Hes Frickin Tony Hawk!

Skatings poster boy comes in for a soft landing

There are fewer companies again, which gives the main companies more of an identity instead of a sea of little ones. It's finally getting back to where it was after 10 years.

Are you surprised by your longevity?

Not really. When I started Birdhouse, I thought that was going to be the end. I didn't plan on competing after that. But I kept skating. I couldn't stop. I kept learning stuff. So I figured I might as well keep competing if I'm still improving.

How much does your growing family contribute to your decision to retire?

I do actually balance my schedule and turn things down to be with my family. And I'm able to take them with me a lot. I've taken [his 6-year-old son] Riley to Japan, Australia and other places. If I have the opportunity to travel and expose him to other cultures, I take advantage of that. But I get heat from the school district. He's so good, though, and he loves to see everything.

Does he understand who his dad is?

Yes, the kids at his school know—especially the older kids. But we try to keep it low-key.

You must be pretty happy that he picked up a skateboard.

Yeah, he loves it. He's pretty good. He's surfing now, too.

How does your wife deal with your hectic career?

It depends on what day you ask her. We can always find normalcy in our life, just on a different scale. When we look at the things we're doing as a family, it's pretty ridiculous compared with what other families are doing. But at the same time, that's what we do, so it's normal to us. Like spending this weekend at Club Med: they paid for my whole family to go to Club Med so I could talk to them about possibly teaching people how to skate while they're on vacation. How else would I be able to take all-expenses-paid trips with my family to Germany and France? I mean, I won't be doing this forever, so we might as well be taking advantage of it now. It's getting harder because we have a newborn. My wife doesn't want to travel overseas with him. Friday when I was leaving for Club Med, I got a call about going to Rio, Brazil, over Thanksgiving. But we can't take the baby, which means my wife can't go, and it's the holidays. It's hard to prioritize. I've only been to Brazil once, and I had food poisoning the whole time. It was probably the worst trip of my life. Everyone keeps telling me they have the best skate parks. I finally get an offer to go again. Plus, Bob Burnquist might be going.

Speaking of Bob Burnquist, who do you see stepping in and filling your shoes at the vert competitions?

The guys that will always be consistent are guys like Andy [MacDonald] and Bucky [Lasek]. And Colin [MacKay] has been really coming on strong. He has all the stuff wired. Even though he's not doing a run that's jam-packed with a lot, the stuff he does pull off is so technical. Judges mark down for setting up, but he's great. And Bob is great when he's on.

If you could start your career over, would you rather start now when skating is more accepted and the tricks are much more advanced?

No, I'm glad to have been a part of it when the sport was evolving. I think what helped me progress was that I grew up at a time when there weren't so many people doing it. I had to search out people to skate with and pave my own way. Being so determined helped me.

High school was a joke for me. The only girls I ever dated were the girls that hung out at the skate park. I always liked that everyone that was into skateboarding was real creative, funny and smart.

What do you think of being voted Least Favorite Skater inBig Brother magazine for the second year in a row? Is it becoming popular to dislike Tony Hawk?

I think it's hilarious. The bottom line is that whatever I choose to do is skate-oriented. In that respect, I don't support things that aren't something I would stand behind. Like Club Med, that's pretty ambiguous, but it's a nice place. I'm not going to support something like Motel 6—not that there's anything wrong with Motel 6—but I'm not going to be its spokesperson. I like what Club Med is offering.

So, I'm willing to take the heat for stuff like that. I would never want to be out there living on what I had accomplished; I want to always keep pushing it and improving. If I felt like I was just going through the motions so that people knew my name, then I wouldn't feel good about it. Last year, I was voted No. 2 favorite skater and the No. 1 least favorite skater.

And in this year's issue, Birdhouse's video The End was voted favorite skate video.

Yeah, I think that as far as Big Brotherreaders go, I'm the one they're supposed to hate. They don't even know why; they just know that they have to target me because I'm on the X Games. But I love what they do. It's funny because when I hooked up with MTV's Tom Greene last week to film another show, I was telling him about some of the antics in Big Brother's video Boob, like when Johnny Knoxville orders eggs and sausage and puts poop on the plate and returns it to the waitress. She freaks out. There's another shot of him standing in the street, and he purposely gets hit by a car over and over. He's crazy. Tom thought it was funny and asked about getting those guys to write for his show.

They're good satirists. They're entertaining. And I'm sure it helps to have Larry Flynt behind them.
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