I don’t think so, but I think whether or not you’ve been active in your past plays into it. If you aren’t used to being in motion and putting in that sort of physical work, that’s when it gets tricky. You’ll step on a skateboard and it just shoots out from under you. I think that if you can get past that or if you feel comfortable with that motion, you can start skating at any age. And I have seen people do it. I mean, I saw middle-aged mothers make a go of it or through COVID. That was one of those silver linings to people being in stuck in one place for so long. A lot of people discovered skateboarding. It can seem daunting though, I get it. Some people take one spill and it’s like, nope, that’s it.
For me it was just a process of knowing that eventually I’d wipe out for the first time and making sure that it didn’t stop me from getting back on a board.
It’s a matter of when, not if.
To that point, your documentary Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off premiered on HBO last year. Much of the documentary eschews nostalgia and instead takes a hard look at what skating can do to your body over the years. Do you have any advice for people who are maybe looking to incorporate injury prevention training to navigate their journey as a skater? Is it even possible to fully commit to it if you’re doing so with that in mind?
Warming up is super important, especially as you get older. More importantly, there used to be a little voice inside my head where I’d set up for a trick or something and it’d go, ‘I don’t know about that.’ And I would always ignore it. I chose to ignore it last year and I broke my femur. So that’s the big thing: just just listen to your body more and understand your limitations. When I got injured I went into this mode where I convinced myself: I don’t need enough speed for this trick. I know how to fix it. I can do this. I’ve always done it. And next thing I know, I’m sliding across the ramp with my leg dangling behind me. And so I feel like there’s something to be said for that inner voice and your intuition. I learned the hard way.
But especially if you’re just starting out, just take the small wins. When you get to be older and you’re trying to learn something like skateboarding, don’t think you’re going to be doing the big tricks or jumping the stairs right away, or even for a while. There’s a lot of value in walking away from a day on your board and appreciating the fact that you learned how to do a kick turn. That’s something.
Sorry if you’re tired of being asked this, but when was the last time someone told you that you looked like Tony Hawk?
It happens all the time. I’d say it’s equal parts people that are in on the joke and then people that are saying it in all honesty. It’s become a meme in and of itself. I think that’s the funny part for me because like, one time I was with my daughter and someone said in all earnesty, “Do you ever hear that you look like Tony Hawk?” And I said, “Yeah, I do.” They walk away and then my daughter goes, “Why didn’t you tell them?!” They didn’t ask!
You’re not being dishonest!