With business interests scattered across Southern California in the early 2000s, Tony Hawk wanted to gather his operations in one place closer to home. An office park setting in Vista, Calif., became the home to Tony Hawk Inc. and its related entities. These include: Birdhouse Skateboards, 900 Films, Hawk Clothing, Ride Channel, Demolition Radio on SiriusXM and the Tony Hawk Foundation.
The nondescript building contains all of the elements of a typical business: A cozy lobby with coffee table books, products on display, office space for employees — even a conference room. But that’s where typical ends.
The star of the space is the vert ramp.
“We built the ramp for the [Boom Boom Huck Jam] tour and after the second year of our tour, I said, ‘You know what? This ramp is the best in the world and the only time we ever ride it is when we are on the road,’” Tony said. “We found a building that was in development but not finished, and I was able to have them raise the ceiling height so that it would fit the ramp and we wouldn’t have to worry about hitting the top.”
I have been planting seeds with other sorts of businesses and projects so that I can spend less time having to risk myself, so to speak. I don’t think I would quit skating altogether, I just may not do it in public so much.
Tony’s time is divided evenly — roughly half on the road (or in the air) and half at home.
“When I’m at home, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I will be going to the office at least a few times a week, if not to have meetings but to definitely go skate.”
Tony turned 50 this year and maintains a busy travel calendar, skating whenever and wherever possible and spreading goodwill for skateboarding.
A big part of his legacy is the foundation, which provides grants to communities that are trying to build skateparks.
“We’ve helped to fund 588 parks so far,” Tony said. “We’re close to $6 million in grants. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done and how it resonates. Through that money that we’ve given, we’ve helped to secure much more [in] matching donations and much more momentum for a lot of projects.”