Tony Hawk is in Paris, France at the moment for The Tony Hawk Show which coincides with Quiksilver’s 40th anniversary. He’s got a whole crew of vert maestros along with him who will be skating in Paris’ famed Grand Palais this evening along with live music, artists, and a pro street contest with a Bercy replica. We got a few private moments with Tony before a massive media blow out press conference, here’s what he had to say.

Interview & photos by Blair Alley

How did the group of guys that are skating this weekend come together?

A lot of them are kind of the crew we’ve had for Huck Jam in previous years, and we did a demo in France last year in Hossegor during one of the big surf contests, and it drew such attention that the Quiksilver guys took notice and wanted to do it on a larger scale. So we got the same guys back here and a few key A-list guys like Sandro Dias and Andy MacDonald as well. There were some other guys we wanted to get too, but it’s such a quick, heavy event, and they all have their endemic clothing sponsors, so I didn’t even ask, but I think the crew we have is insane.

How is this trip to Paris different from trips in the past, especially being able to skate in the Grand Palais which has never had skateboarding inside it before?

It’s a whole different perspective being invited here to skate and being welcomed in that way. It’s crazy, I’ve been coming here for a long time, and especially when skating wasn’t popular, kicked out of places and getting hasseled, and now it’s come so far, I can’t believe it. They believe in this project so much, that they put so much effort into it and put the ramp in here. (Interview con’t below slideshow)

What does it mean to ride for a brand like Quiksilver that on its 40th anniversary has an event called The Tony Hawk Show, and support skateboarding as much as it does?

I really appreciate it, you know? They put that much of their resources into skating, because Quiksilver is such an iconic brand, but mostly associated with surfing in the past. They’ve become such the sort of multi-boardsport company, but with a really good presence. Skateboarding isn’t their stepchild project, they’re putting a lot of effort into promoting it. As a brand, they encompass the lifestyle the most. I’ve been riding for them for ten years now. It is weird though to have my name on the show when Kelly Slater is here, who I think is their number one athlete, and all of their legends as well. I’m just honored that they chose this venue to bring everyone out for this gathering.

So what are people going to experience at The Tony Hawk Show today?

They’ve got a whole street course set up and they actually recreated the Bercy blocks—they measured them out and did them exactly. There’s a big art show, they have the famous French artist Andre painting all over the place. They have a bunch of exhibits through different eras of skating. Then we’re going to do a big vert demo that’s going to last about an hour, and then the band Dead By Sunries is going to play. It’s a giant party really. Our demo is from 9:30 p.m. to 10:30, and that starts the night.

Stay tuned to skateboarding.com for video and photos of the vert demo and street contest.