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Tony Hawk (born May 12, 1968 in Carlsbad, California) is often regarded as the most skilled and best-known skateboarder today. He is sometimes compared with Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky for his dominance of competition. Among the areas he dominates in the sport is the vertical ramp.

Tony Hawk was a prodigy early on, turning pro at the age of 14 (at that time all you needed to do to turn pro was enter in a pro contest as opposed to today's standard of requiring a skateboard company to turn you pro). He pioneered modern vertical skateboarding by being the first person to physically hit their tail down (or ollie) on the way out of the ramp (to increase lift) instead of just flying out of the ramp. He was mocked for this at first, but it soon became standard to do so and this action spawned all modern vertical ramp tricks.

He owned his own halfpipe made by his dad when he lived in his first house with his first wife, Cindy, and his first son, Riley. Tony Hawk is related to Henry Hudson, discoverer of the Hudson River. The original name for his son was Hudson Riley Hawk, but since this coincided with the release of the movie Hudson Hawk, they decided to start calling him Riley. His house was considered a complete playland.

Tony Hawk became pro as a member of Powell Peralta's Bones Brigade. He also had his own pro model shoe produced by Airwalk.

In 1999, the video game publisher Activision released Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, which became the first game in one of the most successful line of video games. The game has since spawned six popular sequels, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, Tony Hawk's Underground and Tony Hawk's Underground 2, Tony Hawk's Underground 2 Remix, and Tony Hawk's American Wasteland.

Hawk has become a household name, and has starred in commercials for a variety of companies, including Apple Computer and Domino's Pizza. He has also cameoed in television shows such as Cyberchase, Rocket Power, The Simpsons, Max Steel, Sifl and Olly, and CSI: Miami, and also in movies such as Jackass: The Movie, The New Guy, Max Keeble's Big Move and Dogtown and Z-Boys, and has appeared as an actor in movies such as Gleaming the Cube and Police Academy 4. He has hosted a documentary, Video Game Invasion, which aired on GSN. Hawk also appeared on Punk'd where he was tricked into believing that his son lit an M-80 inside a bathroom, injuring one actress.

As of 2004, Tony has accomplished numerous historic tricks and has won 80 competitions. He landed the first 900 degree spin at the 1999 X Games after 11 failed attempts, winning the Best Trick competition by a large margin in the process. He is sometimes referred to as "Birdman".

Hawk currently resides in his hometown of Carlsbad, California.

Contest history

  • Placed in top 5 in 1980 Van's/Offshore Amateur State Finals (California) in boys 11-13 division.
  • 1nd in 1982 Rusty Harris Series final contest: vert.
  • 1st in 1983 Del Mar Spring Nationals (California): vert.
  • 1st in 1984 NSA-Del Mar Skatepark (California): vert.
  • 1st in 1986 Transworld Skateboard Championships (Vancouver, BC): vert.
  • 2nd in 1988 Vision Skate Ecape: vert.


  • Brooke, Michael (1999). Concrete Wave: The History Of Skateboarding. ISBN 1-894020-54-5.

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