Riley Hawk: the natural-born skater with golden DNA

September 19, 2022 | Skateboarding
Riley Hawk:

Skateboarding is in its DNA, but Riley Hawk never needed his father's endorsement to become a splendid, risk-taking, adrenaline-powered street skater.

Hudson Riley Hawk was born in Carlsbad, California, on December 6, 1992.

He is the son of Cindy Dunbar and American skateboarding virtuoso, Tony Hawk. Riley was named after one of his father's ancestors.

The young gun soon developed an interest in skateboards. However, Riley did not exactly follow in his father's footsteps.

Despite being an all-around skater, Tony Hawk dedicated most of his time to vert skating.

His son built his career around street skating.

Riley Hawk fought hard to climb the ladder of professional skateboarding, and being the son of who he is might have even caused more harm than good to his progress.

In the 2003 Boom Boom Huckjam in New York, Riley Hawk landed his first-ever 540. He was ten years old.

A closer look at some of his skate video appearances reveals a strong appetite for creative, innovative, and dangerous stunts.

Riley would spend days and nights mind skating tricks; how to perform and land them.

Riley Hawk: one of the most talented skaters of his generation | Photo: Red Bull

Balancing Skating and Music

The California sidewalk surfer proved he could balance power and flow with a near-obsessive desire to push the limits of street style.

As a result, the talented skater suffered several injuries, which led to, for instance, reconstructive surgeries on both ankles.

Riley Hawk turned pro for Baker Skateboards on his 21st anniversary.

On the same day, he won Skateboarder Magazine's Amateur of the Year 2013 award, complemented later by The Skateboard Mag's Year's Best Am.

The Carlsbad goofy-footer knows that he will forever live in the shadow of his father's legacy, but he has always forged his own path.

He once revealed that skaters sometimes approach him and ask, "Where's your dad? Where's Tony?!"

"In my head, I'm always thinking, 'Where's your dad?' I mean, are you 24 and just constantly hanging out with your dad? It's bizarre," Riley said.

Despite being chased by his surname's fame, the Californian admits that it carries both advantages and disadvantages, for example, when it comes to getting his music to more people.

The truth is that Riley Hawk made sure to broaden his interests and skills base. One of them is music composing.

In 2017, RH started Petyr, his first psych-rock group, inspired by his favorite band of all time, Black Sabbath.

Now, Riley is the singer and guitarist of Warish, a stoner rock band.

Riley Hawk: a natural born wall rider | Photo: Red Bull

Motorcycles, Coffee and Tattoos

The goofy-footer is also into motorcycles - he spent time building a Harley Davidson FLH Generator Shovelhead.

He is also a member of Shep Dawgs, a skateboarding collective that produces and shoots indie skate videos.

Riley is not seeking stardom or attention for himself. He is quite an introvert who prefers to be alone or with a tight group of friends.

The skater has hit everything from long and steep ledges to all types of rails and witnessed the launch of his signature pro skateboard model and shoes.

In 2021, Hawk started a relationship with Frances Bean Cobain, daughter of Nirvana's frontman, Kurt Cobain, and Hole frontwoman Courtney Love.

The Birdman's oldest son is one of the star skaters in "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD," "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5," and "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2" video games.

Riley Hawk is also the co-founder of Steel Mill Coffee, a small batch coffee roaster and cafe located in Vista, California.

The skater-musician is a fan of tattoos. He first inked his skin with a little Black Sabbath demon on his leg.

Riley Hawk is 6'1'' tall (1.86 meters) and weighs around 183 pounds (83 kilograms).