Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off (2022) Movie Script

Damn it.
I'm willing to struggle
through the learning process,
even change my approach
just to figure out
how to do it.
I never want to back down
from a challenge.
If you're convinced
that you're going to fail,
that will come to fruition.
I was willing to get hurt
along the way,
but I didn't visualize myself
getting hurt along the way.
I always approached it like,
"This is going to work."
"I'm going
to figure this out."
My mom used to like
to tell the story
that when she would
play tennis with me,
I would purposely just try
to hit her with the balls.
She scolded me at one point.
She's like,
"I think you're trying
to hit me, Tony.
"I'm not going to play
with you
if you're just trying
to hurt me."
I don't know
what my disorder was,
but I was
definitely difficult.
I was determined
to have my way
to the point of being
very combative.
My mom would say that I was--
she just said
I was very determined.
I was really young,
but I remember my mom was
so frustrated with me
'cause I just wouldn't do
what she said.
I wanted to do something,
I wanted to do something else,
I--and she finally just said,
"If you don't
stop being difficult,
I'm going to flush myself
down the toilet."
I didn't believe it,
I didn't care, I didn't quit,
and she went in the bathroom
and flushed the toilet and hid.
She watched me lean over,
the toilet is swirling, going,
"My mommy!"
- I think she is
in the beauty parlor.
- Oh, really?
both: Hi.
- I'm gonna pull her out
whenever she's done.
- Okay.
- All right, thank you.
- Thank you.
- Hi, Mom.
Hi, Mom, it's Tony.
How are you?
How have you been?
You look good.
I leave for Montreal next week
for another one
of those skate contests.
Keegan is turning 18
in a couple weeks...
Which is
a frightening prospect.
And then once Calvin is out,
we only have Kady.
It's gonna be crazy.
But I guess by that time,
the older kids will move
back in.
Isn't that what they do?
Maybe not.
Your kids didn't.
'Cause you taught us
to be independent.
It was always a big deal
that my mom was 43
when she had me.
People would say,
"Oh, she's much older,"
you know?
And, "There are lots of risks
- Tony and I are
20 years apart.
I was a junior in college
when my mom told me
she was pregnant.
- I was a senior
in high school.
All of Tony's siblings,
including me, we're older.
- I'm 12 1/2 years older
than Tony,
so when he was young,
our relationship
was almost as much...
paternal as fraternal.
- I was basically
an only child,
and my parents were old enough
to be my grandparents.
- He was stuck at home
with my mom and dad
at a time when their marriage
wasn't so great.
- My dad wasn't working a lot.
He had been retired
from the Navy
and kind of finding his way.
- My brother was a surfer.
He drove him, you know,
dawn patrol to get the waves.
My sister was a singer.
He was hauling
all their band gear.
He was the coach
of our baseball team.
The first time I ever
went to bat in Little League,
I was probably
about eight or nine.
I knew I was gonna hit it.
I was gonna get a home run.
Failure was not an option.
I didn't even consider what
would happen if I struck out.
And then I remember
striking out
and thinking
the world had ended.
I always felt
a little misplaced
in all of those sports.
I couldn't do
the physical things
that most of my peers could do
because they were bigger
and they were stronger,
and so I was always
just feeling uncomfortable
and kind of disappointed
in myself.
- People would say,
"Oh, you have adult children,
and you have--
and you have Tony?"
She goes, "Yeah,
he's our little mistake."
- I really do think
that that played a role
in his, um...his psyche.
That she would have had
an abortion if she could have
in some ways, I think,
maybe made him want
to prove himself.
- Bye, Mom. I love you.
We'll see you soon, okay?
- Thanks for the visit.
Enjoy your lunch.
Do you see me now?
My mom was always careful
with her words,
always positive.
And then, I think, one day,
I was just pushing her buttons,
and she's like, "You know,
you're just full of it.
You're just full of it, Tony.
Full of it."
I'm like, "What?"
She goes, "You're full of...
You're full of shit."
And I was like...
- Tony was a bit of a dick
when he was little.
Stubborn as fuck.
He and my dad
would bicker like crazy.
I got along
with Tony way better
when it was just
the two of us.
So I would often go off--
we'd go off,
go to the beach
or go someplace.
- And I remember
he and his friend were skating
in the alleyway,
and there was
another skateboard,
this older one
that was just sitting there,
and I said,
"Well, can I try that one?"
I just was going down
the alley,
yelling back, "How do I turn?
How do I turn?"
And then I eventually
ran into the fence.
It wasn't like the skies parted
and there was
some great revelation.
It was more like,
"Oh, this is hard."
- You know, that skateboard has
gone on to be kind of a thing.
It's now--we--
it's in the Smithsonian.
- Freedom.
I'm moving fast,
but I'm in control
and I'm flowing.
I could just
cruise the landscape.
Going down hills.
Terrible ramps
in our driveway.
Everything about it
spoke to me.
- He just needed focus,
and so when he started
focusing and skateboarding,
he changed.
- He just calmed down.
He just walked
through the world
with a lot more kind of
maturity and generosity.
- The main skate park
in San Diego was called Oasis.
It was just under
a freeway overpass.
And we would see it,
and it was like,
"Oh, there's Oasis."
Older kids going way faster
than I had ever seen
anyone on a skateboard.
And it just looked
scary as hell.
There were these five craters,
and I was going
down the crater and up
and then down the crater
and up,
and I thought
that was super cool.
And this big kid
came flying up,
and he jumped
over the middle crater,
and I was like,
"How did that just happen?"
I just couldn't believe
what I saw,
and I said, "Oh, this is it.
I'm doing this.
This is my life."
I quit playing baseball
and basketball.
- I remember once
when I was home from college,
my mom asked me
to go pick him up
at the Oasis skate park
because dinner
was almost ready.
So I was just gonna run
down there and grab him,
but he was in the process
of learning
frontside rock and rolls.
And he was getting close,
and so of course,
you know, the closer you get,
the more you slam, and--
but he was young enough
where he was actually crying,
I think, over this.
And I'm like,
"Tony, come on, we got to go."
And he's like,
"I'm gonna make"--
Just, I wasn't even there,
you know?
And then finally, he made one
clean and rolled away.
And it was like
everything kind of lifted.
And he didn't, like, run over
and give me a high five.
It was like--
And I've seen that
in him a bunch
when he's learning something.
He'll get really pissed off,
and then as soon
as he makes it,
he's back to being his nice,
normal Tony Hawk self.
- I knew of Stacy's name
because of the Dogtown crew.
And so I knew
more of his reputation
than his skating.
- Stacy had been there.
You know,
he'd blazed the trail.
He had been a pro.
He knew
what that was all about.
- He was just
this iconic figure.
He formed the Bones Brigade.
- He just seemed like
this sort of--
I wouldn't say father figure,
but definitely a figurehead
of skateboarding.
- I was a fixture at every one
of these contests.
I was at every pro contest.
I was at every
amateur contest.
Tony did not display
any physical talent.
You could watch Tony
as a 13-year-old kid
and go, "Dime a dozen,"
because he was so weak
and so skinny
that he skated as if he was
being operated by a puppeteer.
He was just this kind of,
like, guy like this.
But the one thing
that he did have is,
you could see in this
little weakling of a kid
this intense determination.
You could see in there,
there was a mind going,
"Do this! Do this!"
- One time,
I was at the skate park,
and the Bones Brigade
showed up.
And you just knew it
Like, there was a hush
in the skate park.
Everyone on the team
were considered
some of the best skaters.
And Stacy was walking in
with these guys,
and they all had these, like,
cool-colored helmets
and their Bones Brigade
And I was just like,
"This is the future."
- I remember Stacy was
at the park, and I'm like,
"Hey, is there any way I can
get on your guys' thing?"
Like, "Hey, man,
"I think you should just
stick with G&S.
You'd be better on them, man."
He probably had the vision
of the Brigade right then.
And maybe he was like,
"It's not gonna work, dog."
- Stacy was gonna get
his own little phenoms
and younger guys
and build it up.
So I was like, "Wow,
I can get on the team."
- You know, Stacy Peralta
was a cool kind of,
like, mentor
for me at 12 years old
riding for Bones Brigade.
There came a point
where I was like,
"I want to turn pro."
Stacy was like,
"No, you're not ready."
- I lost Christian Hosoi.
His dad didn't think I was
moving his career along
fast enough,
so I had a vacancy.
And I had been watching Tony.
- He kind of summoned me
to Marina del Rey.
My brother offered
to drive me up there.
We got up there, he handed me
this experimental
Steve Caballero
model skateboard,
and I just started skating,
and I jumped the channel.
And that was no small feat
to jump the Marina channel.
That thing was big.
And basically, he said,
"If you want to be
on the Bones Brigade,
we'd love to have you."
- He realized
this kid's got grit.
He doesn't give up.
He's also really skilled.
He's also gonna get bigger
and get stronger.
- When I was officially
on the team of Powell,
that was way scarier
than anything else,
where it was suddenly like
I was on this next level
of team, of ability,
of belief,
and I had so much more
to prove.
- The first time I saw Tony,
I was like,
"Look at this little kid."
