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Skateboard Legend Tony Hawk23:39
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Tony Hawk, in Los Angeles, June 2009. (AP)
Tony Hawk, in Los Angeles, June 2009. (AP)

If you’ve ever stepped on a skateboard, you no doubt know Tony Hawk – and know he is huge.

If you haven’t and don’t, you’re missing a wildly popular piece of Americana.

Skateboarding was born as the outlaw sport. Morphed over the years into “extreme sport”. Spawned a whole sub-culture – attitude, outlook, flying kids, fashion.

And Tony Hawk – skater, daredevil, hero, empire-builder – has been right at the heart of it. From spinning “900s” – i.e., 900 degrees, rolling in the sky – to spinning fortunes, dreams. The Michael Jordan of skateboarding.

This Hour, On Point: Tony Hawk.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.Guest:

Tony Hawk acquired his first board at age 9 and went pro by age 14. At the 1999 X Games he was the first skater ever to land a "900," a trick which involves completing two-and-a-half revolutions. Now retired from professional skateboarding, he's an athlete-entrepreneur, running a business empire complete with video games, Birdhouse Skateboards, and the charitable Tony Hawk Foundation. His new video game release is "Tony Hawk: Ride." See trailers and reviews at GameTrailers.com.

Watch Tony Hawk complete his "900," after eleven attempts, at the 1999 X Games in San Francisco:

Here's Tony and friends doing cool moves in a recent Birdhouse video:

This program aired on December 2, 2009.

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