Tony Hawk is a legendary name in skateboarding. He has popularized vertical skateboarding and is known for being the first skateboarder who can land a 900 trick. Also known as “Birdman,” Tony Hawk is also an entrepreneur with his very own skateboarding company called Birdhouse. With his accomplishments and his skateboarding talent, you may have probably asked “What skateboard does Tony Hawk ride?”
Tony Hawk has used many skateboards in his time but the most popular has to be a Powell Peralta board. Tony Hawk used this board in competitions way back in the mid-1980s. The skateboard has a wood laminate deck with Tony Hawk’s Birdhouse company logo. This logo was created by Vernon Cortlandt Johnson.
This particular skateboard had a lapper band on the rear truck. This made the board perfect for transitioning to the half pipe rail faster and a lot smoother. The skateboard is now on display at the National Museum of American History.
More Information About Tony Hawk’s Popular Skateboard
The Powell Peralta skateboard that Tony Hawk used in the 1980s has been carefully preserved at the National Museum of American History. The wheels on the board are not the original wheels. It is on display with modern SPF formula Bones. These wheels were already on the skateboard way back when Tony Hawk donated it during the 2011 Quicksilver All ‘80s Vert Challenge.
The deck designer Vernon Courtlandt Johnson started creating iconic designs for Powell Peralta in 1978. His images were mostly skulls in black and white. Those who studied Johnson’s designs said that these reflected skateboarding’s philosophy as individualistic. Courtlandt drew symbols from life and death to portray the spirit of the skating community.
Courtlandt has also created many designs for other popular skateboarders. Tony Hawk had his Birdhouse logo while Mike McGill has a snake and skull image. Courtlandt’s amazing images from his 1980 designs are now sought by many collectors and are called works of art.
Short Tony Hawk History
Tony Hawk was born in 1968 in San Diego, California, and was raised in San Diego. He was a hyperactive child and was described by his mother as very hard on himself and wanting to do many things. He once struck out in baseball and he was so frustrated that he hid from his parents. His father coaxed him out of hiding so he eventually went home.
Young Tony was psychologically evaluated and was found to be gifted with an IQ of 144. His parents were told to place Tony in an advanced class. Tony attended a new school and was soon hooked on skateboarding. His parents supported his skateboarding activities because they knew that this was his way to remove excess energy.
Tony became a professional skateboarder when he was 14 years old. He was so great at the sport that he was officially part of the National Skateboard Association and became World Champion for 12 consecutive years. Tony had Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero as his major influences.
Tony’s Skateboarding Career
Tony became a very successful skateboarder and was able to purchase his first house when he was just in high school. Tony’s skills were unrivaled and it was evident when he was the first skater to land a trick called “900.”
A 900 trick is a 2 and a ½ revolution aerial spin that’s performed while on a skateboard ramp. While the skateboarder is airborne, he must make a two-and-a-half turn from his longitudinal axis. This will make him face downwards as he comes down. This 900 trick is physically and mentally demanding. Tony Hawk is the only skateboarder who can perform this trick.
After Tony completed the 900, he said that this was the best day of his life. Right after landing this extremely difficult trick, he decided that he will retire from professional skateboarding. However, he still performed in X-Games annual events until it was 2003.
In 2003, Tony retired from professional skateboarding for good. After retiring, Tony showed that he still had what it takes to perform the 900. In 2011, he posted on Twitter that he was able to hit a 900 despite being 43. At 48, he still pushed for his final 900.
Tony Hawk Sponsorships
Even after retiring from professional skateboarding, Tony Hawk continues to get sponsorships from brands like Vans, Independent, Nixon, and Bones. He is also sponsored by his company Birdhouse.
Tony Hawk has professional skateboarding shoes called the Proto. Quicksilver invited Tony to assemble a group composed of vertical skateboarders to skate. He joined skateboarders to perform a vertical demonstration in India.
In 2021, Tony Hawk briefly went out of retirement to compete at the Vert Best Trick event. He finished the event in 4th place out of nine players.
