Sports & Gaming

Playback: The 900

Tony Hawk

Lesson time 6:02 min

Tony tells the story of the night he landed the 900 at the X Games in 1999.

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Topics include: Playback: The 900


TONY HAWK: 900 is a 2 and 1/2 spin in the air on a vert ramp going up forward, spinning round 2 and 1/2 times, coming back down the same wall. It was so much more dangerous and different than a 720. And because the 900 forces you to be blind to your landing spot twice, it's far more frightening and far more inconsistent to figure out. I tried my first 900 in 1989. By the time I went around from my second spin, I didn't know where I was. I opened up, and I fell backwards down the ramp. Like, literally upside down, falling down. And it was frightening. I didn't really want to try it again. I made a few attempts through the years after that. They all kind of ended up the same way. And when I finally actually put one down on the wall, my weight was too far forward, and I fell into the flat bottom and broke my rib. And that set me back quite a bit, because I just thought, maybe it's not possible. I don't know. I thought I had every element to it. I thought had I had what it took to do it. And I just ended up crashing into the flat bottom with all of my weight and all my force. And so fast forward to 1999. The X Games decided that in their 1999 event in San Francisco that they would add a best trick event to their programming. I had a plan going into it that I was going to do a varial 720, which is a 720 spin with an extra 180 on my board. I made the trick probably within 10 minutes. I made it pretty clean. And it was like, wow. That was my best trick. That was it. And at the time, Dave Duncan, who was the announcer, he's the one who said, well, why don't we see a 900? And for me I just thought, well, it's just going to be me trying it for the crowd. I'm not going to make it. And OK, sure. I'll try it for the crowd. Why not? There's 10 minutes left. I don't have any other tricks in mind. So I tried to couple 900s, and there was something that was different that night in that I kept getting the right amount of speed to spin. Every other time I tried it, I would either not get enough speed or not get enough spin. And I had a consistent speed and a consistent spin that night. And suddenly, after about the third or fourth try, I started spotting a landing. And that had never happened in previous times. I would get 1 out of 10. And this one was like, every single time I was like, wow. There's the landing right there. So then I just started trying to make it, because I was like, you know, if I'm ever going to get hurt doing it again, I guess it's here in this venue with all these people watching. And so I started trying to make it. And within one of the first tries of making it, I fell forward again. And almost did the exact same thing as when I broke my rib, but managed to get out of it. And that's when something clicked and I thought to myself, why don't you try shifting your weight more towards your back foot as you're spinning? And so I did that the next time. And instead of falling forward, I fell backwards. And that was ...

About the Instructor

A pro at 14 and the first to land a 900 at the X Games, Tony Hawk is one of the most influential skateboarders of all time. Now he’s helping you take your skateboarding to the next level. Joined by pros Lizzie Armanto and Riley Hawk, Tony teaches you beginner, intermediate, and advanced tricks in street, park, and vert. Learn how to push yourself, get up when you fall, and find your own style. Start reaching new heights.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Tony Hawk

Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk teaches you how to take your skateboarding to the next level, whether you’re a beginner or a pro.

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