Alright boys and girls, it's time. It's time for us to pay homage to the man who gave us trick tips, aired over his own car, and changed millions of lives by creating a skateboard video game that was actually fun/playable (thrasher I'm sorry but your game was too fucking hard). Yes, we are talking about the Hawk. This entire week will be dedicated to Tony in our own loving way. Due to a recent documentary, Tony Hawk's legacy has come somewhat under fire. If you've watched the video of Tony landing the 900 lately, you may have noticed how volatile the comments section has become, the skateboarding populous being completely polarized by the Hawk/Pappas controversy. For those who haven't seen it, the documentary in question is well worth the watch and has some great food for thought. But we're not here to weigh in on that debate. However true or untrue the accusations of All This Mayhem may be, we're here to pay homage to our boy Tony and his ample contributions to both the skateboarding world and the pop culture world. We did, after all, make him the star of our first, and possibly only, piece of apparel (I mean talk about significant). Here are some of our favorite moments in Hawk history.
Destroying Tas Pappas' Career (The 900)
Documentary or no documentary, do you remember this moment? It was like Jordan vs. The Utah Jazz in game six. It was like Team USA beating the Russians. It was like...fuck, I dunno, it was like something else crazy and significant in sports (not a forte of anyone here). That being said, it was actually like none of these things because the examples I just gave happened within regulation time...so whatever. Does it make it any less awesome? No, because whatever a documentary has to say about this moment doesn't change what it felt like to see it live on TV. If you got to witness this, then you know what I mean.
Inventing the Benihana (sort of)
A trick often chastised by cool guy park skaters and adored by dorky fly out groms, the benihana’s existence can be credited to the Birdman himself...well, sort of. Lester Kasai, a vert legend, has also been credited with the trick's invention, but given that this is Tony Hawk week on the site we're just gonna give him the title of "inventor" (kinda how they played, Tas, sorry dude!) . Named after the Benihana's restaurant, Tony’s personality shines through the trick itself: sort of dorky, yet also very rad and timeless…(picks bong up) you could almost argue that Tony Hawk is the benihana, (puts bong down). Special shout out to SMLTalk SNOTY14 (skate nerd of the year) Mike Fork, for claiming that he landed a frontside big spin benihana...lol.
Creating Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
What can I say, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this had some influence on why I still skateboard today. If you started skateboarding somewhere between 1998 and 2004, you would also be lying. From the soundtrack to the bails section to Andrew Reynolds ollieing up an insane grass gap, this game had everything a kid needed to be sold on skateboarding. You could skate EMB, grind the Gonz Rail, do the Leap of Faith, skate Carlsbad, Love Park, Kona, the Brooklyn Banks, grind telephone wires, railroad tracks, skate in malls, airports, spaceships, zoos, bullrings, and the list goes on. You could honestly do anything your little heart desired. The thing that really made this game great is that the functionality for 2 player mode was not bad. Some games just suck when you’re playing with two players. This game let you do things like tag, play skate, or just play the levels simultaneously. I could go on for hours about this game, but at the end of the day we all know how damn good it was, and how damn good it was for skateboarding.
Creating Riley Hawk
Riley Hawk is pretty sick. Riley has his own rocker/stoner metal vibe thing, does heelflips, skates for Lakai, and doesn’t seem to be even closely related to his father skating-wise. That being said, he's still managed to make his own unique mark in modern skateboarding without too much help from his pops. Now, is it surprising that Tony Hawk has a talented skateboarding son? No, of course it isn’t. I'm sure you all remember that kickflip he did as a youngster over the hip at the Carlsbad YMCA in one of the THPS unlockable videos, full pads and helmet on. He was probably always destined for greatness. Regardless of his status as a professional skateboarder, think about how constantly laid could you get telling chicks that you’re the Birdman Jr...and actually meaning it. Like who even cares about skating at that point, honestly?
MTV Cribs Episode
Here’s the thing, when I was growing up, I fucking loved MTV Cribs. I would have killed to show off the insides of my fridge to a camera crew, let alone the chance to show off my private stripper pole, or convince millions of people that magic constantly occurred in my bedroom. There were few things more baller in the 2000’s than scoring an episode of Cribs...so many timeless episodes (Birdman, Shaq, and Scarface to name a couple quick favorites). Seeing our boy Tony on Cribs was like seeing one of your friends really make it. A skateboarder, showing off his baller ass house with all of his little baller ass children running around, while he’s showing off his 100 disc changing stereo (Hawk family got busy). Tony had entered a realm of ballerness reserved for basketball players, recording artists, and actors.