He was probably, I don't know,
60 pounds wet, maybe.
- We were in a hot tub.
We were hazing him like
he's the new guy on the team.
I said, "Hey, dude,
if you want to--you know,
"if you want to be
part of the crew,
you're gonna have
to give me your gum."
And I stuck it
in between my toes.
And then I gave it back to him.
I go, "You're gonna have
to chew this gum
if you want to be
part of the crew."
And he did.
- Now with Tony Hawk.
Tony just finished
that first round.
Do you think you're gonna make
the next cut to eight?
- Uh, I think I have
a pretty good chance,
because I stayed on my board,
and that's pretty tough
to do in a competition.
- Who do you think your
competition's gonna be today?
- Uh, probably--
I'm gonna have a tough time
beating pretty much anyone
who entered.
Mainly Lance Mountain,
Mike McGill, Stevie Caballero.
- He was a nightmare.
Total nightmare.
Complete, total nightmare.
I remember when I first
picked him up on the team,
we were at
the Upland skateboard park,
and I said, "Well,
I'm gonna take you home."
And he goes, "No, I want
to go to Chuck E. Cheese."
And I go, "What's that?"
He goes, "I want to go
to Chuck E. Cheese."
And I go, "Yeah, what is it?"
He goes, "It's a pizza place
where you can play games."
I go, "I'm not going there."
It was a Chuck E. Cheese.
I know what he's talking about.
There was a--
I'm a creature of habit,
and so when we would
go skate Upland,
there were only
a few restaurants
that I would allow myself
to go to.
And Lamppost Pizza
was one of them.
Like, a mild version
of Chuck E. Cheese.
It was lots of games
and counter service.
And they weren't known
for their cuisine.
- He got me to take him there.
It was the worst nightmare
of my life,
but I'm sitting there going,
"This 13-year-old brat
just got me to do something
"I was firmly against doing.
He's got some power."
Just the dcor and the sounds
and all the awful food.
And I remember just thinking,
"I'm never doing this again.
I'm never coming back
to this place again."
- Stacy had the worst job.
I mean, he was--
he curated this awesome team,
but we were all kids
in our own right,
and we're all
with our own issues
and looking for validation,
looking for support.
And suddenly, he had to be
this surrogate dad.
- I think the first time
I saw Tony skate
was at Kona Skatepark.
I had just gotten on the team,
and they all came
from out west.
And I remember meeting him,
and I was so--
I tripped out
because of how skinny he was.
It was as though he had
a hard time
getting up the wall.
But the control he had
was insane.
Immediately, you got a sense
that he's entirely different.
- Rodney Mullen, like,
he and I were on
complete parallel trajectories
with our skating.
Rodney was the absolute best
freestyler in the world,
a precision level
like no other athlete
or performer you've ever seen.
- Because we skated
completely different,
that made it easier for me
to relate to him, in a sense.
I never had to compete
against Tony.
Stacy would ship me down,
and I would stay with Tony,
practice for the week
at Del Mar.
That's when a real sense
of connection, for me,
I had with Tony
more than any other skater.
- No one understood us.
But we understood each other.
- I think watching Tony learn
and fall
is more interesting
than watching him land tricks,
because you can see
how fast he rifles
to something called
the calculus of variations,
of how he corrects himself
and gets
to the right spot fast.
That, to this day,
is unparalleled.
- Tony was able to figure out
how to overcome
all of the things
he didn't have
in order to get what he wanted.
For instance,
when skateboarders
originally did aerials,
they'd go up
the side of the pool,
and they'd pull the board off
and kind of do
a leap into the air.
Tony couldn't do that.
He didn't have
the strength to leap.
Most guys touch the board,
grab it, leap into the air.
Tony figures out,
"I'll ollie into my aerials."
He doesn't touch the board
until he's in the air.
You never break your speed.
It's one bang.
Well, we discover
it's much more efficient
to do it that way.
- When I figured that out,
that changed everything
for me.
I started doing varials
and finger flips
way up in the air.
- But of course,
when he first did it,
people thought he was cheating.
"That's cheating."
It's a technique.
How can you be cheating?
"It's cheating."
They thought it was cheating.
You know, and at that time,
skateboarding was dominated
by balls-out pool riders,
Duane Peters, people like that
that really had
power and flair.
And here comes Tony Hawk
with all these
weird little flip tricks.
Those guys are looking at him
and going, "What is this?"
- A lot of that shit, dude,
I mean,
I still can't understand it
when I look at it.
It's like fuckin'
flippy doo-da-day bullshit.
Go fucking play
with your sister's baton, bro.
- Want me to do it again?
- Yeah, go ahead.
What do you think
of skateboarding?
- What do I think of it?
Well, I've supported it
pretty strong
for a lot of years.
- Confusion.
- Confusion?
- My dad wanted to make sure
that there was organization
in place,
that if Tony was gonna
be this committed to it,
you know, he could actually
get some recognition for it.
- My dad helped
to form the NSA,
which became
the sanctioning body
for all the main events.
- The NSA was the National
Skateboard Association.
And people used to say,
"No skating allowed."
And especially Mr. Hawk being
the guy who was, you know,
yelling at people
to get off the ramp.
- Do not
come down to the ramp.
Please, get off the ramp.
- He loved yelling at kids.
You know,
"Get behind the barrier!"
He loved doing that.
- He just--he always had
this grimace about him.
Super serious.
Never saw him smile
or laugh about anything.
Just always walking around
kind of like a--
I don't think he drank,
but he seemed like
just a pissed-off alcoholic,
- He was a bull
in a china shop.
He had no finesse whatsoever.
But he actually had
a really, really good heart.
I mean, he came at a time
in skateboarding
where skateboarding
really needed a guy
like Frank Hawk to say,
"Look at this circus carnival.
We got to focus this
a little bit."
- And this is giving
in those spots,
and they're riding it
and going "uh, uh, uh."
- And he did a remarkable job,
and he didn't get
anything for it
except crap from people.
- He carried around, like,
a little ledger a lot
and was always looking harsh
at people.
- I remember going,
"Fuck you," to his old man.
"Get the fuck out of here,
"and take these
fucking grubby kids with--
get a fucking job."
I'd go across the fence.
"Get a fucking job."
You know.
"Now he wants to bring
his Army shit
to the National
Skateboarding Associ"--
you know, blah, blah.
- He just came off
as gruff and militant,
and they were like,
"Fuck that dude.
That's your dad?"
Like, and that would be
reflected on me.
- One of the first times
I ever got to skate with pros,
I remember seeing Steve Olson
and Duane Peters,
and, of course,
I knew both of them.
They're heroes.
So I went over
to kind of skate
near the area
they were skating
and kept sort of
inching my way closer to them.
- They were in a bowl,
and we were riding up.
We'd either chase them out
or go to the next one.
- I wanted to be near them.
I wanted to be
skating with them.
- "Fuck this."
I mean, these geeky kids.
"Hey, we want to follow you."
- And they were laughing
about something,
some inside joke.
And I kind of snickered.
"Yeah, yeah," you know?
Like, "Yeah, yeah,"
like I'm in on the joke.
Duane turned towards me,
spit on my grip tape,
and was like,
"This is punk rock, kid."
- I don't remember spitting
on Hawk, but he does.
I did this shit a lot,
especially to guys
that are coming in to--
wanting to be pro.
They're coming in
to take our spots.
Fuck you.
- It just reminded me
that I don't belong
and this is a mistake
and I can't even fit
into the skateboard world.
That was heavy for me.
- He took a lot of shit.
He got a lot--people fired
a lot of arrows at him.
He never really let on
how much that hurt, I think,
at the time in the skate world.
And he never showed...
Kind of that resentful side
that I'm sure
he must've been feeling.
He just put his head down
and said, "Fuck it.
"I'm gonna skate
as hard as I can,
"I'm gonna get
as good as I can,
"and I'm gonna show
these assholes that, you know,
I'm the best skater
out there."
- Leading up to this
Whittier contest,
November of 1982,
I had just done really well
at the pro versus am event.
All my peers were pro.
And it was like,
"You're next."
At the competition,
we're filling out
the entry forms.
It says "pro or amateur" box.
Like, that determines
which category you're in.
And I remember feeling Stacy
looking over my shoulder.
I just checked pro.
Then I looked up at him,
and I go, "Is that okay?"
And he's like, "If that's
what you want to do."
And then I was pro.
- That was it.
- That was it.
There's no--
there's no champagne.
I suddenly felt,
"This is super scary."
Duane Peters is skating.
My first thought was,
"Don't put me against Duane."
- I went against him
on his first contest.
- First head-to-head event
as a pro,
I'm going against
Duane Peters.
- This is gonna be easy.
I'm taking this fucker.
- Duane Peters.
These guys go head-on-head.
It's who does better.
- Go!
- I can't see how difficult
these tricks are.
They just look
fucking lame to me.
- I knew for sure he did not
want me to beat him.
My thought was,
"Stay on target.
Make your run."
- Tony's dad's all excited.
They're all
by the judging thing.
- Tony Hawk beats out
Duane Peters at 86.66.
- I heard the scores,
and it took a second
for it to register.
