The world knows Tony Hawk as a legendary skateboarder, entrepreneur, and founder of The Skatepark Project — but how exactly did he get all those titles? Tony Hawk was nine years old when his older brother changed his life by giving him a blue fiberglass Bahne skateboard.
By 14 he’d turned pro, and by 16 was considered the best competitive skateboarder on earth. A World Champion for 12 years in a row, he continues to skate demos and exhibitions internationally, and remains the most recognized action-sports figure in the world.
A prodigy goes pro.
His success may sound predestined, but it was more about passion and practice. “The first time I picked up a skateboard, I ran into the fence because I didn’t know how to turn,” he told Rolling Stone.
In 1999, Tony teamed up with Activision to create the Tony Hawk’s™ Pro Skater™ video game. His life would never be the same. In a stroke of good timing, at the X Games that same year, he became the first skateboarder to ever land a 900, which was considered the holy grail of vert skateboarding at the time.
Building on the dream.
Today, his business skills have helped create a Tony Hawk brand that includes a billion-dollar video game franchise, with a remastered Tony Hawk’s™ Pro Skater™ 1+2 game released in 2020 to rave reviews.
Also in his portfolio are Hawk Clothing apparel company, Birdhouse Skateboards and the Tony Hawk Signature Series sporting goods and toys.
His speaking engagements draw huge crowds, inspiring everyone from media savvy millennials to corporate veterans. An intuitive marketer with a knack for social networking, Tony’s fans number in the millions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Street, screen, and
Tony regularly appears on television and in films, and hosted a show on Sirius XM radio’s Faction channel for 14 years. His autobiography, HAWK — Occupation: Skateboarder, was a New York Times bestseller, and his book How Did I Get Here? The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO, covers the business side of his career. Tony’s production company, 900 Films, continues its work in television, film and commercial video, and content production.
Tony’s take on it all? Follow your heart. “I never wrote a script for myself,” Tony told ESPN.com. I was thinking, ‘I want to learn that trick.’”
Tony is a role model for fans of all ages. He founded The Skatepark Project, which has given away more than $10 million to over 600 skatepark projects throughout the world. The foundation helps underserved communities create safe and inclusive skateparks for youth.