Document of the week | Tony Hawk: Until the wheels fall: a star and its shadow


No professional skateboard did not reach the level or fame of Tony Hawk. However, nothing destined him to become a legend. Tony Hawk: Until the wheels falloffered on Crave, retraces the exceptional journey of the Bones Brigade star who, from the time he was weak, was determined to prove – and prove to himself – that he could be the best.

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Alexandre Vigneault

Alexandre Vigneault
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No one would have bet that Tony Hawk would one day become a dominant athlete on a field. As a child he was not good at any team sport. He was so skinny when he started skateboarding that, once again, he didn’t seem to have the characteristics of a champion let alone the showmanship of a Christian Hosoo.

However, he had one thing the others did not have: steely determination. Tony Hawk wasn’t brimming with self-confidence, but he never backed down in the face of a challenge. “I was ready to get hurt along the way, but I didn’t know it hurt me,” he explains in the documentary Tony Hawk: Until the wheels fall. I’ve always said to myself: it will work, I will find the solution. ”

It is this attitude that led him to invent dozens of new things and become, at 31, the first skateboarder to create a “900”, that is an aerial figure made of a rotation of two and a half turns. He succeeded in this feat in 1999 after training for years and – this is not a detail – after failing nine times in a row at the same public event.

The strength of Tony Hawk is right there, says in the documentary Stacy Peralta, who recruited him as a teenager in the Bones Brigade: every time he tries something new, tries and tries again, he is more and more concentrated, tightens his technique and refines his every gesture. Until the triumph.

Tony Hawk: Until the wheels fall obviously tells the career of the American icon focusing on his obstacles and his victories. In just over two hours, director Sam Jones also recounts the emergence of skateboard as a professional discipline, its culture and its depressions.

It is especially touching to hear Rodney Mullen talk about the sport and his connection with Tony Hawk.

They were both part of the legendary Bones Brigade, a small group that also included Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain and Mike McGill, among others. Except he and Tony Hawk have never been in competition: Rodney Mullen was an ace of freestyle, not ramp. And both had to get away from tournaments to keep the pleasure of driving. Different but the same, sums up Stacy Peralta.

Tony Hawk: Until the wheels fall it is not, however, just a film about skateboard. First of all, it is a documentary about a man who for much of his life sought confirmation. It’s about his conflicted relationship with his father, the loneliness, the vertigo of fame, the intimate cracks of a champion and the damage he inflicted on himself.

At nearly 55 (at the time of filming), Tony Hawk continues to put himself in danger where others stop.

It no longer counts the concussions, fractures, cuts he has suffered. Is it healthy to keep pushing yourself like this? Many, starting with Stacy Peralta, think not. Others refuse to pass judgment. Rodney Mullen, the sensitive philosopher, understands. “A skater, he says, expresses the essence of him. So how do you force someone to deny themselves?

Tony Hawk: Until the wheels fall it may not have the depth of those documentaries that can go beyond convert circles. However, it offers a very interesting perspective and compelling scenes that will capture any teenager or adult who one day jumped on a skateboard dreaming of getting to the sole of one of the Bones Brigade idols.

Tony Hawk: Until the wheels falloffered on Crave


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