And I was thinking,
"I beat Duane?
"I beat Duane.
I beat Duane!"
- I was an old guy
on his way out.
New crew coming in.
That hurt, and--'cause I was--
all of a sudden,
it mattered to me.
- Was that your last contest?
- Yeah.
Pretty much everybody's, yeah.
- Hi, I'm Bob Burbanks,
and welcome to "Weekend Today."
We're gonna take an exciting
look at skateboarding.
This is a skateboard.
- That's not a skateboard.
- Some neighborhood
- We're gonna do
a little adjusting here.
- Right here
on "Weekend Today."
- Now, this is a skateboard.
- Stacy took a chance
putting out money
to make a video
of skateboarding.
- We originally made
the Bones Brigade videos
thinking that skateboard shops
would play them.
And then, we didn't realize,
but the release
of the first one
coincided with 70%
of Americans buying VCRs.
- I think a lot of people,
that's where
they first saw me.
- And it also coincided
when Tony started
to get strong.
- That was when Tony
first kind of came in
as this wunderkind.
So when the first
Bones Brigade video came out,
which was the first
action sports video ever made,
Tony was on the cover.
- It was so fun to see it.
It was so fun to see everyone
separately but together
in the same video.
And Lance was the thread
that brought it all in.
And when I saw my part,
I thought it was super cool.
I just couldn't believe
that he had managed
to make it all work together.
And he's putting things
in slo-mo.
I mean, it just felt like--
like it was my birthday party.
- Caballero and Tony were
always in the top five,
and I was kind of
fading a bit, you know?
And I was just finding it
harder and harder
to get up into that top ten.
And I'm like, "Oh, I guess
this is it for me.
I need something,
you know, that's"--
so I started going
to some of these camps,
you know, helping to teach.
And at one Swedish camp,
I, you know, made this trick
called the McTwist,
which is a 540.
People would ask me,
"What is that, Mike?"
- Mike McGill came
to a Del Mar contest,
and there was all this buzz
that he had a new trick.
And people were purposely
not telling me what it was,
because they thought somehow
I was gonna learn it.
Mike shows up,
and first day of practice,
he does a McTwist.
Full 1 1/2 somersault
in the air,
coming down forward,
going backside direction,
which means you're totally
blind to your landing zone.
And it was just like,
"What happened?
Were you training
with gymnasts?"
I knew then and there
that I was gonna have
to learn it.
- There's a few tricks that
have been chased for years.
And it was one that everyone
knew could be possible,
but no one knew how to do it
or try it or even have
the guts to try it right.
And it took McGill to do it,
which was,
you got to do it 6 foot out.
You can't do it low.
Everyone was trying it low
to figure it out.
And you had to have the actual
wherewithal to, like,
"Oh, I've got to launch
into the sky
and see what happens."
- That kind of spiraled me
and put me in the top five
every contest.
- You developed the McTwist.
Are you gonna be able to
pull that off here in this--
- Uh, hopefully.
- When I did try it,
I realized
how much harder it is
than I thought it would be.
I didn't come close.
I couldn't see
my landing zone.
I don't even know if I had
a good hold on my board.
- I can imagine how hard
you slam on that trick,
'cause you're just
spinning freely,
and if you overturn,
it's done, dude.
- I was hyper-focused,
obsessed with the trick.
I had to figure it out.
I remember being in school
and just knowing
the bell's gonna ring
and I'm going
straight to the park
and trying McTwists.
That was the only thing
I was focused on.
I started getting the spin
more consistent.
I started seeing
the landing zone,
and then it was
pretty obvious, like,
well, there's only
one more stage,
and that's just that you got
to suck it up and land.
- How hard was that trick
to learn?
- Simple.
- Simple?
- Mm-hmm.
It's not technique.
It's balls.
And I have no problem
spinning it,
but do I want to set it down?
That's all just guts.
- The 540 was the trick
that you needed
to win competitions,
and once you learned
that trick,
you were in top three.
- Did you attempt them?
- I thought about doing them.
And then I did some low stuff
like Tony used to do.
And I just started trying to--
and it was just like, "No way."
So I couldn't do it.
I just backed out.
I was like,
"It's not gonna work.
- Neil Blender, are you gonna
make the finals tomorrow?
- No.
They just called them out.
Didn't even make it.
Should've seen me,
falling all over the bowl.
- There was contests
I couldn't skate at all,
and I'd just do, "Oh,
I'll do an axis ollie 540."
Made the cut. Whew.
Money, done.
Buy diapers.
Done deal.
- And it just became
this proving ground,
where it was just like,
"Are you doing a McTwist
or not?"
'Cause this is where
we're all going towards.
- Okay, next skater up,
Christian Hosoi.
- Christian was a showman.
He could show up
with his shirt off,
dangling out
of his back pocket,
and the crowd was with him.
It was all style and air
with Christian,
and it was all technical
and tricks with me,
and people had to choose.
- There was a contest
at Del Mar.
The fans were like, you know,
"Hosoi, Hosoi, Hosoi!"
- Next up, Tony Hawk,
riding for Powell-Peralta
and Tracker Trucks.
Tony, whenever you're ready.
- Whenever I would go,
they would just be booing.
- You know, at his home park
at Del Mar,
I thought, you know,
the crowd was pretty rough.
crowd: Christian! Christian!
Christian! Christian!
Christian! Christian!
Christian! Christian!
- These guys are just
getting mad at him,
because they're
seeing him do tricks.
Like, they want to see
some older shit,
a long lip slide
or something, like,
and it's just not gonna happen.
They were pissed, throwing
beer cans and whatever else.
- I fell on one of the runs
near the end.
And I fell near this beer can.
Like, I almost slid into it.
And I was just like, "Really?"
And so I grabbed it,
and I went to throw it
back at them,
and I was just like, "Am I--
"I can't--
I can't play this game.
"I'm gonna lose no matter what.
"I'm never gonna be seen
by these guys
"as legitimate or cool.
And I just gotta suck it up
and do my own thing."
- 96.666.
- I don't think
that people understand
that when you're skateboarding,
it becomes an expression
of who you are, your identity.
How you are embraced
as a person
is who you are.
That stuff is all on the line
during those contests.
- All that noise,
I was just like,
"All right, I'm just gonna--
head down,
I'm gonna do the work."
- And he came in,
and he just took it out on 'em.
He was just focused.
- 93.000.
Tony Hawk is the winner!
- When I finally started
to have some success
in competition,
I was getting blasted
in the magazines.
"Thrasher" would write
that there was favoritism
in the competitions
'cause my dad
was helping running it
and the finals were
always at Del Mar
and that's my local park,
and so the whole thing was
just made for me.
He's daddy's boy.
- It was very easy
for all the skaters to think
that somehow Frank Hawk's
pulling the strings.
Really easy to do that.
He couldn't.
You know, all he did
was organize this thing.
- Even I did it at some point,
you know?
I was like, "Wait a minute.
Your son's in the last heat.
How come
I'm in the first heat?"
- It was just hard.
It was hard being an outcast.
It was hard being a skater
whose style no one appreciated.
And then my dad just added
to that formula,
and it was just, like--
I was just ostracized.
I just felt that his presence
was too intrusive
and was affecting me
and my relationships so much
that there was no escape
from it unless he backed off.
Finally I just told him,
you know,
"I don't like it
when you're at the events.
It's way harder for me."
He didn't take it well.
He wasn't--it wasn't--
there was not gonna be
a compromise.
His answer was basically,
"Well, then I just won't--
I won't go.
"I just won't do these events.
You just want me
not to be in there at all?"
And I'm like, "Well..."
Things got icy between us,
and at the next event,
he purposely tried
to keep his distance.
And I guess that's the best
I could hope for
without him
quitting altogether.
- Now, you're the father
of Tony Hawk.
How does it feel
when you see your son
go in there and compete?
- Oh, I'm thrilled to death.
I have to kind of force myself
to keep subdued
so I don't let people think
I'm giving him an advantage
in a contest or something.
So when we get to a contest,
we're strangers to each other.
But I'm very proud of him.
- I think I was 15 or 16.
My mom moved to Arizona
to pursue her doctorate
in business education.
And so she was gone.
It definitely changed
the dynamic in the household.
One day, he came in
and he just said,
"Hey, Tony, I think
I'm having chest pains.
"I think--you know,
I don't know,
"but it feels like
something's wrong.
I think we need
to call an ambulance."
And I kind of freaked out,
'cause I thought,
"I'm here alone with my dad."
We never had any conversations
that were deep or loving.
And so I told him,
I just--you know,
"I want you to know
that I'm thankful
for everything you did for me,
and I love you."
And he said, "I know you do."
The hardest part
about that whole scenario
was taking him to the hospital
and then coming home.
And I was truly alone.
And I was--
and my mom was gone.
And then I just didn't
really know what to do.
- What ultimately happened is--
was a bypass.
My dad changed
his habits a bit.
You know, he was walking more.
He was--changed his diet
a little bit.
But then he just gradually
got back
to the same kind of old Frank.
- Did you all try
to talk to him
and get him to be healthier
- No. I didn't.
- Tony's training ground was
the Del Mar skateboard park.
