Published by: Julia
Tony Hawkes is one of the most successful skateboarders in the world, so why would you not want to learn from him? His Masterclass is excellent. Easy to follow, interesting, inspiring. Best of all you really will learn new tricks from the master.
Who is Tony Hawk?
To anyone in the skateboarding world, Tony Hawk is an inspiration. He has been inspirational in taking the sport from the street to the mainstream. Becoming one of the first pro-skaters to break through and enter the consciousness of people outside of the sport. He helped to make skateboarding acceptable, which meant that instead of moving skateboarders on local authorities started to build skateparks.
Between 1983 and 2003, he took a staggering 64 world titles. Including winning Vans, X Games, NSA, Street and Hard Rock Triple Crown competitions. All the time advocating for and growing his sport.
Even more importantly, Tony invented over 100 new tricks. Many of which have proved to be a springboard for the generations of skaters that have followed. What he achieved helped them to develop even more amazing moves.
His “900” trick is still one of the most exciting and innovative tricks out there. Many of his vert tricks are covered in the masterclass. As you will see, at 52, he still owns his nickname of “Birdman”. Honestly, he is amazing.
Any skateboarder, fan, a sports buff or student of sports history is going to be blown away by Tony´s skateboarding masterclass. I had not been on a board for more than a decade until I took this course. It has really re-ignited my passion for the sport and inspired me to get on my deck again.
3 teachers – 3 skateboarding styles
Before I dive in and tell you more about what is in the course, I just want to let you know that when you take this skateboarding masterclass, you are actually getting access to far more than just Tony´s expertise. Certain stages of the course are covered by proponents of other skateboarding styles they are:
- Park – Riley Hawk
- Street -Lizzie Armanto
- Vento – Tony Hawk
The benefits of skateboarding
There is no doubt that skateboarding is an inclusive sport. Most people can do it and I can tell you from experience that most other skaters are super supportive. As a kid, the skatepark was the one place I could fit in. No bullying, everyone helping each other to take things to the new level. All age groups and social-economic groups mixing together.
If you are the parent of a shy or awkward child, I suggest you get them the masterclass. They will love it and it will open up a whole new world for them. Skating will challenge them, build confidence, help them make friends, learn how to bounce back after injury and stay fit.
Basic skateboarding skills
It was refreshing to see Tony cover the most basic skills. If you have never been on a board use the short skills and technique video to get started. In that video he covers:
- Pushing off
- Pushing your board along and controlling the speed
- Buying the right safety gear
- How to stop quickly
- How to tic-tac
For each of these he covers how to position yourself on the board to keep your weight in the right position. As well as explaining how to avoid the most common errors.
How to ollie anywhere
The ollie is the most important skill to learn. In this section, Tony explains how to master the basics. Then goes on to show you how to do the following:
- mastering the basic ollie
- ollieing over flat ground
- ollieing over objects
- ollieing on ramps
- ollieing on vert
These moves all stem from the basic Ollie, but the techniques are different. Mastering this skill is crucial. Once you have it down you can overstep, kick step and get yourself onto objects.
How to learn from your failures
Skateboarding is not easy. It takes a lot of time to learn the basics. But, it is fun, so you don´t really notice. During his masterclass, Tony speaks extensively about what he got out of skateboarding and what it taught him. If you are a fan of his you are sure to enjoy learning more about his journey.
How to get the most out of park skating
If you are lucky enough to have a skateboard park near you. Once you have learned the basics, don´t delay, head over there. In this section of his course, Tony covers:
- Park safety and etiquette
- How to generate speed from each transition
- Dropping in
Here is just one example of Tony´s clear instructions:
Once your front wheels are on the wall, you shift your weight evenly across your board. Leaning forward but not putting all of your weight on your front foot. – Tony Hawk Masterclass – Dropping in
Intermediate and advanced park skateboarding
I like the way Tony has organized his masterclass and been able to ensure that there is something for everyone in his course. The videos run from beginner to intermediate to advanced, exactly as they should.
For the advanced park skateboarding tricks, Tony calls on Lizzie Armanto. She is an even better teacher than him. Using simple clear, carefully paced instructions, combined with perfectly timed slow-mo videos, she makes it possible for park skaters to take things to the next level. Here are the tricks she covers:
- Rock to Fakie
- Frontside Ollie
- Backside 50/50 Grind
- Frontside 5-0 Grind
- Backside Disaster
- Frontside Smith Grind
- Fakie Disaster Smith
- Frontside Boneless
Learn to skate vert with Tony Hawk
Tony started his career skating in swimming pools. At the time, that was about all there was, skate parks were a rarity. Even the ones that did exist mostly closed when they could not afford the liability insurance bills. So, swimming pool skating was how most skaters of Toby´s generation honed their vert skills and tricks.
Across two videos, Tony shows you how to master and do :
- Master pumping
- How to fall on a ramp safely using knee sliding
- Backside Ollies
- Backside Air
- Frontside Rock N Roll
- LipslideFrontside Trailside
- Backside Smith Grind
- Bluntside to Backside 180
Tony is particularly good at explaining what the common errors are with each trick and how to avoid making them. Importantly he explains why you need to position certain parts of your body in a particular way. This extra information makes it even easier to absorb and apply what he is telling you.
Mastering the 900 and Kickflip McTwist
I was a bit disappointed that Tony did not actually breakdown how to execute the 900. Instead, he goes through how he managed to finally do it. Like most skaters, he tried for many years before he succeeded. More than a decade. However, oddly you do learn quite a bit by hearing what he did wrong each time he tried it. So, it was interesting as was his playback video for the Kickflip McTwist.
How to be a winning skateboarder
If you want to compete, you will find this section of Tony´s course to be especially useful. Here, he shares details of his mindset and how he promotes himself. As well as how he approaches competitions.
Tony Hawk´s take on the future of skateboarding
Tony wraps up his course by sharing his take on the future of skateboarding. He shares how his skateboarding video game saw the light of day and how new tricks are being developed. It will be great to see the sport finally make it to the Olympics.
Tony Hawkes Skateboarding PDF Workbook
Overall this is a really good Masterclass workbook. As you can see here every single course on the platform comes with a full workbook. They are all very helpful, but some like Tony Hawkes downloadable skateboarding masterclass pdf is better than others.
Importantly, the workbook closely follows the format of the videos. So, it is super easy to refer back to things and find what you want. Plus, there are some nice little extra touches. For example, the diagram that breaks down the various elements and components of a skateboard.
It would have good if he had including some maintenance tips in his course. For example, how to recognise the early signs of wear and what to do when you do.
Who is Tony Hawkes Skateboarding Masterclass for?
The great thing about Tony is the way he speaks to everyone. Skaters of all levels, fans who don´t skate and people who are interested in the history of skateboarding. I used to skate, so particularly enjoyed this Masterclass. But, my husband who has never been on a deck also likes it. So, I can say hand on heart, I think most of you will get something from watching this Masterclass. .