Tony Hawk: a famous skateboarder who is often mistaken for someone else | Photo: Tony Hawk

Tony Hawk is probably the most famous skateboarder in the world. However, his daily interactions with anonymous citizens are worth a laugh.

Despite his sporting and business achievements, Hawk is a down-to-earth person with an open and laid-back personality.

He never turns down an autograph, selfie, or photo request and is always available for a social chat with everyone, young and old, skaters and non-skaters.

The truth is people seem to change their chip when they see a "famous person," even when they don't know who they exactly are.

Tony Hawk is a "victim" of these types of social encounters with fans and anonymous people. Some of them barely know what a skateboard is.

Tony Hawk: his daily interactions with anonymous citizens are unforgettable | Photo: Tony Hawk

People Are Strange

It is hilarious how Hawk copes with odd reactions, unexpected statements, and funny questions.

Whether Hawk is on the street, at the airport, or waiting in line for an event, people tend to interact in the strangest ways.

Some fail to recognize him; others mistake him for Hollywood actors, professional surfers, cyclists, and snowboarders.

The good news is that fame hasn't stopped Tony Hawk from living like everyone else. He goes to normal restaurants, visits convenience stores, and queues for tickets.

Here's the full list of one-to-one encounters in which Tony Hawk gets mistaken for someone else but is never identified as the ultimate skateboarding legend.

The following moments were transcribed from Tony Hawk's Twitter account (@tonyhawk). They're all true and happened in real life with real people. Do you need a few ideas for funny skateboarding memes?

Tony Hawk's One-to-One Daily Interactions

Tony Hawk is in line at the security checkpoint.
Guy, looking for his ID, turns to apologize: "Sorry about that. Hey, you’re Tony Hawk!"
TH: "No worries. And yes, I am."
Guy: "And with a skateboard. You don't see that every day!"
TH: "I do."

Tony Hawk is at baggage claim, waiting.
Guy across the carousel: "Ay yo, what’s Tony Hawk doing on the freeway?"
TH: "Frontside nosegrind?"
Guy to Swae Lee, who was also on the flight: "Oh s**t! He's the real one."

Tony Hawk is at the post office, picking up a package.
TH: "I got this notice because I was out of town."
Lady: Do you have an ID?"
TH: "Yes."
Lady: "Are you that guy?"
TH: "I don't know. Who is 'that guy'?"
Lady: "I don’t know, but my son likes to skateboard."
TH: "So do I."
Lady: "Cool, I’ll get your package."

Tony Hawk is waiting in line at passport control as European travel is chaotic:
Man in the next lane: "Hey, I live right by you in Maryland."
TH: "I live in San Diego."
Man: "Oh, I thought you were that motocross guy Travis Pastrana."
Me: "I'm a skateboarder. My name is Tony."
Man: "I was close."

Tony Hawk gets in an elevator with three people.
One guy (with his colleague) sarcastically says: "Anyone ever told you..." and stops.
TH (amused): "Yes, but you’re the first today."
Woman: "I'm sorry. I tried to stop him from doing the joke."
The elevator stops, and the couple exits to their floor.
Other Man: "What's the joke?"
TH: "I get mistaken identity a lot."
Man: "Mistaken for who?"
TH: "Tony Hawk."
Man: "Hahaha! You do look like him!"
The elevator stops again. The man exits to his floor. TH is left alone, heading upwards and feeling perplexed.

Tony Hawk is getting coffee in New York.
Barista: "You look familiar. Are you that skateboard guy?"
TH: "I am a skateboard guy."
Barista: "I knew it. Can I get a photo?"
TH: "Absolutely."
Barista: "Do you want to check it so you can approve?"
Barista: "Nah, I'm old. What you see is what you get."

At Mammoth Mountain waiting at a jump for my daughter because Tony Hawk is the filmer.
Guy nearby: "Sorry. I keep staring, but you look just like Tony Hawk."
TH: "I've heard that."
Guy's friend: "We should take a selfie and tell people it's really him. I did that with another celebrity lookalike."
TH's daughter (entertained but confused): "Do you want me to take the picture?"
Guy nearby: "Nah, we're good."

At a coffee shop:
Girl behind the counter (not joking): "Has anyone told you that you look like Tony Hawk?"
TH: "Yes, so much that I sometimes write about it."
Girl: "Hahaha! Here's your coffee."
Another girl by the exit (leans toward me as I walk out): "You really do look like him."

