Although this book is unlikely to be read by anyone who has no interest in skateboarding, it’s still a great read. Tony Hawk is an almost household name – if the question was “Which one of these is a professional skateboarder?” on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, there’s every chance that a non-skateboarder would be able to pick him out!
The book begins with a short account of Hawk’s historic landing of a 900 at the X-Games in 1999. He could easily have waxed lyrical about the event, elevating it to dizzy heights in proportion to the rest of his career. That would have been missing the point, though, as the twenty odd years of his life before hand are just as colourful, if not more so, than that one night.
Somewhat nievely I had assumed before reading this that Tony Hawk had made it big in the 80’s and had been living it up ever since! Unsurprizingly this is far from the truth, as the highs and lows of skateboardings’ popularity led to Hawk’s own personal change in fortune. From luxury tour buses and decent hotels in the 80’s, to sleeping five to a room when skateboarding died in the early 90’s and back again, Tony’s story tells it how it was.
The book reads well, the only faults I could find was that he occasionally chops from one year to another and back which can be a little confusing. This is mostly Tony’s way of linking events in his life, and does not detract from a page-turning narrative. He also tends to reel off trick names like everyone knows what they are – sometimes he describes them, other times not, which could be a little frustrating for non-skateboarders.
To sum up, this is a worthwhile read whether you’re into skateboarding or not. It recounts the life of a man who became an ambassador for an often ill portrayed sport.