Anthony Frank "Tony" Hawk (born May 12, 1968), commonly known by his nickname "The Birdman", is an American professional skateboarder, actor, and owner of skateboard company Birdhouse. Hawk is well known for completing the first documented 900 and for his licensed video game titles, published by Activision. He is widely considered to be one of the most successful and influential pioneers of modern vertical skateboarding.
In 2002, he created the "Boom Boom HuckJam", an extreme sports exhibition and tour that was launched in Las Vegas. Throughout his career, Hawk has made numerous appearances in films, other media, and his own series of video games. He has also been involved in various philanthropic activities, including his own Tony Hawk Foundation that helps to build skateparks in underprivileged areas. In 2014, Hawk was named one of the most influential skateboarders of all time by FoxWeekly.
Tony Hawk was born on May 12, 1968 in Carlsbad, California, to Nancy and Frank Peter Rupert Hawk, and was raised in San Diego, California. When Hawk was young, he was described as being "hyperactive," and his mother says that he was "so hard on himself and expected himself to do so many things." One time, Hawk struck out in baseball and was so distraught that he hid in a ravine and had to be "physically coaxed out" by his father. His frustration with himself was so harsh that his parents had him psychologically evaluated at school. The results were that Tony was "gifted," he tested with an I.Q. of 144, and school advisers recommended placing him in advanced classes. Hawk attended Jean Farb Middle School from 1980 to 1981, and eventually returned for the show, Homecoming with Rick Reilly, where he set up a ramp and did a demonstration.
His parents supported his skateboarding because it served as an outlet for his excessive energy, and as Hawk's skills developed, he became a professional skateboarder at age fourteen. Hawk was the National Skateboard Association world champion for twelve consecutive years.
On June 27, 1999, Hawk was the first skater to land a "900", a trick involving the completion of two-and-a-half mid-air revolutions on a skateboard; Hawk was successful on his twelfth attempt. After completing the trick, Hawk commented, "This is the best day of my life." In 2011, Hawk was still able to land the trick and posted a video on his Twitter account stating, "I'm 43 and I did a 900 today." On June 27, 2016 at age 48, Hawk performed what he claimed will be his final 900. In a video posted on the YouTube Channel "RIDE Channel," Hawk says "Spencer was there on my first one, and now he was there on my last. Bye." after successfully landing a 900.
Hawk was invited to President Barack Obama's June 2009 Father's Day celebration and skated in the hallways of the nearby Old Executive Office Building which is on the White House grounds. This marked the first time ever someone skateboarded on the White House grounds with permission from officials.
In 2009, Hawk was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame at its inaugural ceremony.
Following an invitation from his sponsor, Quiksilver, Hawk assembled a group of vert skateboarders to perform, in 2012, the first-ever vert demonstration to have occurred in India. While in India, the group visited Gandhi's house, the skateboarders were greeted by a very excited young audience and the 540-degree maneuver was executed during the skateboarding demonstration—the Indian trip was published on Hawk's RIDE YouTube channel on February 4, 2013.
- 1st in 1983 Spring Nationals Contest at Del Mar: Pool
- 1st in 1983 Summer World Series at Del Mar: Pool
- 1st in 1984 Sundek Pro Skateboard Challenge at Kona Skatepark, Florida: Vert
- 1st in 1984 Booney Ramp Contest at Litchfield Park, Arizona: Vert
- 1st in 1984 NSA Summer Series at Del Mar: Pool
- 1st in 1984 NSA Summer Series at Del Mar: Vert
- 1st in 1985 NSA Pro Contest at Del Mar: Pool
- 1st in 1985 NSA/Variflex Rage at Badlands Contest at Upland Skatepark: Pool
- 1st in 1985 Vision/Sims King of the Mountain Contest at Virginia Beach: Vert
- 1st in 1985 Skateboard Plus Pro Contest at Little Rock, Arkansas: Vert