At a store, wandering aisles, an employee approaches.
Employee: "Can I help you?"
TH: "I'm looking for lightbulbs."
Employee: "They’re in this aisle. Hey, you look like Tony Hawk!"
TH: "I've heard that."
Employee: "That's crazy!"
The employee gets the lightbulbs.
Employee: "Wait, are you Tony Hawk?"
TH: "Yes."
Employee: "That's crazier!"

An older woman at a restaurant: "I know you. You’re a skateboarder."
TH: "I am!"
Woman: "I saw you in an Uber Eats commercial. It was cool!"
TH: "Thanks."
Woman: "I love that you're not 15 anymore but still doing it."
TH: "I haven't grown out of it yet."
Woman: "Please don't."

Tony Hawk is at physical therapy answering questions about his fingers:
Therapist: "Have you ever had serious injuries prior to this?"
TH (deadpan, assuming she's joking): "Yes."
Therapist: "How many times?"
TH (realizing she is not joking): "Many times."
Therapist: "In the last ten years?"
TH: "In the last 40 years."

Tony Hawk has just finished surfing and is standing on the sand, drying off.
A very small child is nearby:
Child: "Mommy: effant!"
TH turns to see him, and his mom is looking at TH.
Mom: "Can he take a picture with you? He loves The Masked Singer."

Tony Hawk is at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) security, stepping out of the body scan.
TSA: "I need to check your pocket."
TH: "OK, but it's empty."
TSA: "Now I need you to turn two and a half times."
TH (confused): "Wait, what?"
TSA (grins slyly)
TH: "Oh, I get it. Let me warm up first."

Tony Hawk is at a restaurant.
Cashier #1: "Can I help you?"
TH: "How long would it take to get a turkey burger to go?"
Cashier #1: "About 5 minutes."
Cashier #2: "Are you Tony Hawk?"
TH: "Yes."
Cashier #1: "Do you want a turkey burger then?"
TH: "Yes, please. And an iced tea."
Cashier #1: "Can I get a name?"

Guy in a crowded elevator (not the one Hawk got stuck in): "Have we worked together?"
TH: "I don't think so."
[awkward silence]
Guy (loudly): "Skateboarder!"
TH: "Yes, I am one."
Guy: "We are honored to be in your presence."
TH: "That's excessive, but thanks."
[awkward glances until doors open]

In a hotel lobby about to leave for The California Museum Hall Of Fame induction.
Woman: "I don't know who you are, but my friend recognized you, and I want to get a picture for my son."
TH: "Okay."
Woman: "He's a big fan. We watched your videos when he was young."
TH: "Those are conflicting statements."

Tony Hawk is in front of the Wonderfront Fest VIP gate, waiting for his kids to arrive, so he can give them their wristbands.
Man: "Is this the stage where Suicidal Tendencies are playing, and Tony Hawk is skating?"
TH: "Yep" (with knee pads on)
Man: "Where is the main entrance?"
TH: "Around the corner."

Tony Hawk arrives at a skatepark.
Kid: "Are you a good skater?"
TH: "Sometimes."
Kid: "Have you ever been here?"
TH: "No."
Kid: "Do you travel a lot?"
TH: "Yes, perhaps too much."
Kid: "Are you a YouTuber?"
TH: "No, I'm just a skater and a dad."
Kid: "Wanna see me do a jump?"
TH: "Absolutely."

A woman is at a restaurant.
Woman: "Tony?"
TH: "Yes."
Woman: "I came over to say hi because we have you."
TH: "Huh?"
Woman: "At____ (company name)"
TH: "I don't understand."
Woman: "You're on our team!"
TH: "That's not me."
Woman: "But you're on our website."
TH: "You mean my son Riley."
Woman: "Yeah, that's it."
TH: "But you let him go years ago."
Woman: "We did?"

A woman is at a concert.
Woman: "Are you Tony Hawk?"
TH: "I am today." (Spicoli reference)
Woman: "I took a picture with you years ago."
TH: "Where?"
Woman: "In Vegas. It was the first time my son thought I met someone cool."
TH: "Wow! Thanks."
Woman: "He took the print, cut me out of it, and put it on his wall."

