Tony Hawk: the first skateboarder to land a 900 | Photo:

He's an iconic personality in the so-called action sports world. Discover the most memorable thoughts and quotes by skateboarding guru Tony Hawk.

In the beginning, skateboarding was outcast, rebellious, negative, and dangerous. But Tony Hawk helped change that through talent, creativity, entrepreneurship, and video games.

Hawk got into skateboarding at nine years of age, went pro at 14, and then at 16, he was considered the number one skater in the world.

One of the first people to recognize Hawk's talent was the skateboarding veteran Stacy Peralta.

The skateboarder-surfer from Venice, California, invited Hawk to join his team. From that moment on, Hawk knew he wanted to thrive in the skate industry and its culture.

A Major Influencer

"The Birdman" was never obsessed with the idea of becoming a professional competitive skateboarder. Instead, he pursued the path of business and evangelization.

Anthony Frank Hawk was born on May 12, 1968, in Carlsbad, California. He is a big guy - 6'3'' - but managed to become the first skater to land a 900 move.

Today, Tony Hawk is one of the most influential names in the skateboarding world, and his skills have also somehow poured and changed the course of surfing and snowboarding.

The skater says his key to true success is having confidence in himself. And that's probably what helped him design and land so many new signature tricks and maneuvers.

The stalefish, madonna, 720, ollie 540, and the kickflip mctwist are only some of the most popular moves invented by Hawk.

Here are his best and most famous quotes:


I never got into skateboarding to be number one.

When I first started, skateboarding was so small you couldn't aspire to be rich and famous from it. You did it because you found something that spoke to you.

I was playing violin at the same time when I first started skating. My music teacher at school wanted me all these school concerts on the weekends, but I was off in Florida, at skate events, and so he told me that I had to choose one or the other.

By the time I was 8, I quit Little League - the year my dad was appointed president.

I changed high schools three times because my parents moved. I had one friend in my freshman year named Miki Vuckovich. Miki and I were the only skaters in our high school. He runs my foundation now.

My style of skating was largely chastised all through my formative years. People thought what I was doing was more circus tricks and robotic, and everything else was the Dogtown Boys and surfing and slashing and style.

I learned to ignore haters early, early on.

Having sponsors that aren't skate companies is very commonplace now.

It's harder to skate in front of an audience. A camera doesn't make fun of you if you fall, and it gives you a second chance.

If I could redo any moment, it would be not doing a loop in a full gorilla suit.

The biggest lesson I learned from my dad is to support children even if they're doing something unorthodox.

I think if I were to tell my 21-year-old self anything, I'd say to keep control of my brand.

They made the video game before I actually knew how to skate, so I wave basically forced into learning how to do it.

If you have a game with your name on it, you have to learn how to play.

Video games brought kids into skateboarding. They inspired them to try it.

I play as my character in the THPS series because inevitably I know all my special moves, and that's how I get the highest scores.

My quest for the 900 took almost 10 years.

I understand modern skateboarding.

I surround myself with a group of people that I feel have the same sense of values and come from the same culture.

The seed money for my foundation came from my appearance on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

Giving stuff away always works on social media.

I love the adrenaline of taking risks.

The craziest thing I have ever done was jumping between two seven-story buildings in downtown Los Angeles for an MTV show.

Skateboarding is an art form, a lifestyle, and a sport. Action sport would be the least offensive categorization.

I learned to do nonlinear editing on an Amiga toaster.

Skateboarding teaches kids a lot about self-discipline.

For those that say I endanger my child: it's more likely that you will fall while walking on the sidewalk than I will while skating with my daughter.

I think skateboarding is hugely challenging - it teaches you self-confidence, self-motivation, and it can be something that helps you throughout your life.

These sports are just - you go do it, and you're doing it on your own. You don't have to answer to anyone.

The hardest part of any trick is committing to the landing. There are all kinds of elements to a trick, and you can have all those pieces, but when the time comes, the moment of truth is if you're really going to make it.

I'd rather speak Hebrew in the 1940s than eat Lunchables with no Capri Sun.

America should build a scooter park and ban skateboarders.

I really like the Linda Vista Skate Park here in San Diego. It has a little bit of everything, and it's got a lot of variety and terrain.

Recognize where your talent lies, work hard on it and, when you reach the top of your profession, don't forget your roots.

The biggest life lesson is the value of perseverance.

Skateboarding doesn't need the validation of the Olympics.

The Olympic Games need skateboarding more than we need them.

Skateboarding is more popular than many of the sports that are in the Summer Olympics.

It is easier for me to make a life-changing decision than to decide what to get for dessert.

The irony of skating my ramp, and something that is so perfect, is that it messes you up for everything else.

I won't quit skateboarding until I am physically unable.

I don't really have superstitions. I have more of an OCD - the way that I put my gear on. It's always left first, but I've just been doing that since I was a kid. Why stop now?

I'm not great at surfing. I am actually scared of big waves because if I fall on a big ramp, it doesn't come crashing after me and try to drown me. And also, I don't get time to chase the swells these days.

If I can stand up when I'm 80, I'll be happy to cruise around on a skateboard. If I feel like my skills are fading, I just won't do it publicly.

All I care about is that people remember me as a good skater, as someone innovative.

Top Stories

Why hasn't anyone thought about this yet?

Ema Kawakami has become the first skateboarder to land three consecutive 900s.

"Back to the Future" is a timeless masterpiece. Interestingly, the franchise features several famous skateboard-related appearances.

If there's one iconic heelflip that changed a skater's life forever, it's Rayssa's. Here's how a young girl's dream became more real than reality itself.