Tony Hawk. Success story
If you don’t know Tony Hawke, you probably have never been interested in skateboarding. After all, it was with him that this sport gained the greatest popularity. Tony was the first to submit to the 900 trick – two and a half turns in the air with landing in the opposite direction. The price of this trick, according to him, was a broken shoulder, more than 20 concussions and about 13 years of preparation. Hawke made it in 1999 at the age of 31, and then repeated it twice: at 43 and at 48!
How did Tony Hawke become popular?
Such loyalty to her beloved business helped Tony Hawke build an empire and infect millions of people with skateboarding. Its influence is hard to overestimate. In the early 80s, at a time when he was just starting to ride, this industry was very poorly developed. Nobody wanted to learn skate, most of the children in the US chose baseball, American football or basketball. Hawk, on the other hand, wasn’t strong in team games, it was difficult for him to join the company, so he spent days on end riding on the ramp that his parents built for him in the backyard.
Gradually improving, at the age of 12 Tony already got the first sponsor Dogtown Skateboards, and by the age of 16 he became one of the best skaters on the planet. Thanks to his talent and persistent training, the athlete at the age of 14 began to perform at a professional level, and, having signed a solid contract with Power Peralta, was able to buy his first house before graduation.
Hawke won one victory after another, his income grew. By the age of 25, he took part in 103 competitions and won in 73 of them. Nobody has been able to repeat this result so far. He became the world champion in vert-skateboarding 12 times in a row.
All this time, Tony, together with his father Frank, who founded the US National Federation in 1983, tried with all his might to popularize skateboarding among young people, and a small boom really happened. But what started so well soon went awry.
On the verge of bankruptcy
In the early 90s, the popularity of skateboarding reached its lowest point, as did Hawke’s earnings. Tony practically squandered all the money from the winnings and was close to bankruptcy. He had to live on $ 5 a day, which he received from TacoBell. However, the athlete returned to the competition with fresh ideas and was able to improve his position. He came up with more than 30 new tricks and managed to restart his career.
In 1995, Tony Hawke took part in the first ever World Extreme Games (X-Games), which helped him to light up and demonstrate his talents to a wider audience. Towards the end of the decade, there has been a second skateboarding boom that has not subsided to this day.
After performing the 900 trick on X-Games 1999 from the 12th attempt, the influence and popularity of Tony Hawke grew so much that together with Activision he released the video game Tony Hawk`s Proskater for Playstation, which instantly became a bestseller. According to the stories of the skateboarder himself, many people believe that it does not exist in reality, and Tony Hawk is just a character in the game. By the way, its last part was released in 2015.
What else does a skateboarder do?
Tony Hawke is not only a first-class athlete, but also a successful businessman. In the late 90s, he and his family founded the skate companies Birdhouse and Hawk Clothing. In addition, he is the founder of the Boom Boom Huck Jam Tour, which organizes performances by the strongest skateboarders, BMX cyclists and motor freeriders in large arenas and amusement parks in the United States. At one time, Tony Hawk owned an attraction in the Six Flag amusement park. Hawke’s fortune, according to various estimates, is $ 120-140 million.
Tony does not forget to develop his favorite sport, which made him a superstar and a millionaire. Thanks to his investments, over 450 skateparks have been opened throughout the United States. His foundation finances the construction of new public areas in places with low living standards and supports young riders from all over the country. In total, the Tony Hawke Foundation invested more than $ 3 million in the development of skateboarding.
In 2009, Barack Obama invited Tony to the White House as part of his Father’s Day celebration. Since Hawk never parted with a skateboard, he decided, with the permission of the authorities, to ride around the lobby of the main government building of the country and take a couple of photos.
Hawk still rides and does it at a very high level. You can appreciate his current skill.
Public attention to Tony is not dying away. He recently gave an interview to VOGUE in which he answered 73 questions. It turns out that as a child, Hawke was thinking about the career of a musician, he could make an excellent violinist. However, when the music teacher asked Hawke to play the concert on the weekend, the guy let everything pass by and went on a skateboard ride.
The legend of skateboarding, a successful businessman, a father of 4 children, a participant in many charity events, a guy who does not part with a skate even in the business class of an airplane, and still an idol of youth – this is how Tony Hawk appears at 51.