Flight of the Hawk - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Flight of the Hawk

Flight of the Hawk

By Eugene S. Robinson



Because when the human body does what it’s never done before we take one giant step forward.

By Eugene S. Robinson

How cool are skateboards?

In TV commercials, movies, live shows like the Warped Tour, the streets and even their own X Games , skateboards and the people who ride them have become cultural ambassadors for the freewheeling and the daring.

Near the top of this very large edifice is Tony Hawk. The 45-year-old proto-skateboarder retired from active competition in 1999, but still cuts a very large figure in a sport that’s made him a $120 millionaire. From videogames – “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” is one of the biggest selling games of all time – to products and personal appearances, Hawk is indisputably “the man” when it comes to vertical skateboarding, business smarts (30 employees at last check) and all around athletic genius.

OZY traces it back to a moment of grand glory on July 27, 1999. You see, that was the day that Hawk pulled off a 900, one of skateboarding’s most technically demanding moves.

Riding a half-pipe ramp that rose up to about 6 meters, or roughly 20 feet, the 6’3” Hawk managed to spin completely around mid-air two-and-a-half times. He did if after his 10th try when the average human would have quit after the first.

Wait, what are we talking about? Here it is again in all of its death-defying greatness.

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