The pool was a vertical pool,
but the left wall
wasn't quite so vertical.
It was almost like
a beautiful transition,
so it was a perfect place
to learn tricks.
And that seemed
to be the place
Tony did all of his
most difficult tricks.
- That's where I skated
my best.
I had it dialed.
I had it wired.
And when I would go
to other parks,
I was out of place.
I didn't have confidence.
I didn't know how to use
the transitions.
- Most of his adversaries
skated Upland,
a really, really deep,
big, giant pool.
- Upland was considered
the gnarliest pool
at the time.
Like, if you did well
in an Upland contest,
you got the respect
of the skate industry
and the hard-core skaters.
- That's a really
challenging pool,
'cause it's a square pool
and a round pool
and a radical hip.
It's a really,
really tricky place.
- It's just scary.
If you're gonna ride Upland,
you got to go for it.
You can't just phone it in.
You can't cruise it.
You gotta put yourself
at risk.
- Tony knew this contest
was coming up,
and it was a huge contest.
- I made it my mission
to get used to the pool,
and I drove up there
every weekend.
It was the first time
I truly worked
at getting used
to different terrain
to prove myself beyond
being this one-trick pony
at Del Mar.
- Tony, you're the big winner
from Del Mar.
Do you think
you'll be able to do it?
- I don't know.
I'm having a pretty tough time
in this pool.
- What makes this one
different from Del Mar?
- Well, it's got
a lot more vert,
and it's a lot rougher
and big coping,
so it's harder to ride.
- Big coping.
Who's your toughest
- Shoot.
I'd stay Stevie,
Lance, Christian.
Psh, all those guys.
- Well, good luck
on your competition.
- Thanks.
- Let's hear it for Tony Hawk!
- I had a run that was
sort of my safety run,
where it was good, but didn't
have all the tricks.
- The score is up.
81. 81.00.
- Who's the person
to beat this time?
- Uh, A lot of people.
Chris Miller.
- Chris Miller
was the local favorite,
the best skater in that pool.
He hung up
and knocked himself out.
- Score is up.
- 81.0 for Stevie Caballero.
- And we have Lance Mountain
on the way.
Score's 83.33.
Let's hear it.
Lance Mountain. 83.33.
- On my second run, I landed
super low on a McTwist
and then ended up
kind of screwing up my speed.
- Score 81.66.
That wraps up the second round.
- Came down to the last runs.
And then on my fourth run,
I did exactly
what I came there to do.
- This is Tony Hawk,
going down
for round number two.
Let's hear it.
Tony Hawk!
- The combinations
that he did were amazing.
- Skating the hardest parts
of the pool,
sliding around the corners.
I felt so at ease and confident
that I was singing in my run
the song that was playing
over the loudspeaker.
"She Goes to Finos," Toy Dolls.
- It was like Luke Skywalker
going in to take out
Darth Vader at the Death Star.
- Incredible.
Score 85.66.
- He won a contest
that nobody in skateboarding
ever expected him to win,
ever, under any circumstances.
- And that's when
a lot of people shut up
about my style,
about me only being good
at Del Mar.
- To me, that's maybe
the biggest,
most important win of his life.
Once you can win there,
you can win anywhere.
That was the beginning
of his launch
to become Tony Hawk.
- He grew taller
than all of us.
His tricks got bigger,
and his airs got higher.
- Do you have
a favorite skater?
- Tony Hawk.
- Tony Hawk?
- Tony Hawk.
- Oh, very good.
- Tony was obviously
gonna be a threat.
People saw that.
Even if it took five years
to get there.
- All of a sudden, he started
just winning
all these contests.
Now he's got these tricks.
Now he's got this trick.
He has every trick
going on and more.
- Hawk!
Tony Hawk!
- He was coming up
with a fantastic run,
and then all of a sudden,
he'd one-up himself.
- At every contest,
there'd be, like,
three new tricks.
He's spinning, he's varialing,
he's doing finger flips.
- Here I am, I'm just trying
to go higher, farther, faster,
'cause I have to keep up
with Tony.
- Taking home $2,000
is Tony Hawk!
- Tony's the youngest
on the Bones Brigade.
So suddenly,
he's beating his idols--
Caballero, McGill, Lance.
They used to kill him.
Now he's above 'em.
- First place
goes to Tony Hawk!
3,000 bucks!
- What's it gonna take to win?
You're gonna have to beat
Tony Hawk, you know.
He's number one right now.
- He would go basically win--
I don't know
what the record was,
but pretty much everything.
And everybody'd be stoked.
And maybe he would be lit up
for long enough to take
the team photos or whatever.
But then you could immediately
see the wheels turning of,
but I should have done this."
And he would go
right back to it.
- I was singularly focused
on skating
and doing well at the events
because that was
the only road to success.
It probably affected
my emotional connections
because I couldn't think
of anything else.
I was obligated to go
to all the competitions,
nonstop on the road.
I had a formula
where I'd create a routine,
I had these backup tricks
that I was gonna do later,
and then I just started
doing that,
and it was like
I was just a machine.
- You feeling
any excess pressure
now that you're in first place,
or do you think
that's the better place to be?
- Oh, I don't know.
I mean, I guess I feel really
happy that I did that run
and I'm in first with it,
but I don't know.
I'm just gonna do my best,
and if I do my best
and I don't even win,
that's okay with me.
It got to the point where
it was somewhat repetitive
and just methodical
and robotic,
where I came in
and it was like,
"I'm gonna have to do this.
"I'm gonna have to go
this much further,
"because now they're judging me
"on what they saw me do
last time.
So I gotta take it
one step further."
And I became a machine.
And it really did
suck the fun out of it.
Other skaters
would tell me, like,
while we're practicing,
"Man, I just want
to get second."
And I just took it
as I didn't have any peers.
It was just isolating.
It was a bummer.
I can't explain it.
You know, the whole thing,
it's lonely at the top--it is.
- I think it's a quote
from Nietzsche's "Zarathustra."
"You make it up
to the top of a mountain,
and what's left for me
but lightning?"
- With all of the things
that were coming to him,
his father being at contests
and the commotion
that his father causes
with all the other
people blaming Tony
for winning
because his father's
setting it up,
people calling him
a clown skater
because of the tricks he does,
people saying, "You don't
deserve to be doing this.
Christian should be winning,"
and at the same time,
achieving his dream.
He achieved his dream.
And he got up there
and he realized
how lonely it is.
- I felt like I was
losing myself,
losing my passion.
None of the money or fame
or success was worth that.
- Skating very well today.
- Um, not as well as I want to.
- The heat bothering you?
- Not so much that.
I'm just not really feeling
like skating right now.
- He just decided
that he didn't want
to compete anymore.
- I told my brother
how I was feeling.
He was really the only one
I felt like
I could confide in.
He said,
"You gotta tell Stacy."
- Tony was seriously
in a catatonic state
when he arrived at my house.
He sat there
just looking at me like...
- You didn't tell Stacy that
you're gonna quit anything.
Who would do that?
- Steve proceeded to tell me
that it had all just become
too much for Tony.
He wasn't enjoying being
a professional skateboarder.
I think that's as close
as he's ever gotten,
that I've seen,
to dealing with the pain
that's inside of him.
- Driving home, there was
a sense of hopelessness.
And I didn't really know
what was gonna happen next.
Stacy told me
that Rodney Mullen
had the same conversation
with him
about a year prior
to me telling him that.
And Rodney
had stopped competing.
I called Rodney,
and Rodney unloaded everything.
He just said, "You know,
"I've come to appreciate
the skating more.
"I'm willing to take
more chances
and risk not winning,
and that has liberated me."
And he said,
"Maybe that would help you."
When I eventually
stopped competing,
I was like, "Oh, I have
all this freedom now."
"I'm not beholden
to earning points
and staying on all the time."
I had
a totally different approach
to what I was doing.
Started getting
much more creative.
You can breathe.
We skate with our hearts. has its own feelings.
- Both Tony and Rodney
talk about the difficulties
of competition.
But both of those guys
loved competing.
They were both killers.
Not just competitors, killers.
They're not out to beat you.
They're out to make you afraid
to ever come to them
and compete with them again.
Tony may have had
a hard time with it,
but once he walked away
from competition,
he couldn't live without it.
He had to get back in.
- Eventually found my way
back to it
with a different attitude,
and I could still make it fun,
and I could still do it
for a living,
and that was it.
That was the turning point.
- One time
when I lived with Tony,
it was garbage day,
and I came up,
and he'd cleaned out
the garage.
And he was dragging
this trash can
down the driveway,
and there was
all these trophies
poking out of the top.
Like, he did not care.
He lost his bag
of X Games medals.
I mean, he's never, ever cared.
I've never seen him,
since I've known him
for 30 years,
to put any of the trophies up.
Other people will, but he's
never had a trophy room.
"That's just a symbol
of one point in time.
I can't get attached to that."
- Video was
a whole new avenue.
It's not about competition.
That eventually outshined
all the contests.
- Kids are now seeing
how to do it.
When they'd look
at a magazine,
they'd see a maneuver,
but they didn't understand
how a kid got
from here to there
or there to here.