Tony Hawk’s Video Games Series
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is a video game series based on Tony’s skateboarding. This game became available to the public in 1999 and since then has around 18 game titles, ten main series, four repackages, and four spin-offs. In the game, Tony is a customizable character together with real-life skateboarders.
Tony Hawk had other ventures focused on skateboarding, extreme sports, and adventure. He has also starred in films and television shows himself. He has an amusement park ride named after himself in the Six Flags pars in 2007. The ride was designed to experience a giant skate park.
Background on Tony Hawk’s Skateboard Preferences
Tony Hawk has become a household name but before his fame, he was another skateboarder who was learning and practicing various skateboarding stunts. Tony preferred a skateboard size 9.0″ which is the same size as his skateboarding shoes.
Back then, Tony did not care about the skateboard brand or graphics. He only wanted a skateboard that will allow him to perfectly land tricks and stunts. Tony Hawk was able to launch his career without using a fancy skateboard and gear.
Eventually, Tony Hawk’s skateboard brand expanded to a multi-million dollar skateboard company. Aside from being a top skateboarder, he also became a very successful businessman. Birdhouse skateboards are known as the best there are and are designed with the user in mind.
So what is Tony Hawk’s board size?
If you have watched closely how Tony Hawk performed those tricks, you’ll surely wonder how he could have done these with a small board. Tony Hawk can accomplish all kinds of difficult tricks and stunts using a regular skateboard.
In an interview with Tony Hawk for Popular Mechanics, he mentioned that he would rather use a shorter skateboard compared to a larger one for tricks. He prefers an 8.5 in x 31.5 in deck which is smaller than those used by professional riders. Tony said that a smaller board allows him to perform flips and stunts with ease.
Over many years of his career, Tony has used a variety of skateboards from mini cruisers to longboards. But he prefers to ride a mid-sized skateboard deck which is anywhere from 29 to 32 inches. He explained that at this length, he is able to carve and turn successfully.
Tony Hawk Skateboard vs Other Skaters
Tony Hawk uses a smaller skateboard compared to other professional skateboarders. His skateboard is usually 8.5 to 9 inches wide and about 31 to 32 inches long. Professionals refer to this size of skateboard deck as mini skateboards or street decks.
If you wish to ride like Tony Hawk, you need to find a similar-sized skateboard. From a local skate shop, look for a smaller size deck. Tony claims that a smaller deck helps him to be quicker and more efficient. A larger skateboard won’t be able to cut through when performing intricate tricks and stunts.
When it comes to skateboard brands, Tony Hawk uses his own brand Birdhouse for many years now. Birdhouse is his go-to brand because he owns the company and he knows he can bet his life and his career on his brand.
Popular Birdhouse Skateboard Brands
The following are Tony Hawk complete skateboards available from Birdhouse. Find out which one fits your style.
Tony Hawk Complete Skateboard Skull 2 Chrome 7.75″
The Skull 2 is a complete skateboard with a 7.75” deck made from 7-ply stained Canadian Maple. This deck has a Birdhouse brand 5.0 laser logo which will make you the envy of many. The trucks are powder coated to help prevent corrosion.
This complete skateboard has Birdhouse brand 52mm 100A wheels for a high-performance experience. The wheels are fitted with ABEC 7 bearings to ensure better, precise, and longer-lasting performance.
This skateboard has a Birdhouse branded die-cut tape and most of all, this skateboard will come completely assembled and ready to use as soon as you take it home.
Tony Hawk Complete Skateboard Falcon 3 7.75”
The Tony Hawk Falcon 3 is the best skateboard for beginners. It has top-quality components built around a 7.75 inches 7-ply Hardock Maple skateboard deck. The 5.0 raw finish trucks are Birdhouse branded while the wheels are 52 mm at 95 A to give you a forgiving smooth ride.
This skateboard will come assembled and ready to ride. It’s a stunner too with a cool dragon skull logo that will make you the star of the skate park.
