What We Learned From Tony Hawk About Authenticity

…try, try—and try—again.

Not long after his fateful meeting with the fence, Tony’s neighborhood friends started skating, too. Every so often, someone would build a ramp in their driveway, and the kids would skate on it for hours until it was torn down (or the neighbors got angry). “It felt more like a fad, like pogs or yo-yos or something,” he says.

Though there were a few skate parks in the area, Tony wasn’t old enough to go to the one everyone went to, but he did see people flying out of swimming pools. “That was my moment. That was my epiphany. I was like, “I want to do that. Whatever it takes to get there, I want to do that. I want to fly out of these pools because that looks like they’re defying gravity—and looks like the most fun.”

Always plan for the future.

Things in the skating world started to ramp up and get bigger to the point where Tony was making serious money when he about 17, so his dad convinced him to invest in a house and put money away.

“We were living this dream, but that dream had never existed before, so we were creating the dream,” Tony says.

Don’t forget to be yourself.

As endorsement deals started to pour in, Tony realized he wasn’t being authentic to himself.

“I vowed that if I ever got to do anything in the future, I would keep that control, and keep that authenticity, because it just really was not representative of who I was as a skater,” he says.


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