For several decades, Tony Hawk has been the figurehead of skateboarding. Global star, businessman, icon' advertising agent, hero of his own video game', Tony Hawk is above all a genius of the skateboard and an international athlete.
Tony Hawk was nine years old when his brother changed his life by giving him a blue fiberglass Bahne skateboard. By twelve, Tony was sponsored by Dogtown Skateboards, by fourteen he was pro, and by age sixteen Tony Hawk was widely considered the best skateboarder in the world.
In the ensuing 17 years, Hawk entered an estimated 103 pro contests. He won 73 of them, and placed second in 19. By far the best record in skateboarding's history.
As a high-school senior, he was able to buy his own house at age 17. Two years later he bought another house: a four-and-a-half-acre spread where he also built a monster skate ramp. Hawk was constantly traveling worldwide for demos and contests.
The next few years ripped by in a blur of financial uncertainty and personal challenges. Tony started a skateboard company, Birdhouse Projects. Birdhouse wasn't making money and
Tony's future was sketchy.
Skateboarding went through its cycle and was deemed cool again.
The Hawk became the Phoenix. Birdhouse became one of the most established skateboard companies in the world and Tony signed a range of endorsement deals with companies like Quiksilver. In 1998 he and his family started a kids skate clothing company called, of course, Hawk Clothing.
In 1999 Activision and Tony created the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater video game for PlayStation. They expected decent sales, but the next year, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 was released and jumped to the number one position for over a month.
The Tony Hawk series has become one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time.
End of 2009, Tony and Activision will launch the innovative new Tony Hawk Ride, with its own motion sensitive skateboard shaped game controller that the player stands on to play the game.
Tony's success overflows into the non-electronic world as well. His autobiography, HAWKâ€” Occupation: Skateboarder was a New York Times bestseller and is currently available in paperback. He also created the immensely popular Tony Hawk's Gigantic Skatepark Tour for ESPN.
Tony retired from competitive skateboarding at age 31. He still skates almost every day, still learns new tricks, and still does several public demos a year. One of the reasons Tony decided to stop competing at the end of 1999 was that he landed the first-ever 900 (two and a half mid-air spins) at the X Games.
The 900 was one of the last on a wish list of tricks he'd written a decade earlier.
In 2002, Tony launched the Boom Boom HuckJam, a 24-city arena tour featuring the world's best skateboarders, BMX bike riders, and Motocross lunatics performing choreographed routines on a million-dollar ramp system, while punk and hip hop music plays.
The most recognized action-sports figure in the world, and according to some marketing surveys the most recognizable athlete of any kind in the United States, Tony is also President of Tony Hawk Inc., a worldwide leader in action-sports video games, licensing, merchandising, events, endorsements, and film and digital media.
He regularly appears on television and in films, and hosts a weekly show on the Sirius XM satellite radio network.
Tabbed once again as the Favorite Male Athlete at the 2008 Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards (he won the same award in 2003, 2004 and in 2001, beating Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and Tiger Woods), Tony is a role model for fans of all ages. He was named Choice Male Athlete at the Teen Choice Awards 2004 and had won the same in 2001 and 2000.
He is an active participant in the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which honored him as its Favorite Male Athlete in 2002.
With the creation of the Tony Hawk Foundation in 2002, Tony has also been helping others experience the same excitement he did as a young skateboarder, learning to skate and building the self-confidence that resulted in his success.
Designed to promote and help finance public skateparks in low-income areas, the Tony Hawk Foundation has given away over $2.9 million to 448 skatepark projects throughout the United States: from Marathon, Florida to Port Angeles, Washington, serving over 3-million youth.