There are few athletes whose names are as synonymous with their respective sports as Tony Hawk is with skateboarding. For over 40 years now, the Birdman, as he is known in the skateboarding world, has revolutionized the sport and transformed it from a Southern California hobby into a billion dollar industry. . Anytime there’s a career as successful and impactful as Hawk’s, it almost guarantees you’ll see the person behind that success appear in movies, shows, and even documentaries spanning decades.
Below is a breakdown of some of Tony Hawk’s best film appearances, whether it’s ’80s cult classics, documentaries about his hit video game franchise, or profiles spanning decades on all the ups and downs of his life.
Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Drop (HBO Max)
Released in April 2022, the HBO documentary Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off is perhaps one of the best documentaries to come out in recent years thanks to its unfiltered look at the skateboarding legend’s life, career, successes and missteps. This truly eye-opening two-hour-plus film explores what makes Hawk such an impactful figure not only in the world of extreme sports, but in American pop culture as a whole, through detailed examinations of every part of his life. .
From his days as a young skateboarding prodigy with the Bones Brigade to how he reinvented his career with the arrival of the X Games to creating the Professional skater Tony Hawk video game franchise and beyond, it’s all here, and Hawk doesn’t hold back with his words, thoughts, or philosophy.
Stream Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Drop on HBO Max.
Pretend to be Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story (Kanopy)
There Were Skateboarding Video Games Before Professional skater Tony Hawk, but none of these had an impact that even came close to touching his divine status. In the years since its release, THPS became one of the most recognizable franchises on the planet and helped change the face of skateboarding by introducing the sport to millions of players around the world.
The 2020 documentary, Pretend to be Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story, goes into great detail not just about the legacy of the game, but how it all came together in the first place. Featuring interviews with Hawk, as well as other stalwarts of the roster and franchise developers, the documentary does a terrific job of letting you know how and why it was such a hit.
Stream Pretending I’m a Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story on Kanopy.
Rent/Buy Pretending I’m a Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story on Amazon.
Bones Brigade: An Autobiography (Tubi)
The story of how the 1980s skate team Bones Brigade – Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Rodney Mullen, Tommy Guerrero, Lance Mountain and Mike McGill – came together is an important part of Hawk’s 2022 documentary, but is told in more detail in Bones Brigade: An Autobiography.
It’s one of those documentaries that’s perfect for longtime Bones Brigade fans and new skaters who’ve just heard the name or seen their shirts around the skateparks, and it strikes a perfect balance with its story that makes you want to know more about its members and impact on the sport.
Stream Bones Brigade: An Autobiography on Tubi.
Rent/Buy Bones Brigade: An Autobiography on Amazon.
Dogtown and Z-Boys (Amazon rental)
The Zephyr skate team, aka the Z Boys, were a group of 1970s skateboarders who took what they learned as surfers and applied it to the fledgling sport, creating a unique style that would take on the control of swimming pools and emptied skate parks for years to come. In 2001, Stacy Peralta, one of the most famous members of the group, released the famous documentary, Dogtown and Z-Boys, which highlighted the band’s rise to fame and glory and all the ways they’ve impacted skateboarding.
Tony Hawk, who was heavily influenced by the band, appears in the documentary to talk about the Z-Boys’ groundbreaking style and status, joining several other industry icons who share their own stories of how the team of skate influenced them in their formative years.
Rent/Buy Dogtown and Z-Boys on Amazon.
Dumb: The Big Brother Magazine Story (Hulu)
Before the Donkey became overnight stars thanks to their MTV series, cut their teeth and hurt themselves for Big Brother magazine. From 1992 to 2004, this hilarious and hilarious skateboarding magazine welcomed readers into the lives of professional skateboarders and stuntmen like never before, and the 2017 Hulu documentary, Dumb: The Big Brother Magazine Story, shows how it all happened.
Considering the magazine was primarily a skateboarding rag, it’s no surprise that influential figures like Tony Hawk appear in the documentary’s various interviews, sharing insight into the magazine and its legacy more than a decade after the release of its latest issue on newsstands.
Stream Dumb: The Big Brother Magazine Story on Hulu.
Jackass: The Movie (Paramount+)
Tony Hawk has long been one of many auxiliary figures in the Donkey franchise, having participated in the original show and various entries in its film series. One of Hawk’s best segments, “Sweaty Fat Fucks,” was featured in Jackass: the movie, where he, Bam Margera and Mat Hoffman dressed up in massive costumes and attempted their signature moves. Despite the limited mobility, Hawk was still able to take out a 540 McTwist with relative ease.
You can also watch Hawk’s various appearances in all Donkey streaming movies, including the surprisingly nostalgic fourth installment.
Stream Jackass: The Movie on Paramount+.
Rent/Buy Jackass: The Movie on Amazon.
30 for 30: The Birth of Big Air (ESPN+)
Although not mentioned so much when discussing the best 30 for 30 documentaries, The birth of Big Air is an entry in the franchise not to be missed. The 2010 documentary details how Mat Hoffman, essentially the Tony Hawk of the BMX world, completely changed his sport in the last decades of the 20th century with his intense work ethic and death-defying tricks of green.
Stream 30 for 30: The Birth of the Big Air on ESPN+.
Buy 30 for 30: The Birth of Big Air on Amazon.
Being Evel (Peacock)
The late and great Evel Knievel will forever remain one of the iconic figures of American pop culture of the second half of the 20th century, and his impact is still felt all these years after his passing. The 2015 documentary, To be Evel, delves into the legend and the man (and all his flaws) in stunning detail with stories from those who knew him best. The documentary also includes tributes from some of his biggest fans like Johnny Knoxville, Mat Hoffman, and yes, Tony Hawk, all of whom talk about how the legendary figure influenced them to take their careers to the next level.
Stream Being Evel on Peacock.
Rent/Buy Being Even on Amazon.
Make the Cube Shine (Prime Video)
The 1989 crime drama Shine the cube follows Brian Kelly (Christian Slater), an unruly skateboarder who seeks to find out who killed his Vietnamese adoptive brother Vinh (Ar Chudabala) and why he was murdered in the first place. Brian being the leader of a skate team, it is certain that there will be several real skaters in the film. At the top of that list is Tony Hawk, who spends screen time as Brian’s friend and fellow skater Buddy, who happens to be a Pizza Hut delivery driver (this was later referenced in the destroy america skate video).
Stream Gleaming the Cube on Prime Video.
Tony Hawk has also made a number of cameos in movies like xXx, The new guyand Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, and countless others throughout his career. And, judging by the fact that he’s not really slowing down much, we’ll be seeing him for a while.