There might not be a celebrity in the entire world with a more unanimous approval rating than the great Tony Hawk. The effortlessly likable American skateboarding icon parlayed his incredible talent into a stunning run of success both in and out of competition at the turn of the century, becoming arguably, the most influential man to ever step foot on a skate park. Now, almost three decades since he burst into the public conscious after dominating the X Games in the late 90’s, the full story of Hawk’s incredible rise to fame is being told by HBO in a documentary titled Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off.
Few athletes have become more synonymous with their sport in the 21st century like Hawk. As well as his bounty of iconic competition moments, including his historic ‘900’ aerial spin at the 1999 X Games in San Francisco, Hawk’s owes much of his profile to the high-successful video game series which garners his name. In truth, Hawk makes for a fascinating documentary subject on paper, in that his public image has often been essentially spotless and his aura bulletproof, despite his artform being one that inherently comes with a great deal of stress and failure.
The film’s trailer hints at pulling back the curtain on this, with the documentary promising a deeper look at the man who is still to this day, at the age of 53, risking life and limb in the pursuit of perfection. Featuring interviews with Hawk himself, as well as several of his closest peers including industry pioneers Lance Mountain and Rodney Mullen, the film looks to document Hawk’s meteoric rise to stardom, from his days as a gifted but troubled youth in San Diego to one of the world‘s most admired and beloved sports stars, to his life today, where he is still consumed by his desire to push the limits of his craft.
Directed by filmmaker and photographer Sam Jones, the film officially premiered at Austin, Texas’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival this week and is set to be released on the HBO Max streaming service in early April and is practically a must-watch for any millennial who ever stepped on a board dreaming of being the next Tony Hawk. Only, if the trailer is anything to go by, that might be a life a whole lot more punishing than what we saw on our screens for all of those years. Regardless, its sure to make for compelling viewing.