The final stop of Tony Hawk’s Gigantic Skatepark Tour wrapped up recently, capping off a worldwide tour at Paradise Funplex in Merritt Island, FL. The 14-city tour, which started in Europe in late April offered fans a glimpse of Hawk’s Summer Tour. Merrit Island was brought to a close by thunderstorms in the early afternoon. Despite the weather in Florida though, the skaters and riders were able to put on a display that was reflective of the other explosive tour stops.

The Tour was a tremendous success with the demos in both Europe and the Western US and Canada drawing huge crowds of cheering spectators. Tony Hawk’s Gigantic Skatepark Tour, which visits public skateparks, hit unique parks across the country showcasing skateboarding and bmx riding in expressive demo formats rather than in the competition formats that many spectators have become accustomed to. The Tour, which is a brainchild of Hawk’s, brought expression on street courses and vert ramps into the spotlight, while allowing spectators nationwide to see their heroes.

This year’s Tour, was built upon the success of last year in the US, with the addition of tour stops in Europe that included London, Paris and Frankfurt.

“The 2001 tour was a major success on all levels, and our East Coast leg was a culmination of the entire tour concept,” stated Hawk following The Tour. “We had an incredible lineup of skaters and riders and the best riding these parks have ever experienced. Not even rainstorms could slow us down.”

The skaters and BMX riders traveled the US, Canada and Europe in a tour bus exploring not just the parks that they attend for demonstrations, but other points of interest and skateboarding scenes as well. Highlights from the tour included the incredible acts of skateboarding and bmx riding at the demos as well as visiting cement skateparks “unannounced.”

In between the skating and riding, the members of the tour participated in various off day activities ranging from site seeing in the cities of Europe to skydiving in Lake Perris, CA to snowboarding at Mt. Hood, OR. The crew also had an opportunity to race NASCAR at Loews Speedway in Charlotte, NC and surf on the man-made waves in Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World.

ESPN and ESPN2 are teaming up with Hawk to produce eight hours of original programming that will focus on The Tour and the athletes as well as lifestyle elements on the bus. The shows will document The Tour as well as going in-depth what it is to be one of today’s action sports superstars. After the success of the television coverage of last year’s Tour, ESPN will once again broadcast a skateboarding tour from start to finish enabling the network to convey the lifestyle and culture of these sports and the athletes that live them.

-more-For the first time, The Tour sold out its sponsorship package this year. Tony Hawk’s Gigantic Skatepark Tour is presented by Snapple, The Best Stuff on Earth and also supported by Activision, Best Buy, Hot Bites and Pac Sun.

Tony Hawk’s Gigantic Skatepark Tour is documented by 900 Films and will showcase the talents of professional skaters Tony Hawk, Bucky Lasek, Steve Berra, Bam Margera, Kris Markovich, Donnie Barley, Lincoln Ueda, Brian Sumner, Willy Santos, Colin McKay, Mike Vallely, Alex Chalmers, Shawn White and bmx riders Mat Hoffman, Mike Escamilla and Rick Thorne and will be hosted by ESPN on-camera personalities Robert Earl, Salema Masekela and Jason Ellis. Television coverage starts July 28 at 10:30 am est on ESPN2. Continued coverage will occur through the summer and fall.