Tony Hawk Falcon 1 Complete 8.125”
Another Tony Hawk complete skateboard from Birdhouse is the Falcon 1. This board measures 8.125″ made from tough 7-ply Canadian Maple. This deck can withstand countless pressures whether you’re on the street or at the skate park.
This complete skateboard has a Birdhouse-branded 5.25 powder-coated truck with a laser logo. When it comes to wheels, this complete board is fitted with Birdhouse branded 52mm 100A wheels. These top-quality wheels are for high-performance rides and tricks.
The deck comes with a die-cut grip tape and at the bottom is a stunning dragon skull design. This skateboard is for beginners and also experts and it comes ready to roll.
Tony Hawk Falcon 2 Red Complete 8.0”
The Tony Hawk Falcon 2 Red is another masterpiece from Birdhouse. It is a skateboard deck at 8.0″ made from 7-ply Canadian Maple giving it the strength to out-perform your opponents on the skate park and the streets.
This is a complete skateboard with a Birdhouse-branded logo. It is another dragon skull classic design that you will surely love to show off at the skate park. It also comes with Birdhouse-branded 100A wheels at 52mm giving you the best performance for any ride.
On top of the deck is a Birdhouse-branded die-cut tape. You will love that this is a completely-assembled skateboard. You are ready to ride as soon as you take it out of the box.
Tony Hawk Oversized Skull Mini Complete Skateboard 7.25”
Another top-seller from Birdhouse is the Tony Hawk oversized skull complete skateboard at 7.25″. This skateboard has a 7-ply Hardock Maple Deck making it strong, durable, and long-lasting. It comes with a Birdhouse–branded 4.75″ raw-finish skateboard trucks.
For the wheels, you’ll get a set of 52mm 95A wheels which means you’ll get a softer, more forgiving, and pleasant ride. This skateboard is completely assembled and thus, you can use this as soon as you take it home.
Tony Hawk Ptero Complete 7.5”
The Tony Hawk Ptero Complete is a part of the Birdhouse Fall/Holiday 2017 set. It is a complete skateboard that will help you skate, perform tricks, and ride stunts whether you’re a beginner or professional. This skateboard has a 7.5” deck made from 7-ply stained Canadian Maple with a blue stain.
This skateboard has the Birdhouse brand 5.25 laser logo. Underneath are powder-coated trucks which hold Birdhouse branded 52mm 100A wheels. Your wheels are equipped with Abec 7 bearings to give you a smooth and high-performance ride.
The grip tape is Birdhouse branded while the design is authentic. The Ptero is a complete skateboard that is ready to ride and take you to places.
Tony Hawk Icon Red Complete 8.0”
The Icon Red Complete Tony Hawk skateboard is a complete 8.0″ board. It is made from a very strong 7-ply Canadian Maple plus with a Birdhouse brand 5.25 powder coated trucks.
The 100A wheels are also from Birdhouse at 52mm which gives you a smooth, high-performance ride whether you’re on the street or at the skate park. The grip tape is from Birdhouse, which boasts of high quality and longer use.
This skateboard will be ready to roll once you take it home as it comes completely assembled. The cool bird skeleton deck design will surely make you the most popular kid in the park.
Tony Hawk Birdman Blue Complete 8.0”
The Birdman Blue is a Tony Hawk complete skateboard with an 8.0″ deck made from very strong 7-ply Canadian Maple. Like the others, this Blue board comes with Birdhouse branded powder coated trucks and 52mm, 100A Birdhouse wheels. And don’t forget the ABEC 7 bearings on each wheel to give you the fastest and safest spin on the road.
The grip tape is all Birdhouse while the awesome birdman skeleton design at the bottom will make you the coolest kid in town. This Birdhouse complete skateboard is one of the most stunning skateboard decks everywhere.
What Skateboard is Designed for Professionals?
Now that you have an idea of what skateboard brand, size, and design Tony Hawk rides, let us focus on the size of skateboards for professionals. Here are some points to consider.