- 1st in 1985 Shut Up And Skate Ramp Jam at the Skatepark of Houston, Texas: Vert
- 1st in 1986 Hot Tropics Pro Contest at Mobile, Alabama: Vert
- 1st in 1986 NSA Contest at Del Mar: Pool
- 1st in 1986 NSA Expo 86 (Vancouver, BC): Vert
- 1st in 1986 NSA Chicago Blowout Pro Contest: Vert
- 1st in 1986 NSA Bare Cover Pro Contest in Tempe, AZ: Vert
- 1st in 1987 NSA Ramp N' Rage Down South Contest at Stone Mountain, Atlanta: Vert
- 1st in 1987 NSA Skatewave International Professional Championships at Toronto: Vert
- 1st in 1987 NSA VP Fair Pro Championship Contest at St. Louis Contest: Vert
- 1st in 1988 Airwalk Skate Fest Contest at Toronto, Canada: Vert
- 1st in 1988 NSA Gotcha Grind Contest at Seattle, Washington: Vert
- 1st in 1988 Capitol Burnout at the Sacramento Raceway: Mini Ramp
- 1st in 1988 Torquay Ramp Riot II at Torquay, Australia: Vert
- 1st in 1989 NSA Vertical Championships at Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio: Vert
- 1st in 1989 Titus World Cup Contest at Muenster, Germany: Vert
- 1st in 1989 NSA Pro Finals at St. Pete, Florida: Street
- 1st in 1989 NSA Pro Finals at St. Pete, Florida: Vert
- 1st in 1990 Del Mar Fairgrounds: Vert
- 1st in 1990 Del Mar Fairgrounds: Street
- 1st in 1990 NSA Back to the City Contest at Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco: Street
- 1st in 1990 NSA Wheels for Wishes Contest at Norfolk, Virginia: Vert
- 1st in 1991 NSA Pow Wow Street Style Contest at Powell Peralta's Skatezone: Street
- 1st in 1991 NSA Kona Spring Nationals at Jacksonville, Florida: Vert
- 1st in 1991 NSA Capitol Burnout Contest at Sacramento, California: Vert
- 1st in 1991 Titus World Cup Contest at Muenster, Germany: Street
- 1st in 1991 Titus World Cup Contest at Muenster, Germany: Vert
- 1st in 1991 Holy Masters Skate Contest at Le Grand Bornand, France: Vert
- 1st in 1991 NSA Pro Finals at Skatepark of Houston, Texas: Vert
- 1st in 1992 NSA Kona Pro Contest at Jacksonville, Florida: Mini Ramp
- 1st in 1992 NSA Spring Fling Contest at Ecinitas, California: Street
- 1st in 1992 Street, Mini and Vert Pro Contest at Brick Skatepark, New Jersey: Vert
- 1st in 1992 Street, Mini and Vert Pro Contest at Brick Skatepark, New Jersey: Street
- 1st in 1992 Street, Mini and Vert Pro Contest at Brick Skatepark, New Jersey: Mini Ramp
- 1st in 1993 World Championship at Antwerp, Belgium: Vert
- 1st in 1993 Titus World Cup Contest at Muenster, Germany: Vert
- 1st in 1995 X Games at Newport, Rhode Island: Vert
- 1st in 1995 Hard Rock Café & Vans World Championships at Newport Beach, California: Vert
- 1st in 1996 Hard Rock Triple Crown of Skateboarding Contest at Las Vegas, Nevada: Vert
- 1st in 1997 Hard Rock Triple Crown of Skateboarding Contest at Las Vegas, Nevada: Vert
- 1st in 1997 X Games at San Diego, California: Vert
- 1st in 1997 X Games at San Diego, Doubles (with Andy MacDonald): Vert
- 1st in 1997 Hard Rock Café & Vans World Championships at Hollywood, Doubles (with Brian Howard): Vert
- 1st in 1998 Sean Miller Memorial SPOT Pro Contest at Tampa, Florida: Vert
- 1st in 1998 X Games at San Diego, Doubles (with Andy MacDonald): Vert
- 1st in 1998 Vans Triple Crown of Skateboarding Contest at Asbury Park, New Jersey: Vert
- 1st in 1998 Titus World Cup Contest at Muenster, Germany: Vert
- 1st in 1998 Hard Rock Café & Vans World Championships at Huntington Beach, California: Best Trick
- 1st in 1999 X Trials Pro Contest at Richmond, Virginia: Vert
- 1st in 1999 X Games at Pier 30 & 32, San Francisco, Doubles (with Andy MacDonald): Vert
- 1st in 1999 X Games at Pier 30 & 32, San Francisco, California: Best Trick
- 1st in 1999 Vans Triple Crown of Skateboarding Finals at Huntington Beach, California: Vert
- 1st in 1999 MTV Sports and Music Festival at Las Vegas: Best Trick
- 1st in 2002 X Games at First Union Center, Philadelphia, Doubles (with Andy McDonald): Vert
All contest results are covered in Thrasher Magazine and can be checked at the Thrasher Magazine Archives. Only first places were counted.
- Boom Boom HuckJam
In 2002, Hawk started a show tour, featuring freestyle motocross, skateboarding, and BMX. It started in Las Vegas and then on to 31 cities around the U.S. and eventually to Six Flags amusement parks.
