Sunday May 12, 1968 to Present
U.S.Anthony Frank Hawk (born May 12, 1968), nicknamed Birdman, is an American professional skateboarder, entrepreneur, and the owner of the skateboard company Birdhouse. He completed the first documented "900" skateboarding trick in 1999, licensed a video game series named after him published by Activision that same year, and is a pioneer of modern vertical skateboarding. He retired from competing professionally in 2003 and is regarded as one of the most influential skateboarders of all time.
As a child, Hawk was described as "hyperactive", and his mother stated 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", as he was tested with an IQ of 144, so 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 performed a skateboarding demonstration. His parents supported his skateboarding because it served as an outlet for his excessive energy. Hawk's skills developed, and he became a professional skateboarder at age 14. He was officially the National Skateboard Association world champion for 12 consecutive years.
On June 27, 1999, Hawk became the first skateboarder to land a "900", a trick involving the completion of two-and-a-half mid-air revolutions on a skateboard, in which he was successful on his twelfth attempt. After completing the trick, Hawk said "This is the best day of my life."
In 2006, he made a cameo on the film Drake & Josh Go Hollywood as himself. Hawk also had a cameo in the movie The New Guy, and 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.
Hawk appeared in the film following the 2006 Gumball Rally, 3000 Miles, again with Bam Margera. He also played 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".
A series of amusement park rides known as Tony Hawk's Big Spin was 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.
Hawk was invited to US President Barack Obama's June 2009 Father's Day celebration and skated in the hallways of the nearby Old Executive Office Building on the White House grounds. This marked the first time ever someone skateboarded on the White House grounds with permission from officials.
Following an invitation from his former 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 Mahatma 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.
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."