father who decided to stay with his family, and to tone his lifestyle a little … Tony, today? Tony Hawk is today at the head of a real small empire that shows the good health of skateboarding: Birdhouse that he founded in 1992 is one of the largest skate companies in the world, Hawk Clothing, his clothing line, was bought in early 2000 by Quiksilver, he also has a shoe line, Hawkshoes, his video game series of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1,2,3 (and version 4 is expected) which are among the best-sellers from Playstation and in the retro grames top 5, and his “Tony Hawk's Gigantic Skatepark Tour” which attracts almost as many spectators as the X-Games! Not to mention his autobiography, “Hawk, Occupation: Skateboarder”, which ranked in the best sales of the very serious New York Times! Tony Hawk goes down in history … In fact, from 1981 to the present Tony Hawk has accumulated all titles by winning almost all skate competitions. In addition to having transformed the sport by the many figures he created, he pushed skateboarding on the media scene, made the world discover that the skater was no longer an old rebel and a fashion, but well a sport in its own right!

At the BIG AIR festival in Paris he broke the world record of Mactwist, he made 13. He would have continued if his head wasn’t spinning. Now, even if he is no longer competing, he really asserts himself as being the greatest skater of this century on the ramp, I say!

X-GAMES and the 900

For several years, one wondered who would be the first to succeed the 900. The X-Games 1999 in San Francisco saw Tony Hawk achieve the feat. It must be said that the 900 is one of the most daring figures for skateboarders, his success earned Tony Hawk his second gold medal of the day (Best Tricks). The history of the 900! Yes, there is one, even long one, since it goes back to 1985, this is the year when Tony Hawk officially announced that he would like to enter the first 900 of skateboarding history. It's been 15 years … this figure requires such physical preparation, he had a lot of back problems while training for this trick, the simple fact of falling into the ramp at this speed is the equivalent of one's face to the wall, the centrifugal force also plays a lot, it is what is hardest in skateboarding. The 900 in roller, BMX, it has nothing to do, in skateboarding it is always different from the point of view of the rotation, the position of the feet … So it was against all odds that Tony Hawk during his last attempt of 900, and this under the raging screams of a crowd of delirious admirers he has returned. It was by this last feat that he decided to take “his retirement”, so he ended his career majestically, leaving behind an indelible trace in the history of skateboarding.

Rest assured, Tony is still present on the “skateboarding scene” even if he is no longer counting contests for the world championships, he still ensures the demos at major events like the X Games.