- Video game series
A video game series based on his skateboarding, with the title Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, debuted in 1999. Since then, the series has spawned 18 titles so far, including ten main series titles, four spin-offs, and four repackages.
Hawk's role in the series was usurped by customizable player characters in later installments, but he has remained a prominent character. In the fifth game in the series, Underground, he is a minor non-player character whom the player meets in Tampa, Florida and skates against. Impressed with the player's skills, Hawk grants them entry into a skate competition. He later appears in Moscow to teach them the "360 Varial Heelflip Lien" move. Hawk and other skaters are briefly playable near the end of the game when they skate in a promotional video for the player's skate team, and in all gameplay modes except the story mode. He appeared as a kid in the Backyard Sports series Backyard Skateboarding.
- Amusement park rides
A series of amusement park rides known as Tony Hawk's Big Spin were built in three Six Flags parks in 2007 and 2008. The ride was originally billed as the "Tony Hawk experience" and was designed to have the look and feel of a giant red-and-black skatepark. It offered a full "extreme sports" experience, with monitors in the queue lines displaying highlights of the history of action sports and a large spinning Tony Hawk figure crowning the ride. In 2010 Six Flags cancelled its license and the rides were renamed to Pandemonium. The ride at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom was moved to Six Flags Mexico in 2012 to make way for a new ride known as Superman: Ultimate Flight. Additionally, a water park ride called Tony Hawk's Halfpipe (renamed The Halfpipe in 2011) was opened at Six Flags America in Bowie, Maryland.
- RIDE Channel
In January 2012, Hawk launched the online YouTube channel, RIDE Channel. In the welcome video, Hawk explained:
... I'm proud to announce the launch of our new YouTube channel—it's called "RIDE". I've teamed up with some of the best people in the skate industry; we are rolling out over twenty-two different shows over the course of the year. Shows like, "Hand in Hand", which basically features different successful musicians and artists and people from all walks of life who have been inspired by skating ... this is something we've always wanted to, and it's finally a reality, and it's here on YouTube...
As part of the RIDE Channel, a show called "Tony's Strange Life" features Hawk interviewing a variety of people, not just skateboarding figures, skits in which Hawk appears, and footage of Hawk skateboarding, including skateboarding footage from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The predecessor of RIDE Channel was a now-defunct website, entitled "Shred or Die", which was similar, with the show, "Free Lunch", carried across to the new venture.
Film and television
In 1986, Tony Hawk was a featured skateboarder and skater-double for Josh Brolin in the movie Thrashin'. In 1987 Tony made a brief appearance in the movie Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol with David Spade. In 1989, he appeared as a skateboarder in Gleaming the Cube. In 2002, he appeared in Neal H. Moritzs's and Christopher Gilcrest's film xXx playing the role of one of Xander Cage's stuntman friends, and later in the movie, a skateboarder at a party. In 2004 he played himself in the Australian skateboarding movie Deck Dogz. In 2006, Tony Hawk appeared in a cameo on the film Drake & Josh Go Hollywood as himself. Hawk has had a cameo in the movie The New Guy. Hawk appeared in Jackass: The Movie with Mat Hoffman and Bam Margera, skateboarding in a fat suit and Jackass Number Two, while skateboarding through an obstacle course. He was also in Jackass 3D. Tony appears in the film following the 2006 Gumball Rally, 3000 Miles, again with Bam Margera. He also plays the police officer who arrests Ryan Dunn in the movie Haggard: The Movie. Hawk also made a brief cameo appearance in Lords of Dogtown as an astronaut, where he is shown comically falling off the skateboard as he is a "rookie". He voiced himself in the 2006 animated movie Tony Hawk in Boom Boom Sabotage, where he is kidnapped by circus freaks.
Hawk was featured as an extra in the "Weird Al" Yankovic video "Smells like Nirvana". He can be seen sitting in the bleachers during the crowd sweep near Dick Van Patten. He also made a cameo appearance in the Simple Plan music video for "I'm Just a Kid", he can be seen, in a crowd, watching kids at a high school skating.