At a skatepark, an older dude outside the fence sees Tony Hawk and yells:
Man: "Do a kickflip!"
TH does one.
He then turns to his friend and says: "Holy s**t, he actually did it!"

Tony Hawk at will call: "I have two tickets for Hawk."
Agent: "Can I see your ID?"
TH: "I forgot it, but I have a credit card."
Other Agent: "He's Tony Hawk."
Agent: "He doesn't have ID."
Man behind TH: "That's him."
Agent: "I can't find your name."
TH: "There is no E on the end."
Agent: "Here you go."

Tony Hawk approaches the ticket counter. The agent looks up and exclaims: "I know you. You're a famous... person. Or a sports guy. Skateboarder! And your name is... [glances at TH's ticket] Anthony Hawkins!"
TH: "Close enough."
Agent: "My son would love a picture with you."
TH: "Is he here?"
Agent: "No."

Tony Hawk steps out of a taxi in Paris, trying to pay and organize the kids and the bags.
Man on the sidewalk: "Hey! You are a famous sports guy. I saw a video with you and Casey Neistat!": "Hey! You are a famous sports guy. I saw a video with you and Casey Neistat!"
TH: "Yeah, he's cool."
Man: "Can I get a selfie and your name?"
TH: "Yes, it's Tony."
Man: "What's your Instagram?"

Kid at the skatepark: "Are you Tony Hawk?"
TH: "I am."
Kid: "No, you're not."
TH: "OK, I'm not."
Kid: "But are you, for real?"
TH: "I am. For real."
Kid: "I thought you'd look younger."
TH: "Me too."

Tony Hawk is on his way to meet a friend for dinner. The parking lot is full, but he finds a spot a few blocks away and decides to skate to the restaurant.
Man: "Are you Tony Hawk?"
TH: "Yes."
Man: "I can do a kickflip."
TH: "Cool."
Man: "I wish you had your camera crew so I could show you."
TH: "I'm off the clock."

In Athens, Greece, at a Cure concert, Tony Hawk walks up to the bar to order drinks.
Man next to TH: "You got to get in the back of that long line to buy drink tokens."
TH: "OK, thanks."
Man: "Hey, you're American!"
TH: "I am."
Man: "I know you, but I don't know you."
TH: "It happens."
Man: "Is your name Kelly?"

Woman on a plane: "Are you Tony Hawk?"
TH: "Yes."
Woman: "My son knows all about you."
TH: "I'm honored."
Woman: "Do you sign autographs, or is that too 1980s?"
TH: "It is a tradition that endures."
Woman: "Please, sign this."
TH: "OK."
Woman: "I'm not sure what he'll do with it."
TH: "I can't imagine."

Tony Hawk enters a convenience store on his way to skate. He approaches the counter with water and Advil.
Clerk: "You look like someone..."
TH: "Oh yeah?"
Clerk: "What's your name?"
TH: "Tony."
Clerk: "Last name?"
TH: "Hawk."
Clerk: "You are him?"
TH: "Yes."
Clerk: "No charge, but you owe me a selfie!"

Tony Hawk is at Disneyland with his kids, waiting in line for churros.
Girl in front of TH: "You look like Tony Hawks."
TH: "Really?"
Girl: "Yes!"
TH: "Is that good?"
Girl, nonplussed: "I guess so."

In New York, a man cutting meat at a deli looks up with confusion.
Man: "You freaked me out! I thought you were that guy from the movie 'Ghost.'"
TH: "Patrick Swayze?"
Man: "No, the friend that betrays him."

Tony Hawk pulls up to the drive-through window. A girl starts to read back his order and stops herself.
Girl: "You're Tony Hawk?"
TH: "Yes."
Girl: "Can I tell everyone?"
TH: "I suppose."
Girl: "Yo! We got Tony Hawk at the window!"
A voice from the kitchen: "Who?"

Tony Hawk is at a rental car agency, and he can't find his name on the monitor to find his car. He goes inside and waits in line. Finally, he gets to the front.
Agent: "You really are Tony Hawk!"
TH: "Hmm, yes. I was looking for my name outside on the list."
Agent: "I deleted it because I thought it was fake."

A man approaches Tony Hawk while standing in line at a coffee shop in Cancún.
Man: "My friend says you are a famous person. Is that true?"
TH: "That depends on your definition of fame."
Man: "Will you show up on Google if I search your name?"
TH: "Yes."
Man typing into the phone: "You are Tony Stark?"