Pros use only the best quality skateboards and are usually sponsored by different brands. Also, professionals can spare a lot of money to buy the best equipment than novice skaters.
The skateboard size preferred by professionals will depend on their preference. Many pros prefer 8” skateboards however, some may use 8.25” to 8.5” boards.
Many professionals also ride boards with 8.0” to 8.5”. This size seems to be the most common range among professionals all over the world and it’s obvious why. At this size, skateboards are stable and easier to control. Skateboards have enough room for skaters to flip and perform tricks safely and effectively.
Meanwhile, larger skateboards are great for people who have larger or wider feet and also for heavier and taller individuals. Some professionals prefer a larger skateboard because they feel that these are safer and more stable.
Professionals who prefer a smaller board will usually pick one that’s in between 7.5” to 8”, a very narrow margin. Lighter skaters and those with a smaller body frame will have smaller feet so a smaller deck will be the most practical choice.
Why 8.5” Skateboards?
The skateboard size works side by side with the truck size. Most professionals prefer a board with 8.5” skateboards. There are some who prefer a smaller board but most go for 8.5” decks. Also, 8.5” decks are the most popular and the most commonly created skateboard deck as it’s more stable and versatile. The size is also small enough for easy maneuvering and full control especially when you’re in the air.
If you’re a skater and looking for a brand new board, it would be best to check with what professional skaters use. You must also understand that skateboard deck sizes may also be according to your preference or whatever you will find comfort on the road or at the park.
Is there a Skateboard Size for Professionals?
Professional skaters can select from different skateboard sizes and styles. They need to ride the skateboard deck that’s sent to them coming from their sponsors. Doing so is part of their sponsorship agreement. Sometimes skateboard deck sponsors may specialize in a skateboard’s size and style according to their riders.
Should a professional want to test ride a smaller deck then they can ask their sponsor to create a smaller and more efficient skateboard deck for their preference.
if you want to follow the footsteps of top skateboarders like Tony Hawk, you must consider safety aside from selecting the right skateboard. Safety is important whether you’re still practicing or learning tricks and stunts or just hanging around your friends or co-team members.
Tony Hawk wears a certified Sweatsaver Helmet. This is a Triple 8s Signature Model helmet for skateboarding, BMX riding, rollerblading, and other action sports.
The best skateboarding helmet is one with an EPS foam liner. This kind is lightweight but hard so you’ll protect your head in case of a strong impact or force. EPS foam can take the impact of a strong crash which dissipates and protects the head from the strong energy.
The helmet straps must be snug and comfortable. There must be no space between the head and the EPS form liner. The best skateboarding helmet is a bit more expensive than regular helmets so be prepared to spend more than the average price.
Skateboard Elbow Pads and Knee Pads
Tony Hawk wears elbow pads and knee pads in all his performances. A good quality elbow and knee pads are made from high-density foam. This kind of padding provides a cushion to keep the other materials in place to absorb impact. If you’re looking for more protection, you can choose elbow or knee pads with extra padding or hard shells.
Skateboard Wrist Guards
You can count on Tony Hawk to wear wrist pads for events and contests. Wrist protectors must be made of the right materials that can protect the small bones of your wrists and hands. The best materials are neoprene, ballistic nylon, leather, EVA, and ABS plastic for the splints. With the right wrist guard, you can protect your hands and wrists from high impacts.
Tony Hawk wears Lakai sneakers according to Men’s Journal. During his competition days, he wears Vans and has sponsorships with this shoe brand as well. Skateboarders need the right kind of shoe to ensure their safety. The best shoes are grippy and cling to the grip tape well.
Tony Hawk uses Powell Peralta skateboards during his competition days. He also uses Birdhouse skateboards as this is his skateboard brand after all. Meanwhile, skateboarders have different preferences for skateboard size, brand, and style. If you’re looking for the right skateboard, turn to Tony Hawk and get to know his preference. Who knows, his choice may be the right one for you as well.