The Hamptons

Interview with Pro Skateboarder Tony Hawk

interviews :: tony hawk

…out on the east end…

Skateboarding legend, ambassador of the action-sports lifestyle, and philanthropic pioneer Tony Hawk will launch his inaugural Activision Presents Stand Up For Skateparks benefit in Bridgehampton. After five years in Beverly Hills, California this family-centric, carnival-style, star-studded benefit will expand to the East Coast for an intimate Vert skateboarding and BMX demonstration where Tony Hawk and other top skate and BMX pros will perform on Tony’s personal vert ramp. In addition to the exciting Vert demo, the day will host an interactive action-sports carnival featuring unique activities and giveaways, as well as food and drinks for children and adults alike.

All proceeds from the day will benefit the Tony Hawk Foundation, which seeks to foster lasting improvements in society with an emphasis on supporting and empowering youth. Through special events, grants, and technical assistance, the Foundation supports recreational programs with a focus on the creation of public skateboard parks in low-income communities. The Foundation favors programs that clearly demonstrate that funds received will produce tangible, ongoing, positive results. With the help of their Stand Up For Skateparks benefit, The Tony Hawk Foundation has awarded over $2.5-million to 390 communities in 47 states.

Past attendees have included:
Arsenio Hall
Benicio Del Toro
Brett Ratner
Chris “Big Black” Boykin
Chuck Liddell
David Spade
Ed Helms
Holly Robinson Peete
Jamie Lee Curtis
Jon Favreau
Kathy Ireland
Lance Armstrong
Leeza Gibbons
Lisa Kudrow
Michael Rapaport
Pamela Anderson
Perry Ferrell
Rashad Evans
Russell Simmons
Sean “Diddy” Combs
Shaun White
Stefan Lessard
Trent Reznor

For tickets: 760.477.2479 or

We were fortunate to have an exclusive one on one interview beforehand with Tony:

Q. What passion led you to create The Tony Hawk Foundation and what is your favorite thing that the Foundation does?

A. Seeing the growing interest in skateboarding and the lack of action by city councils to provide facilities for their communities. I wanted to help the cities that are more in need of positive youth outlets (low-income areas). My favorite part is going to grand openings of the parks and seeing the genuinely thankful faces of the kids in the communities. Their uphill battle and hard work is justified.

Q. In what ways has the foundation empowered youth thus far as it’s a relatively new foundation?

A. It shows them the value of community action, perseverance and belief in themselves.

Q. Is it soley through skate parks or are you also sponsoring champion amateur skaters for the big leagues?

A. Our foundation is strictly non-profit and our focus is getting parks built.

Q. What sort of “support” do you offer aside from building the parks?

A. I go over every skatepark design and give suggestions to make it a better all-around facility. Our staff also gives out information to get projects further along before applying for a THF grant.

Q. Do you have goals for building skate parks nearby?

A. It all depends on the grant applications and what criteria they meet. We do want to do a specific “ask” during our Hamptons event to benefit a project in the NY area. We did the same thing last year at our SUFS event in Beverly HIlls for a skatepark in Compton. It is due to open next month.

Q. Since skateboarding lends itself to a lot of biting the curb does the foundation also support health care in tandem with building these parks in low income communities where so many people cannot afford health insurance?

A. We don’t have the funding or the staff to take on such a responsibility at this time.

Q The teenage kids were all hoping and even signed a petition to have one built here in Lola park next to the police station but nothing came from it. I think that if there was a proper skate park there would be less kids trying to build their own version of rails and less accidents! To this day there is still no park in Southampton village­ and the kids can’t get to Red Creek in Hamptons Bays or the one East Hampton or Montauk or Greenport on their own and it’s usually after school hours and weekends that they’re all out with their boards. The kids of course get kicked out of their favorite street haunts by the cops on a regular basis but that hasn’t put an end to their passion and they can usually work around the beat. Maybe you can spark a little light under the town while you¹re here to get one going here in Southampton : )

A. I’m sorry to hear about that. Have the community of Southampton rally the city council to get a park built and then apply for a THF grant.

Q. Was this originally your idea or Activision’s to hold an event in the Hamptons? How did you hear of “the hamptons”? I own so was curious how you navigated to our parts : )

A. Many of our benefactors of our Beverly Hills event suggested doing an East Coast fundraiser. A few of them also had homes in the Hamptons and gave us suggestions on how to go about it.

Q. Have you spent any or much time in the Hamptons?

A. I have never been there.

Q. If you haven’t been here before what are you anticipating doing when in town?

A. It’s a quick trip for me because I will be doing a show in Philly the day before and then NJ the day after, but I am excited for my little ones to see the Hamptons (if only for a day).

Q. How did the creation of the Tony Hawk game/ Activision change your life and possibly the sport of skate boarding?

A. It put my recognition factor (and that of skateboarding in general) on the level of mainstream sports. It also created a fan base of non-skaters that now appreciate the intricacies of professional skateboarding. But mostly, it allowed me to keep doing what I love for a living without worrying about the future so much.

Make sure to GET TO THIS HUGE SKATEBOARDING EVENT if you share the passion or know someone who does!! We want to thank the PR people at for the opportunity to do this one on one interview with Tony Hawk while he is in the Hamptons for the Stand Up For Skateparks benefit in Bridgehampton this coming weekend: 3 pm to 7 pm at the Ross Lower School – 739 Butter Lane in Bridgehampton this Sunday. For more events check our events calendar. lifeguard stand

August 8th, 2008 Posted by | interviews + | no comments