But when they saw the video,
they saw the whole thing.
So it completely
how kids consumed
And it really helped
the sport grow.
- I was 12 years old
when I first got
a skateboard
and got into skateboarding.
And it was the boom
of the Bones Brigade,
and everybody
had a skateboard.
And immediately was attracted
to the fun of skateboarding
through Lance Mountain
and the tricks in skateboarding
through Tony Hawk.
- Oh, those videos
got passed around.
I mean, people tell me
that they would rent it
from the shop,
give it to their friend.
It would break.
They'd tape it back together.
- That was
the greatest thing ever.
Like, I just would watch it
over and over and over.
Like, "There's gonna be
another one?
What are they gonna do?
How funny is Lance gonna be?"
Like, you know, "What are
the new tricks like?"
Stacy was onto something, man.
Like, there's still
nothing cooler
than Bones Brigade videos.
- Animal Chin.
Have you heard of 'em?
- If you look too hard
for Animal Chin,
you're never gonna find 'em.
- Heard about this ramp.
It's in this field
between two junkyards.
- You know, Stacy would have
me, Mike,
and Lance do our parts,
and then it was Tony's turn.
- What the hell was that?
- Oh!
- Insane.
- I'm like,
"Man, this guy's got
a bag of tricks
that doesn't stop."
540s were hard enough
but to do it
without grabbing your board...
- People thought it was
an impossible trick to do.
When people saw it,
they were like,
"That's not real."
- Tony's becoming a superstar
in skateboarding,
and as a result, we sold
more of his board models
pretty much every month
more than anybody else
on the team.
We could've sold even probably
more than we sold of Tony's.
- You just didn't make enough.
- We couldn't make enough.
- By the time that I was 17,
I was making
at least six figures
just from skateboards.
You get very jaded
when that kind of money
is coming in.
And also, I'm not trying
to be responsible with it.
I'm not saving for the future,
nor am I saving for taxes.
And so my dad was the one
who really guided me
through that
and was the one
who convinced me to buy a house
when I was still
in high school.
- Tony and his dad built
all these beautiful ramps.
I mean,
they were just unbelievable.
His dad was so dedicated.
- The winningest vertical
skateboard rider in history
now making
a very comfortable living
as a pro athlete.
- In this house, they live,
breathe, sleep, talk,
and eat skateboarding.
And what you're about to see
are the rewards for a guy
who's become top of his sport.
- On Sunday,
I'm signing autographs.
I am flying home
with an oversized check,
says $10,000.
I had to put it up
in the first-class closet.
And then I go home,
and I gotta wake up
at00 a.m. next day
and get to school.
- When we started
traveling around the world,
we started noticing
there was a lot of people
showing up to our demos,
and we were getting
a lot of attention.
- We're on the road,
and we're in our teens.
New city every night,
trying to meet girls.
- When it got big, it was
rock star time and girl time.
Look at the people
who didn't have ponytails.
I didn't have a ponytail.
They all did.
That was a pure sign
that you're stoked,
that you're a rock star,
and you're gonna
get some girls.
- It seemed like money
was just raining down,
and some of the guys
got carried away.
They were spending crazy.
At one point,
Powell sent us credit cards.
We had no idea
how credit cards worked,
so we just thought
that we could spend money
and that we wouldn't
get the bill.
We were buying cameras,
video games.
I think I bought
a pinball machine.
I'd be in Japan,
I would just buy boom boxes,
headphones, and at one point,
I bought a tanning bed.
- From '87 to '89,
it was salad days.
It was the heyday.
It was crazy.
1989, I went on tour
in the U.S. for a month.
Every demo was
thousands of people.
And then we go to Europe
for six weeks.
Every crowd was huge.
We did a demo
at Tivoli Gardens.
The entire amusement park
stopped what they were doing
to watch us skate.
And then we'd go to Australia,
in Sydney.
Vert ramp right
in the middle of the city.
People were lining
the rooftops
because there was no more room
to watch us.
- He was really doing well.
And I was really happy for him.
And it gave my parents
such bragging rights
that they couldn't--
they would stop total strangers
at the airport and say,
"My son is Tony Hawk.
That's no lie."
- So life with the alien
is good, huh?
- So far.
So far, so good.
- Well, we all wish you
many luck and happiness, and--
- I was 22. Cindy was 24.
We were living together.
We decided the next stage
would be to get married.
Suddenly, I'm married,
I have a kid on the way,
I have two mortgages,
and I was just thrust
into adulthood.
And little did I know
that that income
wasn't gonna last.
- Skateboarding is cyclical.
It's a cyclical business.
It was big from '73 to '79.
And then from 1980 to '84,
it dipped way down,
almost disappeared.
'85, it starts to climb again,
and it goes all the way up
until 1990,
and then it dips again,
and it dips radically.
And when it did,
a lot of companies
went out of business.
- I remember Stacy telling me,
"It's getting really hard
to justify any expenses that
we usually put out there."
And I said,
"Well, what does that mean?"
And he said, "Well, I think
you'll be the last to feel it,
but it's coming."
Skate magazines were
going away.
Skate brands
were barely surviving.
The skate parks closing down
was the last nail
in the coffin.
- The early '90s were
the dark years.
It was tough.
Vertical skateboarding
was dead.
- I remember
some of the last contests,
and then all of a sudden,
there just was
no more contests.
It was like a rude awakening
for all of us.
- '91 was sort of the end
of the Bones Brigade era
as I knew it.
We went to go talk to Stacy,
and he said,
"You guys, I already left."
- There was kind of
this distance thing
between all of us
during those years.
We weren't all together
with Stacy,
and we weren't going
to contests,
and we weren't--
there was nothing.
All of us were thinking,
you know, "Is this it?
What we love to do
is just nothing?"
You know, we just came
from touring around the world.
We went to George Harrison's
house, for Pete's sake.
That was
an intensely tough time
for most of us.
- I started Birdhouse in '92.
I had high hopes
that it was going
to at least be profitable
within a year or so,
and it just wasn't.
And we were scraping by,
and there was--
there was not a bright future.
Riley, point to Mommy.
- Mommy.
- Yeah.
Where's Daddy?
- Cindy was becoming
the breadwinner
being a manicurist.
Our relationship
was rocky at best.
People she works with,
it's just like,
"He's still trying
to skateboard?
"Are you fucking serious?
Like, grow up. Get a job."
I started taking every odd job
I could.
I bought a video editing
system on consignment.
I couldn't even afford it.
I borrowed $5,000
from my parents to buy it.
- He's chugging this OJ.
When I moved in with Tony,
we were both super,
super broke.
But I think we were like,
"We'll just keep, you know,
"adjusting our lifestyle
lower and lower
until we get
to that crisis point."
- We had a water bill
at the time
that I had to go
down to the city
and ask to make payments on.
And they allowed me
to pay it off over six months.
I would look around
and it'd be like...
you know, there's a pool
and there's a propane tank
that I got to pay to fill,
and then there's
this huge ramp
that was
starting to fall apart
that I couldn't afford to fix.
And that's
when reality sunk in.
I sold the house.
I had to tear down
this monstrous ramp.
Pulling out screws,
pulling off plies,
cutting chunks out of it
and kicking them over the side.
And to what end?
You're just dismantling
your career until it's gone.
- How did you handle stress
back then?
- I don't even--
how did I handle stress
back then?
I think that I would go skate.
I mean, that was it.
That's been my--
That's been my escape, always.
But it was meager.
And it wasn't
what it used to be.
So it was like,
"Why are you spending
all your energy?
Why are you killing yourself
out there?"
- I hired him to help me
with a little video
for the shop or something
that I was trying to do.
He was, you know,
scrambling around,
but he still
pushed himself skating.
- I never considered
quitting skating as an option.
I was always gonna
find time to skate.
- Yeah!
I don't think I could estimate
how many 540s I've done.
It's just--
- Like, over...
- 10,000.
For sure. I--
let's just say, for instance,
300 in a summer.
- 400, 500 a year. Yeah.
I mean, I was--like,
thousands, tens of thousands.
When people say you put in
your 10,000 hours,
I put in my 10,000 McTwists.
I first thought
about the possibility of 900s
after learning 720s in 1985.
I didn't actually have
the nerve to try it
until 1987
at a skate camp in France.
I ended up trying it
a few times.
I didn't understand
where I was in the air
and ended up landing
on my back twice.
I wasn't ready to commit
to that spin.
- We had a lot
of other skaters
chasing the 900,
and just because it had been
going on for so long,
which no other trick had,
it kind of got some, like,
holy grail aspect to it
that I've never seen
any other trick
treated like that
with the skate community.
It became a trick that
a lot of people are trying.
Everyone kept getting
a little close.
Like, they could spin,
but then they'd land
and keep whipping out.
There was always--
you would be close enough
to kind of taste it,
but there'd be one--
something missing
that would make it totally
almost impossible to land.
- There were a couple times
in my pursuit of doing a 900
that I really was
done with it.
The first time I tried
to really make one,
I was leaning forward too far,
and I broke my rib
when I--like, I just fell
into the flat bottom.
That was at a time
when I wasn't really making
a good living skating.
