Before Michael Keaton starred in Birdman, there was another known by that name. In fact, for many people, Tony Hawk will always be the ultimate “Birdman.” The crazy talented extreme sports mogul knows how to ride a skateboard better than anyone else.
Tony Hawk got his start skateboarding when he was just a kid. Apparently, he had so much extra energy that he needed an outlet for it. It proved to be the perfect choice–by the age of fourteen, he was competing at the professional level.
In 1999, Hawk became the first skater ever to land a “900.” That’s a trick that requires two-and-a-half mid-air revolutions. It’s a trick that stuck with him throughout his career. Just last year, he managed to land a 900 at the age of 48. He claims on his YouTube channel it was the last one he’ll do, but we’ll see about that.
His list of wins is almost too long to get into, but for starters, he was the world champion of the National Skateboard Association for 12 years in a row. He’s taken first at the X Games several times and has even been called the second most influential skateboarder of all time by Transworld Skateboarding magazine. Most of his big wins took place in the 1980s and 1990s, but he’s still making waves today.
From Video Games to Philanthrophy
Anyone who’s been into video games in the past 20 years knows about the Tony Hawk Pro Skater games. With 18 titles so far, it remains one of the more popular extreme sports games out there. He’s also started up his own YouTube channel called RIDE. The channel features plenty of skateboarding videos as well as interviews with artists and musicians.
Hawk has also used his considerable earnings to do some good in the world. Through the Tony Hawk Foundation, he’s helped build more than 400 skateparks throughout the United States. Clearly skateboarding did some good for him, so he’s hoping it can do good for others as well. He’s also part of Athletes for Hope, which helps unite athletes with people around the world for volunteer activities.