Tony Hawk’s Twitter account is a love-letter to the fickle nature of fame. It walks the thin line between hilarity and existential crisis that started once as a disappointing ode to aging, but now has become utter perfection.
To the casual observer his accounts of literally everyone failing to recognize him is sad — but in reality he’s stumbled across the absolute perfect way to be famous. Hawk is literally the Michael Jordan of skateboarding. The now-elder statesman of the sport who is used as a yardstick and even came close to having his own version of Space Jam.
But, unlike Jordan he’s free to actually live his life. People know his name in passing, they know that Tony Hawk (the name) is a big deal — but nobody is able to recognize the person. He can live his life, free from hassle and enjoy air travel in relative peace, without some idiot making things weird.
Keep in mind just how prolific Tony Hawk is in his field. Two X-Games gold medals, over 70 contest wins, his own video game series — and now a charity that builds skate parks for underprivileged kids. But, despite all this, almost nobody recognizes him.
We will recognize him, though. We will appreciate his Tweets about being incognito in the middle of society in a way most celebrities could only dream about. Naturally these need a score, and what better way that use a three-part Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater combo scoring method.
- Recognition (250-625 point flip trick): Was there was any awareness from the other party?
- Resolution (315-525 point grab): How funny is this moment?
- Net Benefit (100-150 point grind): How much did Tony benefit from being unnoticed? (held for bonus points)
- Finally bonus points for how the entire story made me feel (0.5-2.5x rotation multiplier)
This will then get a standard 1.0-3.5x combo multiplier, depending on how many criteria it hit. So, without further ado ...
Tony Hawk’s best existential turmoils, ranked.
900 Varial + Benihana + Crooked Grind = 13,884
Woman on plane retrieving her luggage in the overhead:— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) April 16, 2018
"Who's skateboard is this? It's blocking my bag"
me: that's mine, you can pass it here
her: "It's yours? You ride it?
her: "Are you any good at it?"
her: cackles maniacally, exits plane
720 Fingerflip + Japan Air + Nosegrind = 7,701
TSA agent (checking my ID): "Hawk, like that skateboarder Tony Hawk!"— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) March 21, 2017
Her: "Cool, I wonder what he's up to these days"
720 Front Foot Impossible + Madonna + 50-50 Grind = 6,875
TSA agent (staring intently): I’m trying to figure out who you look like before checking your ID.— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) August 21, 2018
TSA: that cyclist Armstrong!
Nearby agent: that ain’t Lance Armstrong
Me: he’s right
TSA: oh you look like that skateboarder (checks ID). Same last name too! Crazy!
900 Hardflip + Indy Nosebone + Smith Grind = 6,321
Kid at skatepark:— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) July 29, 2019
“Are you Tony Hawk?”
me: I am
him: “no you’re not”
me: ok, I’m not
him: “but are you, FOR REAL?”
me: I am, for real
him: I thought you’d look younger
me: ME TOO
540 Kickflip to Indy + Stalefish + 5-0 Grind = 5,500
guy at restaurant: "you famous?"— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) August 17, 2017
me: I think that depends on who you ask
him: "anyone ever tell you that you look like Tom Brady?"
540 Hardflip + Rocket Air + Smith Grind = 4,776
Guy approaches me while standing in line at coffee shop in Cancún.— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) April 3, 2019
Him: my friend says you are a famous person. Is that true?
Me: that depends on your definition of fame
Him: will you show up on Google if I search your name?
Him (typing into phone): you are Tony Stark?
720 360 Flip + Method + Smith Grind = 4,444
Pulling up to drive-through window, girl starts to read back my order and stops herself: “you’re Tony Hawk?”— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) April 21, 2019
her: “can I tell everyone?”
me: I suppose
her: “yo, we got Tony Hawk at the window!”
voice from kitchen: “Who?”
720 Hardflip + Method + Boardslide = 4,252
I’m sorry if these encounters seem redundant... but they’re all true & this just happened.— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) March 8, 2019
Sitting at gate, guy recognizes me, walks over & says hello.
Guy next to me: “you’re Tony Hawk?”
Him: “I have seen any recent pictures of you. You’ve gotten older.”
Me: it happens
900 360 Shove It + Indy Nosebone + Boardslide = 4,170
Guy asks for a picture with me, woman nearby says “I don’t know who you are”— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) October 27, 2018
me: I don’t expect you to
her: what do you do?
me: I’m a pro skateboarder
her: are you from Huntington Beach?
me: no, I’m from San Diego
her: so you’re not that guy with red hair that won the Olympics?
540 Heelflip + Rocket Air + 50-50 Grind = 3,345
guy on escalator: Hey are you Tony Hawk?— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) June 12, 2018
him: you still skate?
me: yes, quite often
him: but you're not that recognizable!
me: I'm not sure what that means... but you recognized me, so here we are
him: [blank stare]
- escalator ends -
540 Kickflip + Tailgrab + 5-0 Grind = 2,990
To clarify: my legal name is Anthony— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) June 21, 2018
TSA agent checks my ID, looks at me, looks at ID, looks back at me quizzically and loudly says
"Tony Hawk's my favorite skater"
Me: I’ll tell him.
180 Varial + Tailgrab + Crooked Grind = 2,736
Guy at grocery store:— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) July 14, 2018
"you ever get mistaken for Tony Hawk... or are you Tony Hawk?
Heelflip + Japan Air + Boardslide = 1,986
Flight attendant checking overhead bins, sees four skateboards— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) July 13, 2018
Him, jokingly: "is Tony Hawk on this flight or something?"
Looks down, sees me
Him: "I guess he is"
Kickflip + Indy Nosebone + 50-50 Grind = 1,885
me: sitting near my gate, waiting to board— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) October 9, 2018
guy: sits next to me & shows me his phone with pictures of me visible
him: "Is this you?"
me: "yes, but some are less than flattering"
him: "I'm gonna tell my son"
me: "that you did a Google search?"
Nollie = 200
Young kid at skatepark: “Are you a professional?”— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) March 3, 2019
Him: “But you’re a grown up!”
Me: I know. It’s weird.
Him: “I have a skateboard”
Me: I hope you never outgrow it