*I used to legitimately want to go skate after watching this episode due to a severe lack of skate videos in my house. Anything skateboard related made me want to go outside. Now I watch it and just really wish I was rich :(
Though Drew would have surely created his legend no matter what company he ended up on, its strange to think that The Birdman is responsible for facilitating the launch of Andrew Reynolds’ career. Though G&S was technically Reyn Reyn's first break in the industry, Birdhouse is what catapulted his career and made him the household name that he is today. Tony hadn't even seen Reynolds skate when he made him am on Birdhouse. If he can pick legends blind, think about what a talent scout he'd be if he actually knew the dude he was hooking up! Legend!!
Let me tell you a story. I was in the third, maybe fourth grade, and my Dad bought me a hat. It wasn’t just any hat, it was a Hawk Clothing hat. It was bright red, and it had a very chill Hawk Clothing text logo on the front of it, and the moment it was given to me, I wore it everyday of my life. One day, the Enjoi skateboard team was doing a demo at Revere Skatepark and Rodney Mullen, amongst other incredible professional skateboarders, would be in attendance. I begged my poor mother to bring me, and while reluctant, she gave into my cries to attend said skateboard demonstration. Upon the Enjoi team’s arrival, I was able to get up close and personal with Rodney Mullen, and asked him to sign my hat. I told him he was my favorite skateboarder and he told me thank you, and to “keep on skating, man”. What a wonderful day. A day I will never forget. But it was not a week later, that this treasured hat of mine would be lost, as I had left it on the ground while at soccer practice. I went back the next day to search for it but with no avail, the hat was gone. The moral of the story? Sports are fucking stupid. Hawk Clothing? Kind of like if you combined South Pole with shitty knockoff Birdhouse graphics. Also responsible for some very current and chill professional skateboarders (see Marius above).
Boom Boom Huck Jam
- This isn't really a favorite moment of ours, this is more or less a platform to complain about something (kind of the main reason we started the blog). Having to categorize skateboarding as an "action sport" gives you that weird, nails on a chalkboard, just saw a family member naked, type feeling. There is nothing more action sports than the Boom Boom Huck Jam. Someone got promoted for titling this event and to you, sir or ma'am, I hate you. How many innocent skateboarders are berated by passing idiot jocks with questions regarding the "Boom Boom whatever the fuck it's called, ya know the one with the motorcycles and shit?" Attention jocks: no one's ever been to this event. For anyone who may have been unlucky enough to attend this thing, please reach out to me and tell me what happened because I still don't really know what went on at these things. There's like fire and motorcycles and skateboarding...right? Is it like Nitro Circus? Is there skating??? What does it mean to Boom Boom Huck? SOMEONE PLEASE ANSWER ME.
Skating in Hallways of the White House
- Similar to the honor of having your own episode of MTV cribs, could there be anything more baller than getting the ok from President Barack Obama to skate through the White House? You ever try and skate in D.C.? While Tony’s shredding the inside of the Commander in Chief’s house, you got kids outside getting tasered for skating Pulaski...think about it:
Tony Hawk is above the law.
- Ya’ll saw one documentary and are trying to stay mad at the Birdman? Pshhh please, he just spent Father’s Day with the fucking President. Once a boss, always a boss.
Airing Into the Water at X Games 1996
- When you’re at the X Games the stakes are high. People risk their lives, and just plain out lay it all on the line in an effort to win the gold. But sometimes it’s not about the gold. Sometimes it’s about just being a boss and showing that you can do whatever you want. This is what happened at X Games 1996. Some people may say, “Tony jumps into the water, giant pussy”. Or they may say something like, “why on earth would he do that, he looks like an idiot”. Or maybe they’d just put their head in their hands and say, “please tell me that this isn’t what skateboarding has come to”. Well guess what - Tony doesn’t give a shit about that. It was hot outside, there was water, and he wanted to take a dip. Not really much more to say about this one.
Gigantic Skatepark Tour
The fucking Gigantic Skatepark Tour. Oh, you don't know what this is? Well, that's probably because you were still in bed when it aired on ESPN at 6:00 in the morning. Was I awake for it? You bet your ass I was. There was no chance in hell that I was going to miss guys like Kerry Getz, Willy Santos, and Jason Ellis skate any park that had a vert ramp in the back (you think Tony is gonna compromise his integrity by going to a park everyone would enjoy/could skate?) LOL. No. Tony is a businessman. There is no time for parks w/o vert. Remember: Time = Money and Money = a new wife/child support, etc.
- Thank the fucking lord for this one. Words cannot express the relief I experienced when I picked me up a copy of the Tony Hawk autobiography at Barnes & Noble in 2002, maybe a week before a major book report was due. When you’re 10 years old, a week is not nearly enough time to read a book. It is also important to note (no pun intended), that sparknotes did not exist in the same way it does today, so that option was out. Luckily, Tony made that shit easy for me. It was a BOOK about skateboarding, and more importantly, the coolest dude who was skateboarding at the time. Long story short (killing it with the puns), your boy aced that book report.
The Simpsons cameo
Rocket Power cameo