I'll never forget that day,
because I was trying it--
my son Riley,
he was in kindergarten.
I was late to pick him up
to kindergarten
'cause I was stuck trying
this trick on the ramp.
I broke my rib trying it,
but I still had to get there
to pick him up.
It was a moment in life
where it was like,
"What am I doing?"
"I just can't do it."
- They'd been trying it
for so long, right?
I think it was almost 12 years.
- You ever not committed
to a landing on a trick
before in your life?
- That's a good question.
I had never gotten so close
to a trick and given up on it.
Someone's got to do this.
Someone's got to break
through this boundary.
- When he's going
after a trick,
you can watch him
get closer and closer,
'cause he's making little
adjustments in his head.
- When he knows
he's getting close,
he does not give up on a trick
unless his body breaks.
He'll just throw himself
and slam, slam, slam, slam.
- The 900
was a little different,
'cause that really trashes
your body super quick.
- I still don't get it, man.
I don't know how Tony can keep
spinning it and keep his mind.
Like, it's got to make you
fuckin' freak out.
Like, a 720.
And then the 900? Like, how?
It's too hard.
It's just too much spinning.
- He tried to do it
in a bullring in Tijuana.
And he had another attempt
where I thought
it was gonna kill him.
His pursuit of that
was personal,
but it was also at a time
when skateboarding
was just kind of coming back up
into being popular again.
- Well, the X Games gave him
the biggest platform
he's ever had.
- I heard ESPN was
gonna do an event
and include skateboarding.
I was like, "Skateboarding
is gonna be on ESPN.
That means something."
I was hyped, 'cause I had
never quit skating vert.
- The technical difficulty
is just immense,
and this guy pulls it off
as if he's going
for a walk through the park.
- I was there
for the first X Games.
I was there
for "The Tony Hawk Show,"
as all the other skaters
called it.
He won the vert contest.
He won the street contest.
- Tony Hawk.
- After the first X Games,
there was a little bit
more interest.
It raised the bar
a little bit.
And then when the second
X Games came around,
that's when you could tell
something was happening.
- Riley Hawk.
His father has
locked up the gold medal.
- He is going huge.
Gymnastics has its Nadia,
but skateboarding has Hawk.
- Nobody else skates
like Tony Hawk.
- He is a hero.
- Tony Hawk,
the best skateboarder
the sport has ever seen.
- Tony Hawk.
That is the best
skateboarder in the world.
- Hi, Dad.
I know that we don't get
to talk too much
about what you do around here,
but I just want you to know
that I appreciate it,
and...that we just thought
that we'd make a video
saying thanks
for all the great stuff.
My siblings and my mom and I
had steeled ourself,
ready for him to have
a heart attack at any minute,
because he just didn't
take care of himself.
And it was like,
that's what's gonna happen.
And we all almost were all
waiting for that to happen.
So we all had prepared
ourselves for that,
and then one day,
he finds out
he has lung cancer.
He was in his final stages,
super rail thin, stuck in bed.
I went on this tour in Europe,
and I just felt weird
about being there,
'cause I knew
that he was degrading rapidly,
so I came home early
from the tour.
And he said,
"You have to do your thing.
You can't just sit here
and watch me die."
For the most part,
sent me to Woodward.
I heard a call
over the intercom.
"Tony Hawk, will you please
pick up the phone?"
When my mom called me
at Woodward,
she just broke down crying
and just said,
"He loved you so much."
And that was the first time
she really got emotional
about my dad.
- It's a very unique sport.
It's the only sport
in the world I know
where competitors--
I've watched 'em in the middle
of heavy competition
encouraging each other.
And earnestly
encouraging each other.
Not many competitions do that.
- So you think
it's a good sport?
- Oh, yeah.
Yeah. Definitely.
And I'd like to see it
continue as a sport.
- I can guarantee you
that every single one
of those skateboarders today
would look back on him fondly.
Guarantee it.
I guarantee it.
- His dad was like
a second dad to me.
Like, he was just
an amazing person.
- I could only imagine,
you know, my family
doing what his family
did for him, you know?
Like, I would dream about that.
Like, "Wow, what would
that be like?
Nah, my dad
would never do that."
- Tony had me do something
right when his dad died,
and I was talking shit
at that thing.
I think I said something
real stupid in an interview.
"Glad he's gone,"
or something fucked up.
X Games, he's up there riding.
My son just died ten days ago.
He's got me.
So I get up there
and I'm like--
and the first thing I said was,
"Got me now, motherfucker.
What are you gonna say?"
And then he goes, "Duane,
I'm super sorry about Chess."
I fucking--I mean...
And he goes,
"You got a minute?"
'Cause cameras are on this guy
every-fucking-where he goes.
So it's like,
we go down to some, like, area
and fucking away from--
and just total
personal fucking cool--
like, what the fuck?
What a cool--I didn't--
you know,
I didn't expect that.
That was nice.
And I was really blown away.
Like, my kid
fucking looked up to him,
and I let him know that.
You know?
"He looked up to you, man."
So I look at things
totally fucking different,
you know?
you know...
when his--his dad died
and I said that in the--
'Cause it was just me and him.
And, you know,
that's how life works.
It's a fucking weird game.
And all that
baton twirling shit,
he fucking stepped it up
for all of us.
All that fucking shit--
you know how much time it takes
to learn tricks like that?
- Okay, everybody.
We want to hear everybody
in the house right now.
Boys, girls,
ladies, and gentlemen,
wrapping up
our Best Tricks contest.
But don't forget,
you're gonna pick the winner.
Right now,
Tony's got a shot at it.
Can he do it?
Let's see it.
- Yeah.
900, try not to--look at him
focused out here.
- We love you, crowd!
We love you!
- Yeah.
Keep it up. Keep it up.
900! 900!
This could be it.
- Oh, the closest one!
- There was always
one or two really small things
that made the 9
almost impossible to land.
And I think one
of those things clicked there,
and he went,
"I'm--I actually felt better
"than I've ever felt
spinning that 9,
so I'm not gonna stop."
- You guys, you guys
want to see one more?
Tony Hawk coming close.
- Here we go, folks.
- History in the making.
Who wouldn't want
to be right here?
Making history.
Never, ever been done before
on the skateboard.
He's coming close.
Yeah, here we go.
- Oh, baby!
All right, stomp your feet!
- You saw him going inward
more and more and more
each and every time,
and you knew--or I knew,
watching, like,
he really isn't gonna stop.
And I had been there
when he'd only stopped before
'cause he broke a rib.
- He just said, "I'm either
gonna make this trick,
"or someone's gonna
take me off in a stretcher.
That's how it's gonna go."
all: Tony! Tony! Tony!
all: Tony! Tony! Tony! Tony!
- It was almost as if his mind
was going...
You know, squishing down
further and further.
And you can just see...
how much intensity
it took from him.
- 9! 9! 9! 9!
9! 9!
There it is!
- This is important
to this guy.
He's focused.
He is prepped.
This is history in the making.
9! 9!
Tony Hawk!
Tony Hawk!
Tony! Tony! Tony!
So close.
The closest I've ever
seen anyone before.
Ooh, what is going on in 1999
in vertical skateboard history?
- We got Andy.
- All this energy.
These guys are going on.
Everybody picture it.
Here we go.
- Yeah!
- Oh!
Are you kidding me?
Look at this!
Tony Hawk, everybody!
Look at this!
- I've never seen Tony
explosively emotional
like that.
Says a lot about that sense
of what he found out
about himself
by making himself
do that trick.
- It had nothing to do
with the physical motions
of that trick.
It was all here.
- It's just a trick.
But to me, the ones that make
the most difference
in who I am as a man,
as a person...
is when you've redlined it
so much
that you did something
that you didn't know
if you had it in you to do it.
That's a different
kind of proving ground.
That shifts something
within you.
- I could feel
the thrill that I got
from anything I've done
through him.
It was huge.
Like, I was so excited
to see him do that.
So excited and happy for him.
You know, I just knew
what was going on.
Like, I've never reached that,
because I'll never do a 900.
But I've reached it
in other things.
And just the feel of that
and the win of that
and the--it's just rad.
It's huge.
It's so--it's killer.
It's so good.
- Sean Mortimer called me up,
like, two minutes
after he landed it
from the ramp and said,
"Your brother just landed a 9!
It's like a war ended!"
The thing I love about the 900
that doesn't get talked about
much was that...
that moment is kind of
in sports history,
which really was a moment
in sports history,
could only have happened
in skateboarding,
because any other sport,
the clock ran out.
It was done.
Like, that wouldn't
have happened
if they'd had skateboarding
in the Olympics,
'cause you know,
once the clock ran out,
they would have run up
and chained up the ramp
and said, "Okay, we're done."
But the--
- The irony is, if your dad
was running the--
- Oh, my God.
You know,
that just occurred to me.
If my dad had been
running the show,
it wouldn't have happened.
That just occurred to me.
- I wish my dad had been able
to see the recognition
and the appreciation
that skateboarding got
after '99, 2000.
Even in his wildest dreams,
he thought that skateboard
contests would be bigger,
but he would have
never imagined
that it blew up the way it did.
