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Tom Schaar started skating at age 4. (Charlie Neuman / The San Diego Union-Tribune / Zuma / Corbis)

A Skateboarding First

Twelve-year-old Tom Schaar lands the first ever 1080-degree spin in skateboarding history

By Laura Leigh Davidson | April 24 , 2012
<p>Skate-ramps have improved significantly since their invention—<br />allowing skaters to push their limits. (Red Bull)</p>

Skate-ramps have improved significantly since their invention—
allowing skaters to push their limits. (Red Bull)

Have you ever tried to jump in the air and spin three times before hitting the ground? Hard to do, right? Don’t feel bad, even high-flying professional skateboarders can’t land three full rotations—known as a 1080 spin. But 12-year-old Tom Schaar recently nailed the difficult trick.

The skateboarder from Malibu, California, set out to try the 1080 on March 26 at the Mega Ramp, a large skate ramp in Tehachapi, California. It's called a 1080 because each of the three spins measures 360 degrees.

That’s not an easy task. Tom thought it would take a long time and multiple attempts to execute the gravity-defying trick. He nailed it in just five tries.

“I’m pretty stoked,” Tom said. “I thought it’d take three days of trying it 40 times . . . I was just amazed.”

Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk—who completed the sport’s first 900 spin (two and a half rotations) in 1999—was impressed with Tom’s incredible feat.

“I was surprised [the spin] was so clean for the first one ever, but I was also shocked that he could spin that much without going higher,” Hawk told USA Today. “It’s very difficult to land properly if you are still spinning below coping [the top edge of the ramp]. Tom does a full 180 during that time and lands without hesitation, which is a combination of bravery and experience.”

Hawk is excited about what young athletes like Tom could do to advance the sport of skateboarding.

“With the progress of skate-ramp construction and kids getting into skating at a younger age, the limits are being pushed like never before.”

Tom started skating at age 4, which means he was on a board before he started kindergarten.

Reporters asked Tom if he would try for four rotations anytime soon. “That would be crazy,” he said. “I’ve thought about it. Maybe the 1260 later.”

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