ouch. What Tony Hawk does to himself should really hurt. The greatest skater of all time is now 54, no one has made more money from skateboarding, and no skater has shaped the sport as much as it is. At the moment, when he lies like a deer beaten in the lowest point of the half-pipe, the life of this proud athlete does not matter. It doesn’t matter how many times Hawke has done this trick, the 720 (two full spins in the air) fails and fails and fails at the moment. It doesn’t matter how much rest, sweat, and pumps the body demands. There seems to be only one certainty in Hook’s mind: He’s dropped at least 720 times. Either he’s landing it now – or he keeps trying until the ambulance picks him up.
Good keynote, ambulance, at one point in the two-hour Tony Hawk documentary: “Until the Wheels Fall off” Hawk chronicles what he actually did with his body in his 40-year career. Choice: he broke his elbow, pulled out several teeth at least five times, and his ankle is irreversibly torn. Dozens of concussions (only a few of them with amnesia, after all), countless injuries. Yet he doesn’t stop, maybe he can’t stop. Tony Hawk is a spirit driven who, even in his late teens, was so lonely at the top of his sport that competing against himself became more exciting than competing against his rivals. This competition has only one problem: it never ends. “I’m still trying to push my limits. I don’t know for how long, but I won’t stop,” Hawke says.
Hawkeye became a legend and a rock star – and he was unhappy
This internal conflict propelled Hawk into the sports history books. For decades, skaters have been whispering to each other that a two-and-a-half spin in the air, 900, should theoretically be possible. Many tried, and all failed. Even Tony Hawk kept trying at the 1999 X Games in San Francisco. He slid several times down the slope on his knee pads and not on the board, with a crazy focused look he threw himself try after attempt in a half-pipe while thousands crept around him—and then: a man of gravity finally struggled for his first 900 out.
“Until the Wheels Fall” shows footage from that time and then lets Tony Hawk, his family and those of the skate generation at the time comment on the moment. Classic documentary style. Thanks to interesting interlocutors such as legend Rodney Mullen or Hawkeye “discoverer” Stacey Peralta, this dependable sequence never gets boring.
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In the end 900 minutes Hawk made himself a legend. Ice skating is once again a mass phenomenon. He recalls: “Suddenly we’re rock stars”—and because rock stars roam, Hawk put on a show, packed with motorbikes, skaters, and music, to the spots where he’s flown on a private jet. He gave his name to a video game developer who has now released 19 games under the name “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater”. The guys were skating again – they all know “the best”, Tony Hawk.
“I Didn’t Start Skating to Be Famous,” Hawke says in the documentary, which progresses through his life in perfect chronological order — and at some point reaches the point where Hooke’s career peaked abroad. Great fame, how so? “It’s the worst drug,” Hawke says. “I didn’t like myself, I didn’t like the choices I made.” Above all, the fact that he neglected his son at that time hurt him. “I didn’t know how I could be a husband, and a father I can be proud of.” Then he sits upright in his chair, lowers his eyes and plays with his shirt. This is how Hawk reacts when something becomes too personal for him. It happens so many times in the movie, it’s the most powerful moment.
Then there sits a shy guy, who probably wants to skate quickly on the next halfboards. There he’ll then try to land that damned stunt, 720, again. again only. so make it. Or you should go to the hospital.
Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall (2022) 124 minutes Directed by Sam Jones and produced by Greg Fenton Available on Sky Documentaries July 22 and on demand on WOW and Sky Q.