- Las Vegas,
put your hands together
for the Boom Boom HuckJam!
- Whoo-hoo!
- Suddenly,
we were rock stars again,
but on a completely
different level.
Performing in arenas,
selling out night after night.
We had a setup
that filled an arena floor.
We were way bigger
than a rock tour.
We filled
the entire arena floor
with ramps and lights,
- It was high-pressure
It was like,
you have to make this trick,
or a motorcycle
could land on you.
- I can remember watching
the Boom Boom HuckJam,
and other ladies my age were--
just couldn't watch.
Their hands were
over their face,
and they were just terrified.
- Every night was a new city.
They would put a piece of tape
on the deck of the ramp.
When they handed you
the microphone,
you could glance down
at that tape
so you didn't go...
"Thank you, Philadelphia,"
and you're really in Chicago.
- Living in the lap of luxury.
Like, people were providing
for us at every turn.
Flying in and out of the tour
on Tony's private jet,
staying in these great hotels.
- It's all younger dudes,
mostly single.
And it was just like,
the world is yours.
You guys are, you know,
Led Zeppelin tonight.
- "Come on, Tony, let's go!
We got this club downtown."
Like, the tour manager
would call ahead and be like,
"Hey, we got Tony Hawk coming.
Make sure the door's open."
- There's a part of that
where it's like,
"Okay, so now what?
So now you're a rock star?
So now you have
all this excess?"
- You know, Activision came
to him to do the video game,
and it was the best company,
and they had
the best developer,
and, you know, he was hands-on.
- They developed this game
that he never thought
was gonna be particularly
popular amongst everybody.
He thought skaters
would like it.
- When the fourth game
was released,
the first three were still
in the top ten of sales.
And Activision called
a meeting with me.
I went and met one of the guys
I worked with.
I met him for lunch,
and he said--
he explained to me
what was happening.
He's like, "Well,
this is in the top sales,
and now it's a best hit."
I go, "What does that mean?"
He goes,
"This is what it means,"
and he hands me a check
for $4.5 million.
And I was like, "Oh, my God."
And then two years later,
they gave me an advance
of $20 million.
- Tony was getting recognized
He was the face
of skateboarding.
- I never got into
skateboarding to be famous.
I never thought I'd be famous.
And then I was famous,
and I was like,
"Well, I'm famous now.
I guess I'm supposed to do
all this stuff."
But it's the worst drug.
It's the worst drug.
- You got to let him go.
Come on, let him go through.
- And it's so easy
to fall into.
It's crazy.
There was infidelity,
lying to myself
about justification,
you know, not being honest
with others,
not being honest with myself.
A lot of other things
that should have taken
priority in my life,
especially my kids,
fell by the wayside.
I had issues
with intimacy already,
and then I'm in
this crazy scenario.
I didn't like myself.
I didn't like
the choices I was making.
And that started to spiral
worse and worse.
I'm gonna distract over here.
I'm gonna anesthetize
with this.
And it was just like,
"What's wrong with you?
Why can't you just be content?"
People aren't even happy
at home to see me.
Everyone's happy
to see me out on the road.
They welcome me.
"New York Times"
wants to talk to me.
I gotta go do that.
I gotta fly here
for this charity event,
'cause they invited me.
There's a movie premiere.
They want me.
I gotta be on the red carpet.
Well, of course I gotta go to--
I gotta go to Monaco
for the "Sports Awards"...
that I'm not even
nominated for.
And then I'd be there
and at some point back alone
and just thinking,
"Why aren't you just home?"
- The whole concept of, like,
yeah, people asking me, like,
"What's it like
to have your dad be Tony Hawk?"
It's like,
it's the only thing I know,
so I don't know
what it's not like.
- Riley was with me through
all of my relationships
and challenges and turmoil.
Riley had a rough upbringing
with a lot
of different co-parents
and half siblings.
And he just
went along with it,
'cause he didn't--obviously,
he didn't have a choice.
- It definitely was tricky
being the oldest
of two families
and two separate sets
of siblings,
because you're just kind of,
I was the only one doing this.
- We were on tour once,
and I should have really
just enjoyed that aspect.
"Oh, Riley's here on tour."
And I remember him
looking at me like,
"Are you gonna go out
again tonight?"
And I was thinking, like,
"Aw, well,
you're just gonna fall asleep.
It's okay."
Like, "Someone will be
in the room with you.
It'll be all right."
And, like, I think back
to those times, like,
"You should have
taken that as a sign."
My other kids,
they only saw one relationship
or two relationships.
And they're like,
"Oh, this is your pattern.
This is what you do."
I didn't know how to live
in my own skin.
I didn't know how to--
how to like myself.
And I didn't know how to...
be a husband or a father
that I would be proud of.
Chef has arrived.
So scary that you cut
towards your fingers.
- No.
- It's scary to me
as the adult figure
and the one that's supposed
to be responsible
for your safety.
That frightens me.
- This frightens you?
- Yes.
- No, but come down here.
- Are you guys pretending
like you guys cook?
- Oh!
- He took the trash out, too.
And he went
to the grocery store.
- I am a hunter and gatherer.
I hunt and gather income
by riding a skateboard.
- When I met Tony,
there was just something
very comfortable
about being around him.
Like, kind of like
when you meet somebody
that you feel like you've known
kind of feeling.
You're just the worst.
He's the worst.
- Oh, my God, he just--
- He's the worst.
- He's the worst.
- When Cathy and I found
that there could be
this chance of romance,
I knew deep down
I had not figured out my life.
Like, I had not figured out
how to function
in a committed relationship,
and I carried all this baggage.
And I didn't think
she knew the depths of it.
- He didn't know how to...
Express his real,
true feelings.
There's just some holes there
that he filled
with skateboarding.
And skateboarding fed so much
of what he was lacking
that I don't know
if he developed
how to get those things
other ways.
Even the relationship with his
parents was around skating.
Everything was around skating.
- I had to go make a change.
Like, I just knew it.
I knew I wasn't capable
of doing it myself.
Checked into a place. was hard.
It was super hard.
And where do you even start?
There's a skate park downtown.
I was at that skate park
at00 a.m. every single day.
I made a special request
to be able to do that.
There was ice on the ground.
There was snow
covering the coping sometimes.
I would go out there
in snow gloves
and session for at least
an hour by myself.
What I realized
is that I've had
the most intense discipline
in my life with skating.
If I can--if I can focus
that discipline on my life...
I must have it in there.
I must be able to do that.
- He said,
"I know I can do this,
"because these are
the qualities I have.
"I am determined,
I'm disciplined,
and I know I can make
all these changes in myself."
Because he has the example
of doing it in skating.
- I knew that
I was going to do
everything necessary
and stick with it
and lean into it
and wrote this ugly list
of things I wasn't proud of,
that probably was the moment
where I was most in shock
and just was like,
"This is the end of that."
I released this baggage,
and I felt like
I finally have a foundation
to fill up
with a positive way of living.
Me coming to terms with it was
balling up this list
and throwing it in the fire.
- Do you need any help?
- Yes.
Can you help me get youth?
- No.
- Why not?
You have so much of it.
- He's probably
at the point in his life
where he's probably
happiest with himself
and happiest
in his relationship.
And I think, ultimately,
that has the biggest effect
on your relationship
to your children.
And so I'm happy that he was
able to get to that point.
And now he has Kady
that he can,
you know, be that parent to.
And I think he's the best form
of himself now.
- Can you stand up?
- Oh, my God.
- Oh, you did it!
That's the first time
I've seen you do it.
- Rodney Mullen
goes to his warehouse
and skates every night.
Lance is still waking up
every day and skating.
Steve Caballero's
still considering himself
a pro skater.
Mike McGill still skates,
and obviously,
Tony is skating all the time
at the highest level.
- There's a difference,
though, in some of those guys.
Rodney Mullen...
Skateboarding for him, I think,
is really an art form
that he just has to practice
like a Buddhist monk meditates.
Caballero has his artwork.
Mike McGill--
I think that Mike has a real
healthy relationship
with his skateboarding.
I think he realizes
his better days are behind him.
He's fine with that.
I think Lance still feels
he's got to prove himself
in backyard pools.
So Lance and Tony--
They're in a different place.
- We're gonna go over
to Bob Burnquist's house,
compound, ramp.
I'd like to do a 360
over the gap.
And then if I make that,
I gotta do something
on the quarter pipe.
But I'll cross that bridge
when I get to it.
Here we are at Bob's.
- This looks a little crazy.
- There it is.
- It's a little crazy-looking.
- Whoo!
- I've seen him
get way more hurt
and try way more
gnarly things now
than he ever did
back when he was a kid.
- Yeah!
- Tony!
- I was there when he tried
the loop for the first time.
And I actually,
at one point, said,
"Can you just, like,
make him stop, please?
Can we stop this?"
But he didn't.
- Yeah!
- One of the reasons
he's accomplished so much
is, he doesn't think
about the bad things.
He doesn't let that get to him.
- Yeah!
- Yeah!
- Tony is competing
against Tony.
He's always been
competing against Tony.
- Three, two, one, go!
- Tony does not tire
of getting hurt,
he does not tire of repetition,
and he does not tire
of just doing the same thing
and attempting it
over and over.
