Tony Hawk was feeling nostalgic when he looked back at some of his old home movies and grabbed footage from his early competition days. The legendary skateboard star took to social media this weekend and shared video of a young teenage Tony Hawk shredding it up back in the 80s and explaining that dominating as many competitions as possible was the only way to get noticed back in the day, unlike the social media boom that now gives stars the ability for a lot more exposure.
52-year-old Tony Hawk showed how he was already a skateboarding prodigy when he shared the grainy video (below), found by photog Sean Mortimer, of Hawk ripping it up at the now-demolished Del Mark Skate Ranch from over 30 years ago.
“The only way to get recognition as a skater in the early 80’s was to compete,” Tony Hawk explained in the caption of his video.
He continued, “There was no YouTube or social media (or even skate videos for that matter). Magazines and sponsors literally judged you by your competition rankings, and “overall” rankings were paramount to getting a long-term sponsor or turning pro.”
Obviously a master of his craft and the strategy of building a career, Tony Hawk explained that in the early days, “The only way to keep your overall rankings up was to enter every event: pool (vert), freestyle (flat), slalom (wiggly racing), banked slalom (reservoir racing) and “banked freestyle” which was a hybrid of tricks on banks mixed with freestyle elements.I never made the finals in any event besides pool, but it didn’t stop me from shamelessly trying.”
As far as the critique of his young skating skills, Hawk wrote, “At the end of this clip from 1982 you’ll see the crowning jewel of my freestyle repertoire: a board-on-board froggy stand to 360 shove-it dismount… buried in the annals of questionable stunts and never done again.”
It’s the second time in less than a week that Tony Hawk posted some of his old competition runs and added some commentary. Fast-forwarding from the earlier video, Hawk shared a video of himself a few years older, during a 1991 victory he claimed while competing in Germany. Looking back years later, he has some thoughts on what he would have changed.
“A winning “street” run from 1991 Münster Monster Mastership. My takeaway 30 years later: pumping down bank/wedge ramps is laborious and ineffective. Manual to blunt was kinda cool though.”