He is one of the greatest skateboarders of all time, an actor and the owner of the skateboarding company Birdhouse. The 52-year-old skate legend has brought back two games that inspired a whole generation of skateboarders: Tony Hawk’s pro skater 1 and 2, remastered.
By Bárbara Perino and Lara Franco Gomes
Photography courtesy of Tony Hawk
In his personal life everything seems pretty solid. This cool dad is now married to his fourth wife Cathy Goodman with whom he says he connects on a deep level in terms of their approach to life. They truly enjoy the challenges of raising children and giving them the tools to make good choices. That must be the key to all the happiness we see this big family sharing on social media.
LEMON Magazine [LEMON] – You recently posted a picture on your social media of your first time ever on a skateboard. Once you started did you ever stop?
TONY HAWK [T.H.] – Not for any extended period of time. The only things that have kept me off my board since then are substantial injuries. But I keep coming back.
LEMON – What skateboard model was your first favourite?
T.H. – Sims – Dave Andrecht (1979). It was the first professional-quality skateboard I ever owned.
LEMON – When and how did you find your own style as a professional skateboarder?
T.H. – I’m still discovering it as I get older and focused on different techniques.
LEMON – Which tricks, out of those you invented, took you the longest to train?
T.H. – Ollie 540 took a couple years, but 900 was a decade-long chase. There are plenty of tricks that I’ve done in recent years that took a long time (weeks / months) to figure out, and that I’ve only done once.
LEMON – You always say you find freedom while on a skateboard, is there any other activity that can make you feel the same way (or at least to some extent)?
T.H. – Snowboarding in deep powder feels like floating through clouds. It’s equally peaceful and exhilarating.
LEMON – If you had to define your career in 3 words, what would they be?
T.H. – Surprising, exhausting and rewarding.
LEMON – What is the best life advice you can give to a child?
T.H. – Follow your passion. Doing what you love is the ultimate success.
LEMON – Where did you find inspiration to create your signature moves?
T.H. – Watching my peers and tinkering with new variations of existing tricks. Combining moves has been my biggest motivation.
LEMON – How is your family routine?
T.H. – Relatively normal, although we have our college-aged kids living with us which has been a big change. My wife and I get up early and see the younger ones off to school, I catch up on correspondence, skate (hopefully), then get home after the kids return from school. We try to have dinner together to finish the day.
LEMON – Do you cook for the kids?
T.H. – The extent of my cooking is making egg & cheese bagels for them in the morning.
LEMON – What defines a cool dad for you?
T.H. – One that is supportive of their kids’ interests without being too invasive.
LEMON – Tony Hawk’s pro Skater 1 and 2, remastered came out on September 4. You brought back two games that had a huge impact on gaming and that inspired a whole generation of skateboarders and at the same time you mixed them with enhanced creative tools which allow gamers to invent brand new ways to play the games they already love. What’s your favourite new feature in the games?
T.H. – The graphics! Gameplay feels very much the same as our original series but it looks incredibly real on the newer consoles.
LEMON – This year, skateboarding would have had its debut as an Olympic sport at the 2020 Games in Tokyo. What are your thoughts on the subject?
T.H. – It will be a great boost for the international growth of skateboarding. Countries that have not been supportive or that have been altogether discouraging of skating will come to embrace it, and hopefully build facilities for their youth.
“Follow your passion. Doing what you love is the ultimate success.”
Favourite color? Teal
Favourite statement piece in fashion? Ollie holes in your shoes
Favourite band? The Clash
Favourite skating shoes? Vans SK8-Hi
Favourite quote? “There’s no birthday party for me here!”
This or that
City or beach? Beach
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset
Idealistic or realistic? Realistic
Summer or winter? Summer
Sweet or salty? Both! Ever had a chocolate chip cookie made with sea salt? You’ll thank me later.