- You know, one thing for sure
about Tony
is that he can take a slam.
It's rare to find people who
like to get back up
and try it again.
- The reason he's been hurt
more than most people
is because he's attempting
so many more things
that they would never attempt.
- Holy shit.
- He's going to take some hits.
- One time,
I saw Tony fall at Del Mar,
and I guess his knee was
locking up and getting stuck.
I'm looking at it,
and he's like,
"Yeah, my knee's stuck."
And he's like,
"Pull it! Pull it! Pull it!"
I think it was his dad
or something like that
pulling on it.
And boom! And then he's like,
"Oh, all right."
He gets back up
and goes to skate again.
I'm like, "If my knee
got stuck, I'd be like,
'I need to go to a doctor.'"
And he's like, "No, I'm good."
- Broke my elbow.
Knocked my teeth out
at least five times.
Didn't dislocate my shoulder,
but it went out and in.
Rolled my ankles so far
that they should have broken,
and maybe I would have
benefited more if they had,
'cause now they're just
kind of loose.
I've had dozens of concussions
but only a few
that were really bad,
where I woke up somewhere else.
- His body's pretty messed up.
You know, if you watch him
turn and stuff like that,
he's got a lot of stiffness.
- I know what he has,
which a lot of us get,
is, we get whiplash
from taking slams.
And he has it really bad.
- I'm that guy
that people ask, like,
"Something wrong
with your neck?"
I'm like, "Yes.
40 years of whiplash."
- Whoa!
- Shit!
That's not good.
- Medic!
- Hey, medic! Quick!
- Medic! Medic!
- Can you hear me, Tony?
Can you hear me?
You all right?
- It hurts, man.
- I know, man.
You okay?
- Yeah.
- All right. I don't want--
- Cut the pads off.
- Minimal movement, okay?
- What is this?
- Minimal movement.
- Okay.
- Hold that on your head
right there.
- Fractured my skull,
broke my thumb,
broke my pelvis.
I sat in bed
for about six weeks.
And I thought,
"Maybe this is it."
Everyone kept asking me,
"How long can you skate?"
Maybe this is the answer.
This is how long I can skate.
I can skate till I'm 35,
when I break my pelvis.
- When I got knocked out in
Australia about five years ago
or something,
I was asking everybody, like,
"How long does this
fuzziness last, you know?"
I'm like, "Tony, you've been
knocked out a bunch of times.
How long does it"--
He's like,
"I don't know, Mike."
I'm like, "How many times
you been knocked out?"
You know,
he couldn't even recall
how many times
he's been knocked out.
- Can you imagine
watching your dad
tumble down a ramp at 56?
- Like, we're grandparents.
We're grandparents
falling out of the sky.
- Why still push yourself
when there's no reward
of board sales
or contest winnings
or anything like that?
- That is the question.
That is the question,
why we do that.
I don't know.
It's just in us.
- Why do you think
Tony does it?
Why do you think
he pushes himself so hard?
- I think it's to impress
all of us, you know?
I think it's--I honestly do,
because, you know,
most of the world
that's gonna see this film
doesn't know a Madonna
from a McTwist
from a Caballerial.
But his peers do.
And we are blown away
every time
we see something like this.
And it inspires us to go on
and do something different,
because that's what
skateboarding is all about.
- We had the 30-year reunion
of the "Animal Chin" video.
To commemorate that,
Tony had a replica
of the infamous Chin ramp
Caballero, McGill,
Lance, Tony, myself,
Tommy Guerrero, Rodney Mullen,
and a whole bunch
of other people
were there to celebrate.
So we got to watch them
skate it again.
And they reproduced
all the famous tricks
that they did at the time.
- 30 years later, these guys
are doing their famous,
you know, four-invert shot.
- Can we just try?
- Eee!
- This is it!
- One. Two. Three.
- Yoo-hoo!
- Lock it up.
- Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho!
- That's amazing.
That's totally amazing.
- Yeah, Steve!
- Whenever Caballero or McGill
did something
that was a little bit
too edgy,
you could see them
stop midair and,
"That's it. Stop."
Every time they'd do something
and it was a touch off
of what they were out,
they'd throw the board
and slide--knee slide.
You could tell there was
no messing around.
These guys aren't getting hurt.
- As the temperature
started increasing
and these guys
started pushing each other,
Tony, like always, he started
going harder and harder.
- Yeah!
- Oh!
- Oh!
- Just chill out.
Just chill.
Just chill. Just chill.
Just chill out.
- Tony, just chill.
Tony, just chill.
Just chill. Lay there.
Stay there.
- Just kick back.
Kick back. Kick back.
- Hey.
- There you go.
- What is your name?
Wait, wait, wait.
What's your name?
- Tony Hawk.
- All of us just gasped.
It's like, "Oh, my God."
He's down there, laying there,
dead still.
He got himself up off the ramp
after about five minutes,
and then he went and sat down
at the bottom of the ramp,
and he just sat there.
- There's some water
right here.
- His hair was, like,
Einstein-y, pitch-white skin,
and he looked 70 years old.
It was shocking.
It was really scary.
And I sat there going, "Man,
you can't do this at this age.
You can't put yourself in that
kind of danger at this age,"
especially with the career
he's had.
And it really,
really troubled me.
And I went and had
a really long conversation
with Sean Mortimer afterwards,
saying, "Look, somebody's
gotta talk to Tony.
He can't let this happen."
I talked to Steve Hawk.
I called Steve Hawk
on the phone.
And I'm going,
"Steve, Tony's gotta be told
he can't do this."
But I couldn't get any takers.
I couldn't get anybody
to, like--
guys, you've got to--
there's got to be
an intervention here.
I mean, come on!
That's not a bad concussion.
That's a disaster, you know?
- I don't know
what I think about it.
I think it's no one's place
to say that to him.
- Okay.
So what do you mean?
- I don't know.
He doesn't unders--
He doesn't even understand
that we're gonna probably
die skateboarding
and kill ourselves.
It's something
you can't change.
I can't sleep.
I can't sleep on my shoulders.
It's terrible.
It's horrible.
You're actually destroying
yourself on what you love.
But it's not--it's too late,
first of all,
to be concerned about, like,
"Oh, it's time for us
to slow down."
Like, I don't know.
I don't know to--
I don't know
how to react to that.
He's right, but I don't know
how to react to it.
- I worry a lot that he's--
that he will really
hurt himself.
Some of the stuff he's done,
if something went wrong,
he could have died for sure.
And that scares
the fuck out of me.
- The abuse their bodies
are taking is pretty absurd.
Like, Tony is just--
Tony and Lance might be
the most battered dudes,
like, of all of them.
Tony especially, man, he's--
you've seen his fingers.
They're all fucking
out of socket.
And just--
his shins are all fucked up.
He tried the full pipe,
and--but he gets
so fucking slammed.
But he continues.
- Yeah, it's foolish.
It's foolish
what we've done to ourselves.
Tony--a lot of us.
It's foolish.
We're gonna live
in absolute pain.
I've had so many concussions.
I know I have.
You know.
I know I have what those
football players have,
and I'm probably gonna have
a brain tumor like my dad.
I'm sure of it.
And it's because...
We were stupid skateboarding
and we got injured.
It is what it is.
He is going to probably get
another gnarly concussion.
He's probably gonna
break another bone.
He's probably gonna
get to the point
where his body
will not let him do it.
And that's the way
we're gonna go.
- Maybe it's, like, not smart.
I don't know.
But we forget about, you know,
the pain and the suffering
that we go through
to get to that next level.
And I think it's those people
that are afraid
to go through that,
you know,
that pain and suffering,
that never amount to anything
than just a normal, safe life,
you know?
We don't live
in those parameters, you know.
- There's consequences
to everything we do.
But when you tap--tiptoe
around the consequences...
Tony was having consequen--
he would never have
reached what he did
if he listened to those
consequences things back then.
"You're too small.
You can't get to the top.
"You do it weird.
We don't like you.
Here's a beer can in the"--
We all would have stopped
if we'd listened
to anybody telling us, like,
"You know, there's gonna be
a cost to this."
And some are gonna pay more.
- This is the luxury
of having spent my life
doing what I love.
The cost of that...
It sucks.
I'm not blind.
I'm not numb to the pain.
I would argue
I'm more conscious of it
than anybody else.
But I'm also more conscious
of what that gives me.
And when I'm done with this...
That will be what it is,
and I'll find a way.
But there's something
inside of me propelling
that I'm not going to give up
until the wheels fall off.
That's what I'm made of.
And I wish--I see all
the arguments against it.
But I wish I could relate
the intangibles to you.
My guess is that
we're all built the same.
None of us are
completely stupid.
A little deranged,
I think a strong argument.
I do.
But ultimately,
we also know what we have.
And to go and lay down
in that sense of it...
That's like embracing
what we've done with our lives.
You know?
- I found this thing
that I've loved
more than anything else
that I've tried
or done in my life.
I found my purpose
and my salvation.
And in some ways,
I found my emotional highs.
I'm still trying
to push my limits.
I don't know how long
this will last.
But I'm not gonna quit.