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Landing the 900: The moment Tony Hawk became a legend

Skateboarder Tony Hawk attempts a never before done trick—the 900— and goes down in history.

By Betty-AnnPublished 9 months ago 3 min read
Landing the 900: The moment Tony Hawk became a legend
Photo by Lukas Bato on Unsplash

In 1995, a pivotal moment in the history of extreme sports occurred when Tony Hawk clinched the gold medal at the inaugural X Games. This victory marked the beginning of an era of Hawk's dominance throughout the '90s. His exceptional skills and unwavering determination made him a household name among skateboarders and sports enthusiasts worldwide.

Fast forward to 1999, and Hawk decided to take his already remarkable career up a notch. He set his sights on achieving a feat that had never been accomplished before - the elusive 900. This mind-boggling trick involved a two-and-a-half spin rotation combined with what could be described as a mid-air somersault, all while tightly gripping his skateboard.

The uniqueness and challenge of the 900 lay in the fact that the skateboarder was essentially blind to the landing zone not once, but twice during the maneuver. It was a daring and audacious move that would test the limits of Hawk's skill and courage.

The idea of attempting the 900 at the X Games wasn't initially on Hawk's agenda. Instead, it was the onsite announcer, Dave Duncan, who playfully suggested, "Oh, let's see that 900!" He was well aware of Hawk's repeated attempts in practice. In response to the crowd's enthusiasm and Dave's urging, Hawk decided to give it a shot. The decision to attempt the 900 wasn't just about the competition; it was a way to engage with the audience and provide them with a thrilling spectacle.

By Taylor Smith on Unsplash

As Hawk made his way to the ramp, you could hear the excitement in the voice of Duncan over the loudspeakers: "Run back, