Why Tony Hawk is excited about his ‘fun and irreverent’ collaboration with Hot Wheels

Why Tony Hawk is excited about his 'fun and irreverent' collaboration with Hot Wheels
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Hot Wheels Skate is a line of “fingerboards”, mini skateboards used to simulate skateboard tricks with the middle and index fingers. The toys were first popularized by professional skateboarder Lance Mountain in the 1980s.

The Tony Hawk fingerboards and matching sets, complete with ramps and other skate park elements, will be available exclusively at Walmart. For beginners, the sets even include clip-on “skate shoes” that attach to decks, making them easy for kids of all ages to wear.

Hawk, 54, told CNN that he is very excited about the fact that the line is suitable for fingerboarders of all skill levels.

“I loved the direction they had because it was more for all skill types,” he said. “Also, their creative team is amazing. So the games they have are really fun and irreverent. And it just seemed like a really cool angle and approach to the fretboard as a whole.”

For Hawk, the beginner-friendly spirit of fingerboard games stems from the inclusivity that skateboarding in general symbolizes.

“I feel like skateboarding is the great equalizer,” he said. “And anyone is welcome to participate. You’re only judged on your skating and not on your background. And uniqueness is key, uniqueness is welcome.”

As part of the partnership, Hot Wheels announced that they will donate to The Skate Park Project, a non-profit organization Hawk began creating public skateparks in the US.

The organization is “important to me because I grew up near one of the last skate parks in the United States,” he said. “That was my home away from home, that’s where I found my sense of community, where I found my friends, my sense of identity. And it was never lost on me how lucky I was to have that.”

“So when I had some kind of success, I thought the best thing to do with it was to provide more of these places that meant so much to me as a kid,” he continued. “It’s more about developing a place for your community, not trying to breed professionals.”

Hawk retired from professional skateboarding in 2003, but has continued to champion the sport, helping transform it from a counterculture activity into a defined and rigorous sport with prestigious competition. In 2021, the sport even premiered at the Olympicsa move that Hawk says has helped show people just how “disciplined and how serious he can be.”

This year, Hawk plans to host the second annual Vert Alert, a competition designed to highlight the “underrated” challenges of vert skating — that is, skating down a steep or incline ramp, rather than on a street or in a skate park.

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