At the 1999 X-Games, Tony Hawk became the first confirmed pro skater to land a 900, a trick involving two and a half full spins off a skateboard ramp. More than a decade and a half later, the “Birdman” is making skating history again with some help from Sony. The stunt involves something that could best be described as a horizontal loop called the Sony Spiral.
As is his approach with any new trick, the now 47-year-old Hawk was relentless in his attempts, slamming multiple times. It took 18 tries before he found the sweet spot and rode it through.
“People keep asking me questions, like, ‘Well, how do you approach it?'” Hawk says in the video. “I don’t know. I’m just going to find out … the hard way.”
According to his Instagram, Hawk has been brainstorming this stunt for quite some time. When his vision finally came to fruition, he was able to complete consecutive loops around the swirly ramp.
Pushing the boundaries of physics and age is nothing new to Hawk. He last completed a 900 in 2011, at the age of 43, and lived to tweet about it.
Hawk partnered with Sony to build and film the ramp. It was filmed with seven Action Cams and directed by Jared Prindle of Hawk’s 900 Films.
“Size and picture quality in low light were key features that the Sony Action Cam offered with this shoot. In this case, there was no way we were going to mount a full-size camera in this untested horizontal loop,” Prindle said. Cameras mounted high off the ground were monitored with Sony mobile software to avoid having to run up and down ladders.
Though he officially retired in 1999, Tony Hawk has not slowed down much. We can only imagine what he’ll attempt next.