Crash landings, sprains and scraped up shins– some of the side-effects of gravity - all for an activity that was at one time not yet “accepted” nor considered by most to be a sport. Yet a daring group of visionaries dedicated such great amounts of time, passion, and expertise to skateboarding that, eventually, people had no choice but to notice. The tricks got better, so did the boards, and one phrase kept coming up at the contests, “And the winner is Tony Hawk.”
The world’s best skateboarder has not only set the bar for the wonders of skateboarding, he has also started the highly successful skateboarding company, Birdhouse Skateboards, as well as contributed to the design and production of one of the hottest and bestselling lines of videogames. Tony Hawk’s Underground has been nominated by the Video Software Dealer’s Association for the Home Entertainment Award, and he has plans to continue producing what are sure to be more groundbreaking titles. TDmonthly Magazine had a chance to ask this amazing athlete and entrepreneur some questions regarding his contributions to the toy and video gaming industries:
TDmonthly: Obviously, skateboarding in its early days was much more “underground." Now skateboarding products, including videogames, are commonplace in toy stores. Toys “R” Us even carries a Spider-Man and a Bratz skateboard. What factors do you think have contributed to this mainstreaming of the sport?
Tony Hawk: Television coverage, video games and kids´ growing desire to play more "action-oriented" sports.
TDM: What direction do you see the skateboarding industry taking and how does your company, Birdhouse Skateboards, plan to adapt?
Tony Hawk: By continuing to base our products and marketing on quality skating, not focusing solely on image.
TDM: Your videogame, Tony Hawk´s Underground has received rave reviews. What was your role throughout the conception and during the development of the game?
Tony Hawk: To play it every step of the way during the development process and give feedback to the developers. My biggest concerns are skaters, locations, tricks and specific challenges.
TDM : What are some of your favorite features of the game?
Tony Hawk: The face-mapping and online-play features of THUG were milestones, but my favorite feature of THUG 2 is graffiti.
TDM : How good are you at playing your own video games?
Tony Hawk: I can finish each one without cheating, so I´d consider myself an "advanced" player.
TDM : Which game is your favorite?
Tony Hawk: My favorite is always the latest.
TDM:Why is that?
Tony Hawk: Because I feel like we always improve upon our previous efforts.
TDM : Are there any plans to release any other Tony Hawk videogames in the near future?
Tony Hawk: THUG 2 will be out this fall - and it is by far the best yet.
TDM: Any new Tony Hawk skateboards/related products that may soon find their way into toy stores?
Tony Hawk: We have three video titles for VideoNow - Boom Huckjam, Secret Skatepark Tour and "day in the life of Tony Hawk."
TDM: Other than your own line, what video games do you enjoy playing?
Tony Hawk : Kelly Slater and 1080 Avalanche. I also play Bionicle and Mario Party with my younger son.
TDM: And now, a question for the fans: Do you have a single favorite memory of skateboarding that stands out from the rest?
Tony Hawk: Being on the Simpsons!
Jun 28, 2019 - Tony Hawk Interviews O'Shea Jackson Jr. - Demolition Radio Sirius XM
Updates to this article by Staff on May 21, 2020:
FedEx driver from Georgia makes it happen: 6-year-old sends his old skateboards to Tony Hawk. Mikail Farrar, a FedEx driver from Georgia "reached out to the universe" and helped Cooper, a "young thoughtful man", a 6-year-old send his old skateboards to the one and only, Tony Hawk, his idol.
Mr. Farrar was on his usual routine when Cooper ran after him and asked if he could deliver an old skateboard to Mr. Hawk. Mr. Farrar turned to TikTok and the mission was accomplished! Mr. Hawk made his TikTok clip and thanked Mr. Farrar for his help and Mr. Morgan for the board.