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Kidsday talks with Tony Hawk

Kidsday reporters, from left, Nathaniel Cleri, Andrew Cunningham,

Kidsday reporters, from left, Nathaniel Cleri, Andrew Cunningham, Daniel Mattonodo and Stephanie Barbosa with skateboarder Tony Hawk at the W Hotel in Manhattan Photo Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

We met with superstar skateboarder Tony Hawk while he was in Manhattan recently. We played his newest video game “Shred.”
 
Did the video game makers ask you how you wanted the game to go in terms of like tricks and stuff?

Yeah. That’s pretty much why I’m here. Figure out what the control should be, if you should twist it this way, and how the trick should be, and how the trick should look. Sometimes, actually doing the trick for them, they can shoot the video and emulate it in the game.
 
Why did you add snowboarding to the game?

Because I felt if we made a board controller, we could do more than just skateboarding with it. Snowboarding was the first natural choice.
 
Do you pick which one of your skateboarding friends and rivals get to be in the game?

Yes, and a lot of people will ask me if they could be in it. Sometimes, we have to vote who gets it and who gets out. It’s painful sometimes, because I really want some people in.
 
Who is your favorite skateboarder?

Rodney Mullen. I feel like he has created so many of the modern tricks that people do and people wish they could do. He’s the godfather of all the new stuff, for sure.
 
What is your new book “How Did I Get Here: The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO” about?

My new book is mostly all about the business stuff I’ve been doing over the last 10 years. Like video games and clothing and tours and things like that. And how I was able to do those things, but really keep it authentic and keep it true to skateboarding and stuff. And some of the things that didn’t work out so well. It’s just entertaining.
 
Why did you decide to write your new book?

A lot of people were curious about how  the things I was doing, how I became successful, how I managed to keep them more hard core, more authentic. And I feel like there’s a lot of stuff behind the scenes — people have no idea about all the hard work that goes into it], and the heartbreak and the frustrations that go into making things like this. And I thought it was entertaining for people to read.
 
What was the worse thing [injury] that you ever got from skateboarding?

I broke my pelvis. There’s a lot of things that you do that you don’t realize involve the pelvis in your life, including walking, sneezing. So many things. It was very difficult for about 2 months for me.
 
Do you still skateboard . . . often?

Yeah, all the time. I do a lot of exhibitions and tours. I actually skate more now than ever because I don’t have to follow the competition schedule and travel as much as most of the guys are doing that. Like Shaun White.
 
Do you teach your kids how to skateboard and do they like skateboarding?

My older son is a very good skater. Up until he was about 10 or 11 years old; then, he started doing tricks that I wasn’t so familiar with. I just let him go on his own and he’s more of a street skater, and he’s sponsored now. He’s 17. My other kids, they skate a little bit, but they’re more interested in other things. My daughter will stand on the board with me if I hold her hands, and she really enjoys it. And the other day, she actually got on herself. (Shows a photo.) I don’t know how long it’s going to last, but it was fun, and I had to take a picture of it.
 
Do your kids get treated differently because people know that you’re their dad?

Sometimes. Not so much in school, because their friends know them very well — and knew them before they knew who I was. Yeah, sometimes, especially if we’re going to public events or anything. But at the same time, sometimes it’s fun because we get to go to Nickelodeon  and things like that that some kids don’t get to go to. There’s good and bad.
 
Do you think this game is going to be the best of your games?
 
I think it’s different. I think it’s definitely the best for a skateboard controller, for something that’s more real life. Our other games, it’s just a different experience. So I don’t like to compare them like pushing buttons, as opposed to stand there and actually moving. But I think this is probably the best stand-up board game for sure because they have them in arcades as well. We have Top Skate and others as well, but this one’s way better than those.
 
How is your relationship with Shaun White?
 
It’s very good, actually. He’s in town right now, and he texted me last night and said ‘let’s get together for dinner.’ So I feel if he asked me to go to dinner, we’re pretty tight. And that’s not even funny. Some people think we’re competitors, but I love what he does.

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