Tony Hawk is sitting at the gate. A man recognizes him, walks over, and says hello.
Man: "You're Tony Hawk?"
TH: "Yes."
Man: "I haven't seen any recent pictures of you. You've gotten older."
TH: "It happens."

Young kid at a skatepark: "Are you a professional?"
TH: "Yes."
Kid: "But you're a grown-up!"
TH: "I know. It's weird."
Kid: "I have a skateboard."
TH: "I hope you never outgrow it."

A man asks for a picture with Tony Hawk, and a woman decides to interact.
Woman: "I don't know who you are."
TH: "I don't expect you to."
Woman: "What do you do?"
TH: "I'm a pro skateboarder."
Woman: "Are you from Huntington Beach?"
TH: "No, I'm from San Diego."
Woman: "So you're not that guy with red hair who won the Olympics?"

Tony Hawk is sitting near his gate, waiting to board. A man sits next to him and shows him his phone with pictures of Hawk.
Man: "Is this you?"
TH: "Yes, but some are less than flattering."
Man: "I'm gonna tell my son."
TH: "That you did a Google search?"

A man at the airport recognizes Tony Hawk from afar.
Man: "Hey, you look like Tony Hawk!"
TH turns to see who it is.
Man: "Hahaha! I read your Tweets!"

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent is staring intently at Tony Hawk.
TSA Agent: "I'm trying to figure out who you look like before checking your ID."
TH: "OK."
TSA Agent: "That cyclist, Armstrong!"
Nearby TSA Agent: "That ain't Lance Armstrong."
TH: "He's right."
TSA Agent: "Oh, you look like that skateboarder."
The agent checks Hawk's ID.
TSA Agent: "Same last name too! Crazy!"
TH: "Crazy."

Tony Hawk is at a grocery store.
Man: "Do you ever get mistaken for Tony Hawk... Or are you Tony Hawk?
TH: "Both!"

A flight attendant is checking overhead bins and sees four skateboards.
Attendant: "Is Tony Hawk on this flight or something?"
The flight attendant looks down and sees Hawk.
Attendant: "I guess he is."

Tony Hawk's legal name is Anthony Frank Hawk. A TSA agent checks the skateboarder's ID, looks at him, looks at ID, looks back at Hawk quizzically, and loudly says:
TSA Agent: "Tony Hawk's my favorite skater."
TH: "I'll tell him."

A man on an escalator recognizes Tony Hawk.
Man: "Hey, are you Tony Hawk?"
TH: "Yes."
Man: "Do you still skate?"
TH: "Yes, quite often."
Man: "But you're not that recognizable!"
TH: "I'm not sure what that means, but you recognized me, so here we are."
The man gives Hawk a blank stare, and the escalator ends.

A woman on a plane is retrieving her luggage in the overhead.
Woman: "Who's skateboard is this? It's blocking my bag."
TH: "That's mine - you can pass it here."
Woman: "It's yours? Do you ride it?"
TH: "Yes."
Woman: "Are you any good at it?"
TH: "Sometimes."
The woman cackles maniacally and exits the plane.

Tony Hawk is at his gate waiting for a flight. A man armed with 8x10s and a pen approaches and asks him to sign them.
TH: "How did you get past security?"
Man: "I bought a $150 ticket."
TH: "That you won't use?"
Man: "Right."
TH: "So, by selling these, you'll make at least that?"
Man: "I hope so, or my wife will be pissed."

Tony Hawk is at Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD).
Man: "Hey, are you Tony Hawk?"
TH: "Yes."
Man: "Can I get a picture with you?"
TH: "Yes."
Man: "Can we take it with your phone, and you send it to me?"
TH: "Uh..."

Tony Hawk is at a restaurant.
Man: "Are you famous?"
TH: "I think that depends on who you ask."
Man: "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Tom Brady?"
TH: "Never."

A TSA agent is checking Tony Hawk's ID.
TSA Agent: "Hawk - like that skateboarder Tony Hawk!"
TH: "Exactly."
TSA Agent: "Cool! I wonder what he's up to these days..."
TH: "This."

Tony Hawk is at the airport.
Woman: "My husband told me you're an awesome something. Are you?" TH: "Yes, in fact, it's the title on my business card."

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