Tony Hawk and Son Riley on the Inertia within the Skateboarding Industry
The world knows Tony Hawk as a legendary skateboarder.
He won every skateboarding contest he entered, including gold medals at the 1995 and 1997 X Games during his decades-long professional career.
From Birdman, Pro Skater to entrepreneur and gamer, the world has given him many names for his achievements and contributions.
But his favorite role is being a father to his four kids.
He has three sons, Riley, Spencer, Keegan, and only one daughter, Kadence.
His oldest son, Riley Hawk, followed in his footsteps and pursued professional skateboarding.
As the child of the legendary skateboarder, Riley was put on a board at the age of 3, and in 2013 during his 21st birthday, he finally went pro.
That same year, he was named the Best Am by The Skateboard Mag.
During a GQ interview in 2017, Hawk and his son talked about their shared passion.
Tony Hawk and His Son Talk about the Skateboard Culture
Hawk and his son acknowledged that skateboarding had grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry and was officially recognized as an Olympics sport.
But despite the growth, independently owned skate shops and companies were closing down in alarming numbers.
Tony Hawk and his son, Riley Hawk. (Source: Tony Hawk/Instagram)
The older Hawk shared that many people skated as a hobby and were not investing in skateboards or gears.
He explained that being a pro skater was not what it used to be; therefore, skate companies were having difficulty earning profits.
“That has really hurt the industry. And, you know, the conglomerates have come in and bought up a lot of brands, and then those brands get recycled into other things. So it’s all taken a toll,” explained Tony.
Riley agreed, saying that this was a stressful situation.
The skateboarder noted that people still treated skateboarding as a parking lot pastime and were investing only in longboards and penny boards.
He opined that the new skaters were not pushing the boundaries and pursuing it as a career which was affecting many companies.
Tony iterated that he was on the verge of finishing his Birdhouse video, hoping that it would introduce the winds of change for the skating industry.
Tony Hawk and Riley Hawk on Nepotism
Tony and Riley also shared their thoughts on claims of nepotism and people claiming his son had it easy because of him.
But the legendary skateboarder said it was the opposite for Riley, saying it would have been way easier for him not to pursue skateboarding.
Fortunately, Riley changed people’s views about nepotism with his dedication and passion.
People now acknowledge him as a skateboarder first, especially after seeing what his father called a “super creative and out-of-the-box way of skating.”
“I remember the first time he asked for advice on a trick that he was learning, and it was a trick I couldn’t do. So I was like, ‘I’m flattered you asked me this, but you’re on your own,’” shared Tony.
The father shared that now that his oldest kid had his fans and followers, skaters would come up and gush about him.
He even had people asking him how they could get Riley’s band Petyr to play at their events.