Tony Hawk Gets Emotional After Landing Famous Trick for the Last Time: 'I'm a Little Sad'
Tony Hawk is saying goodbye.
The legendary skateboarder, who helped bring the sport to a mainstream audience in the 1990s and early 2000s, is performing some of his tricks for what he says is the last time.
Last week, the 52-year-old shared footage on Instagram of him attempting to land an ollie 540 more than three decades ago, as well as performing the trick in the present day.
"In 1989 I started trying ollie 540's as a joke, since it seemed there was no way to keep a skateboard on your feet throughout 1 1/2 spins in the air," Hawk began his post on Thursday. "But at some point I started scooping the tail with my back toe, which kept my feet in place for most of the spin."
As Hawk tried to perfect the move, he received some added motivation when Stacy Peralta — a member of the iconic skateboarding crew, the Z-Boys — came to film him with a high-speed camera. As luck would have it, Peralta filmed the moment Hawk finally landed the trick.
Hawk, who retired from competition in 2003 but continues to skate, now says the ollie 540 is getting too difficult to land as he gets older.
"It was the first of many that I've made over the last 32 years, and my technique improved as time went on," he recalled of initially landing the move. "But they've gotten scarier in recent years, as the landing commitment can be risky if your feet aren't in the right places. And my willingness to slam unexpectedly into the flat bottom has waned greatly over the last decade."
Considering the risks involved with the trick, Hawk recently decided to try it one last time before retiring it for good.
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"Today I decided to do it one more time … and never again," continued his post on Instagram. "You can swipe to see the progression of those attempts, including a slam that looks eerily similar to the one I took while shooting with Stacy. But this time I took down a camera, tripod and my pinky as collateral damage in my quest for glory."
The video Hawk shared shows him putting his hands to his face and falling to his knees after completing his final ollie 540.
"It's like, I'm a little sad," he says at the end of the clip.
This isn't the only famous move Hawk has retired in recent years. In 2016, Hawk landed what he said would be his last 900 attempt. The trick is what propelled Hawk to mainstream popularity when he became the first to land it during a competition in 1999.
In January, Hawk posted a video of himself completing a 720 and spoke about how hard it was to do.
"I recently made a 720 and it was a battle. The last one I made before this was over three years ago, and it's much harder now all things considered: recently dislocated fingers hinder my grab, my spin is slower so I need to go higher for full rotation and," he said. "I'm really old."
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