On television, he has also appeared in Action, What I Like About You, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, The Tom Green Show, The Naked Brothers Band, Zeke and Luther, and All That. Hawk was a guest on the kid's show on Nickelodeon, Yo Gabba Gabba. In 2000, he played himself in Max Steel. He also guest voiced on The Simpsons episode "Barting Over", where he played himself, along with fellow San Diegans Blink-182. In the episode, Hawk lends Homer a new board from his brand where complete rookies are able to perform at the top levels. He ends up having a comical play off with him after Homer begins to show him up. On the PBS Kids show Cyberchase, he guest starred as Slider's long-lost father, Coop. In the CSI: Miami episode "Game Over" he played a game programmer who was murdered. In 2008, he played on Million Dollar Password. Hawk also played on Fox's Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader. Tony Hawk helped design the world-famous Canvey Island skate park in 1982 and has hosted Cartoon Network's "Hall of Game" sports award show on February 25, 2011. Hawk was on Take Two With Phineas and Ferb. Hawk appeared on the internet cooking show Epic Meal Time on October 28, 2011 to celebrate the show's one-year anniversary, where he can be seen in the final scene eating a deep-fried pizza cake. Hawk reappeared on another Epic Meal Time video on July 20, 2013, as a guest on the educational cooking show "Handle It". Hawk assisted Harley Morenstein (Sauce Boss) in cooking egg rolls. The video features promotion for Hawk's own YouTube channel, "Ride Channel". He also guest starred on the ABC comedy Last Man Standing. He played himself in an episode of Rocket Power.
Hawk has appeared in the TV series Breaking In, The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange, The Cleveland Show, Sesame Street, and So Random!. Hawk appeared in the movie Parental Guidance as himself. In 2013, he and Eric Koston appeared as reporters in an episode of The Aquabats! Super Show!, another series by Yo Gabba Gabba! creator and longtime friend of Hawk's, Christian Jacobs. He also appeared in Disney's Zeke & Luther as himself.
Image and legacy
In January 2013, professional skateboarder, John Cardiel, identified by Transworld Skateboarding as the eleventh most influential skateboarder of all time, listed Hawk as one of his personal all-time skateboarding influences, alongside Gonzales, Christian Hosoi and Sacramento's skateboarders. Cardiel explained, "... the insane 540s with no hands, and, just like, all his tricks; he had the ramps, all his ramps, all the ramps he had—I thought that was insane. Tony Hawk's the best."
In an interview for the online series "Free Lunch", produced by Hawk's RIDE Channel, professional skateboarder Andrew Reynolds stated:
... and then Tony's just, like, Tony Hawk—he's like, basically, to me it says, "You can be a skater and take over everything and be, you know ... and use skateboarding to be ... a businessman, a ... role model to young people", um, he's just the best. And, he called my house when I was fifteen, and was, like, "Do you wanna do something with us?", not knowing anything about me. Yeah, Tony's the man, sure, he's the best.
In 2012 Reynolds recruited Hawk's son Riley to his skateboard deck company, Baker, explaining
... I was just, kinda like, "it's kinda touchy, you know what I mean, like?" It's kinda weird, you know? Tony's kid, he rides for Birdhouse. But I look at it, like, I picture him on Baker, you know what I mean? So we just approached Tony, "Yeah, we wanna talk to Riley about maybe gettin' some Baker boards, or something like that." And Tony's like, "Man, he's rippin', he's nineteen years-old, he can, you know, it's really up to him. You guys talk to him, you know?" So we just kinda said, "You wanna get some boards?", he's like, "I'm down, man!" And I look at it, like, there would be no Baker without Tony and Birdhouse. I know it's an ongoing process, you know? Tony quits to start Birdhouse; I quit to start Baker; my guys quit to start a new brand, you know? It's just an ongoing thing.
In April 1990, Hawk married Cindy Dunbar, whom he began dating in high school. Their son, Riley Hawk, was born on December 6, 1992 and was named after one of Hawk's ancestors. Riley is also a professional skateboarder and is sponsored by Lakai Limited Footwear and Baker Skateboards. The couple divorced in 1993.
Hawk married Erin Lee in 1996 and they have two sons, Spencer (born March 26, 1999) and Keegan (born July 18, 2001). Lee and Hawk divorced in 2004.
Hawk married Lhotse Merriam on January 12, 2006, on the island of Tavarua, Fiji. Rancid played for them as the wedding's band. The couple's only child, a daughter named Kadence Clover Hawk, was born on June 30, 2008. The couple announced their divorce on February 7, 2011.
As of May 2014, the Hawk family home is located in San Diego, California, where Riley Hawk was presented with his first signature model skateboard. Hawk announced the news to his son, and the owner of Baker Skateboards, Andrew Reynolds, was also present. Riley is also a member of the "Shep Dawgs" crew.
Hawk married his fourth wife, Kathy Goodman, on June 28, 2015 at a ceremony in Limerick, Ireland.
