Tony Hawk Skateboards Into His 55th Birthday

DEL MAR, CA - APRIL 1985: Tony Hawk does a frontside air as he competes in the National Skateboarding Association event at the Del Mar Skate Ranch in April 1985 in Del Mar, California.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Let’s get some air! When you think of skateboarding pros, there is really only one name that comes to mind. Skateboarding prodigy Tony Hawk, who has created over 80 tricks in the sport, turns 55 today May 12, 2023. His career began when he was only 14 years old and one of his most iconic tricks took him over 10 years to perfect! He grew up bouncing from activity to activity until his older brother gave him a skateboard at age nine. Fun fact: his mother had him do an IQ test as a kid because he was so hyperactive and it was 144! Hawk has brains and brawn.


HBO Max/Everett Collection

At 14, he was a professional skateboarder and held the National Skateboard Association title. Yet, years later, 1999 proved to be the biggest year for Hawk yet. Not only did he get his own video game called Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater but he finally completed the “900” one of the hardest tricks ever. He practiced the 900 for over 10 years and sustained several fractures and even lost a tooth trying to perfect it.

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 16: Laureus Academy Member Tony Hawk skates during the Laureus Sport for Good Skateboard Visit prior to the 2020 Laureus World Sports Awards at the Nike SB Shelter on February 16, 2020 in Berlin, Germany

Boris Streubel/Getty Images for Laureus

Not just a skateboarder, he’s proven his acting chops several times including in Police Academy 4, CSI: Miami, and even The Simpsons. As skateboarding tends to wear on the body, Hawk retired in 2003 but continued being involved in the sport to help others. Just a year before his retirement, he created the Tony Hawk Foundation now known as The Skatepark Project. The foundation aims to build skateparks in underprivileged areas, inspiring kids to skateboard and play instead of getting into trouble.


Netflix/Everett Collection

Hawk is so synonymous with skateboarding that he even helped create the skateboarding emoji on cell phones. He wasn’t happy with the way it looked when it first appeared so he helped design a new one. In his personal life, Hawk has a big crew. He has been married four times and has four kids. He’s been married to Cathy Goodman since 2015.

Just this year, Hawk added something else to his impressive resume. He joined several heavy metal musicians to cover the song “Wish” by Nine Inch Nails. He was musical growing up and had to trade in his violin for a skateboard when he only had time to pursue one of his passions. But, who knew he could sing? Keeping with his image, he sings while skateboarding around town in the video.

Happy birthday, Tony Hawk!

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