Tony and Riley Hawk talk to GQ

Tony Hawk and Riley Hawk chat to GQ magazine. Compelling reading right here.

Tony and Riley Hawk talk to GQ
GQ Magazine just dropped an interesting father and son interview piece with possibly the most powerful rad dad and sprog combination in skateboarding history, namely Tony Hawk and Riley Hawk.
Aside from wandering through the wilderness in expensive jackets, Tony and Riley talk unreservedly about the anxiety of expectation when it comes to filming, Tony’s global charity work with the Tony Hawk Foundation, the state of the modern skateboard industry and much more.
This one comes highly recommended, whether you’re a regular GQ reader or not, as it’s rare to get this level of candour from someone as deep in the game.
Hit the image or text excerpt below to read the full piece.
Photo by Michael Schmelling for GQ.

Is that what’s happening with the industry as a whole, a kind of inertia that led to so many shops and companies closing?

Tony: I just think it splintered. There’s a lot of people who skate as a hobby. They like skating, maybe they watch it on television, but they’re not actively buying skateboards or skate gear. That has really hurt the industry. And, you know, the conglomerates have come in and bought up a lot of brands and then those brands get recycled into other things. It’s all taken a toll. And endorsement deals have changed for all of sports. Everything is short-term, social-media-based. Being a pro skater is not what it used to be, and skate companies aren’t as profitable because everything is so diluted.

“In full transparency, I’ve dumped so much money into this Birdhouse video, so much money that I have no hope of recouping it, but the hope is that it will bring back sales. Because our sales don’t justify what I pay the team riders. It’s a big risk, and it’s so weird to think I have one of the best teams in the world and [Birdhouse] can barely cover their meager paychecks. But, I mean, these skaters are risking their lives.”

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