A skateboard with yellow wheels, red underbelly and dark grey grip. All stories

Gallery Highlight: Tony 'The Birdman' Hawk's Skateboard

By Victoria Cosgrove

A skateboarding legend is featured in the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum (QOSM)’s Hall of Athletes.

As part of its mission to share the story of global sport, QOSM has curated a collection of objects from some of the most notable historic moments and distinguished personalities in sport history.

Complementing the permanent collection are significant loans from all around the world, including this skateboard, from the Skateboarding Hall of Fame in California, USA. It belongs to none other than the face of skateboarding himself, Tony Hawk.

Once known as ‘sidewalk surfing’, skateboarding found its stride in the sporting world in the mid-70s and garnered a passionate following in the 80s and 90s.

World Cup skateboarding has been around for almost 3 decades now, and skateboarding has had an official place at the Olympics since the (delayed) 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

A close up of the underbelly of a skateboard, featuring red, black and yellow stickers and a black felt-tipped Tony Hawk signature.

Photo: Mohammed Faris Edakkunimal, courtesy of Qatar Museums ©2022

No skateboarder pushed the boundaries further than Tony Hawk. He invented dozens of tricks and, despite multiple injuries, he always pushed upward, true to his nickname ‘Birdman’.

Hawk’s star burned bright from the very start of his career. He began skateboarding in his home state of California when he was 9 years old. By the age of 12 he had secured a sponsor and turned professional at just 14.

Hawk’s celebrity grew as leader of the all-star ‘Bones Brigade’, a team that dominated international contests and revolutionised skateboarding techniques.

By the time he turned 16, Hawk was a global superstar and widely considered the best skateboarder in the world.

One of Hawk's most amazing feats came in the 1999 X Games, when he performed the ‘900’ - the first complete two-and-a-half aerial rotation in skateboarding history.

Since then, Hawk has launched numerous successful skate companies and a hugely popular skateboarding video game franchise, and won over two dozen World Championships and X Games medals combined.

Underbelly of a skateboard is shown with scratched stickers, yellow wheels, and a felt-tipped Tony Hawk signature at the nose.

Photo: Mohammed Faris Edakkunimal, courtesy of Qatar Museums ©2022

This skateboard, used and signed by Hawk, comes from Birdhouse Skateboards - a skateboard company founded by Hawk in 1992. Decades later, the company is still one of the most respected names in the sport.

A Birdhouse sticker can be seen next to the tail wheels, while Hawk’s signature sits on the underside of the nose. The worn down grip tape is testament to Hawk’s grind.

His career has been so widely celebrated, Tony Hawk is often credited with keeping the spirit and integrity of skateboarding alive.

The skateboard is on display in QOSM’s Hall of Athletes, nestled among other objects of significance to the world of sport, underlining the museum’s mission to inspire and unlock athletic potential in Qatar.

Plan your visit today to see the complete collection.

Victoria Cosgrove is Curator of the Olympics Gallery at 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum.

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