Charlie Rose explores the growing popularity of professional skateboarding with the sport’s most awe-inspiring trendsetter Tony Hawk on 60 MINUTES, Wednesday, June 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
A self-described outcast as a child growing up in San Diego, Hawk turned his skateboarding hobby into a profession at age 14. Now, 20 years later, having invented over 80 tricks and becoming the first to master the 900, Hawk has become the face of modern skateboarding. At age 34, he sports an image so squeaky clean that companies are lining up to do business with him. Activision’s video game Tony Hawk, Pro Skater is one of the top-selling video games in the world and Hawk’s own line of skateboarding-inspired products has earned more than $20 million over the last two years alone.
Inspired by his need for constant stimulation as a child, Hawk created the ultimate answer to attention deficit disorder. “Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Huck Jam,” an extreme sports spectacle packaged for arenas around the country, features the world’s best motocrossers, BMX bikers and skateboarders. “I was just doing a lot of exhibitions in recent years, seeing the crowds grow and grow and I felt like there was enough interest where we could be the focus of the tour.”
When asked to explain the extreme sport’s popularity, Hawk says, “I think the growing appeal is constant action, constant excitement.” Comparing a skateboarding competition to an auto race, Hawk says, “I think the fans like the perceived risk factor. You know, whether anyone wants to admit it or not, they like to see us take spills.”