Tony Hawk's Ride
From teen phenom to skateboarding legend
Kid Reporter Christopher Campbell gets a lesson from Tony Hawk himself on how to play the video game Tony Hawk Ride. (Photo: Jennifer Boggs)
At the age of 14, Tony Hawk became a skateboarding pro—after only four years on a board. He now is a skateboarding legend after popping ollies and hanging air for over 25 years. The one-time teenage phenom turned his hobby into a lucrative career that includes product endorsements, national tours, and video games.
Hawk recently visited Scholastic headquarters in New York City to promote his latest game, Tony Hawk Ride. The game recreates the experience of actually skateboarding without ever having to leave your living room.
So what's it like turning your childhood passion into an industry?
"It's always been challenging," Hawk said. "There is always something new to learn. I've been able to travel the world and support my family and it's still fun."
The skateboarding community, which is global, has made Hawk the person he is today, he said.
"It's shaped who I am," he told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.
Skateboarding as a career can be hard on your body. Hawk has suffered multiple injuries.
"I have broken a couple of bones," he said. "The hardest one to recover from was my pelvis. That took me about a year to get my confidence back and doing the same tricks I could do before I got hurt."
Hawk's mission is to support youth and skateboarding around the nation. With that in mind, he started the Tony Hawk Foundation to help young skaters and build new skate parks.
Long-term plans may mean slowing down on some of the more dangerous tricks, he said, but he has no intention of ever hanging up his skateboard for good.
"If I'm able to stand, I think I'm capable of riding a board," he said when asked about the prospect of growing older. "I just might not be leaving the ground very much."
Well, he could always jump on the simulation board for his latest game, Tony Hawk Ride!
For more information on the Tony Hawk Foundation, check out its website. Be sure to check out Christopher's review of the game Tony Hawk Ride, as well as his post on the Scholastic Kids Press Corps Blog about the experience of meeting Tony Hawk!