Sports & Gaming

Underdog to Icon

Tony Hawk

Lesson time 10:36 min

Get an intimate look at Tony’s journey from a scrawny, bullied kid to a skateboarding icon with a huge fan base.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Underdog to Icon


TONY HAWK: My mom, she always said I was determined. But other people would say I was a nightmare as a kid. And when I found skateboarding, I found a way to focus that determination, and that was a huge bonus to my parents, because they were like, finally, he's not taking his energy out on us. I was relentless in trying to get what I wanted as a kid, and that shifted to skateboarding and wanting to learn tricks and that was it. It wasn't until I went to the skate park for the first time that I was truly hooked, and I felt compelled to try to learn what I saw, because I saw people literally flying out of swimming pools. And I was like, I want to fly. I want to do that. Whatever it takes. I'm doing that. The skate park was electric. It was just this hub of excitement and creativity. And you knew that if you went, you would find a crew or you'd find a session that you really wanted to participate in. When my dad would drive me to the skate park, I would put my pads on in the car so that when we arrived, I would just bust out of the door ready to skate. That's how excited I was to go there. My introduction to skating transition was skating pools, because that was the only type of transition at the time. There weren't half pipes. And street skating was not a thing. It was more just for transportation. And so when I actually did a little aerial, I felt very accomplished. Rock and rolls was sort of the next level, because that's when you would start hitting the coping, and you're hitting it with your board, and it's super scary, because suddenly you're at the top of the pool. One time I was at the park, I did not lift up my wheels enough and hung them up on the coping and ended up knocked out with my teeth gone unconscious on the bottom of the pool. And that was my first big injury. I feel like when I first got hurt and I had this concussion, knocked my teeth out, I was 10 years old. That was a turning point in my life, because I literally woke up as the ambulance arrived, and I was in a totally different place. And my first thought was, what happened? They found you up on the pool. And I thought, oh, I hung up on a rock and roll. I gotta figure out how to lift my board up higher and maneuver my feet better. That was my first thought. Not like, oh my god, what have I done? I'm never skating again. Where are my teeth? It was more like I knew I was getting back out there. And I feel like that was a defining moment of my career. It was like, I didn't mind getting hurt for the sake of progression. That was when I knew that I was going to keep skating for a long time. Skateboarding was my creative outlet. It was my way of-- that was my voice. When I really drove into skating, I found a way to create new things. I found a community of people that came from all different walks of life, but we shared this common interest, and that held us so strongly that I didn't even see differences. And I think that that was awesome. I mean, we were l...

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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