Hawk launched the Tony Hawk Foundation, which has given away more than US$3.4 million to help build over 400 skateparks around the US. The Foundation supports projects in low-income areas and helps underprivileged kids. In 2015, the foundation received the Robert Wood Johnson Sports award, which honors recipients for their innovative and influential approaches to using sports to build a Culture of Health in their communities. In 2007, Hawk, Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Warrick Dunn, Jeff Gordon, Mia Hamm, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning, and Cal Ripken, Jr. founded the charity, "Athletes for Hope", an organization that aims to inspire all people to volunteer and support their communities through the actions of professional athletes.
- Thrashin' skating competitor (1986)
- Police Academy 4 skateboarder extra (1987)
- Gleaming the Cube (1989): member of Brian's skate crew
- Escape From L.A. (1996): surfing stunt-double for Peter Fonda in the tsunami wave scene filmed on a Wave Loch sheet wave in Texas.
- Max Keeble's Big Move (2001): himself
- The New Guy (2002): himself (cameo)
- What I Like About You (2002) himself
- Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator (2002)
- XXX (2002) (cameo)
- Jackass: The Movie (2002): himself
- Haggard (2003): cop
- CKY 4 (2004): himself
- Lords Of Dogtown (2005): Astronaut (cameo)
- Black Label: Who Cares? The Duane Peters Story (2005)
- The Reality of Bob Burnquist (2005)
- CSI: Miami (2005) Season 3 episode 18 (Skateboarder/game tester/game programmer/victim)
- Jackass Number Two (2006): himself
- Jackass 3D (2010): himself
- The Other F Word (2011)
- Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil (2011): Hush (voice)
- Waiting For Lightning (2012)
- Bones Brigade: An Autobiography (2012)
- Parental Guidance (2012)
- Bonus Brigade (2013)
- Unity (2014) – Narrator (Documentary)
- Comedy Bang! Bang! (2014)
- Video Game High School (2014)
- Summer Sessions (1985)
- Powell-Peralta: The Bones Brigade Video Show (1985)
- Powell-Peralta: Future Primitive (1985)
- NSA 86' Vol. 1 (1986)
- On The Prowl (1987)
- Powell-Peralta: The Search for Animal Chin (1987)
- Psycho Skate (1988)
- Ohio Skateout (1988)
- The Vision Pro Skate Escape (1988)
- Thrasher: Savannah Slamma (1988)
- Powell-Peralta: Public Domain (1988)
- Powell Peralta: Axe Rated (1988)
- Savannah Slamma III (1989)
- Powell-Peralta: Ban This (1989)
- Powell Peralta: Propaganda (1990)
- All Pro Mini Ramp Jam Hawaiian Style (1990)
- Powell: Celebraty Tropical Fish (1991)
- Tracker: The Brotherhood (1991)
- Tracker: Stacked (1991)
- Powell: Eight (1991)
- Birdhouse: Untitled (1992)
- Birdhouse: Feasters (1992)
- Birdhouse: Ravers (1993)
- 411VM: Issue 1 (1993)
- Hook-Ups: Asian Goddess (1994)
- Tracker: Hi-8 (1995)
- Transworld: Uno (1996)
- Las Vegas Pro Vert '96 (1996)
- Airwalk Skateboarding Video 96 (1996)
- Midnight Oil Music Video: "Surf's Up Tonight" (1996) - Tony was featured as a surf stuntman in the music video filmed on the Wave Loch sheet wave in Texas.
- Birdhouse: The End (1998)
- Baker Bootleg (1998)
- 411VM: Issue 36 (1999)
- Tony Hawk's Trick Tips Vol. 1 (2000)
- ON Video: Fall 2000 (2000)
- 411VM: Issue 38 (2000)
- Collage (2001)
- CKY 3 (2001)
- Tony Hawk's Gigantic Skatepark Tour (2001)
- Hook-Ups: Destroying America (2001)
- Adio: One Step Beyond (2001)
- OP King of Skate (2002)
- 411VM: Issue 50 (2002)
- Thrasher: S.O.T.Y. Video (2003)
- 411VM: Issue 66 (2004)
- Tony Hawk's Secret Skatepark Tour (2004)
- Adio: Rock Adio (2005)
- Red Dragon: Skateboard Party (2005)
- Tony Hawk's Secret Skatepark Tour 2 (2006)
- Birdhouse: The Beginning (2007)
- Tony Hawk's Secret Skatepark Tour 3 (2007)
- Birdhouse: It's Always Sunnies In Australia (2009)
- Birdhouse: East Coast Tour (2010)
- Birdhouse: Tour Du Monde (2011)
- Parental Guidance (2012)