Seventeen years after he became the first skater to perform the trick, extreme sports legend and video game star Tony Hawk lands a 900 at the age of 48.
Countless gamers that grew up in the 1990s were given their first exposure to skateboarding through the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series of video games. At its peak, the franchise helped cement the counter-cultural aesthetic of the sport in popular culture, as well as establishing Hawk as a figurehead.
The first Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater game came out in 1999 — a hugely important year for the skateboarder professionally. At the 1999 X-Games, Hawk broke new ground for the sport by becoming the first person to successfully complete a 900-degree rotation and land the trick.
Of course, this accomplishment was no easy feat. Hawk only landed the 900 on his twelfth attempt, following a string of painful falls and near misses. His successful run came outside of regulation time, but those in attendance were so impressed that his performance of the trick was upheld.
The groundbreaking trick typifies the way that skateboarders pushed the envelope over the 1990s and 2000s. This was reflected in the larger-than-life antics real-life pros engaged in as part of the increasingly far-fetched Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series.
Now, seventeen years after the 1999 X-Games, Hawk has successfully accomplished the trick once again. Footage released on his Ride YouTube channel demonstrates that it was no easier than the first time that he landed the 900, but the sense of achievement at the end of the clip suggests that the bumps and bruises will be worthwhile.
However, this might be the last time that we see Hawk perform the trick that’s become so closely linked with his remarkable career. The skateboarder notes that his son Spencer was present for his first 900, and goes on to state that “he was at my last.”
If Hawk is indeed writing off any future 900s, it might be a sign that he’ll be slowing down his skateboarding and spending more time with other projects. Given his noted love of video games, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see him take an active role in another adaptation of the sport.
If that is indeed the case, here’s hoping that the result is a bit more impressive than last year’s insipid Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. Despite being marketed as a return to the franchise’s roots, fans of the earlier games in the series were massively disappointed by Robomodo’s attempt to recapture the magic of the first few instalments.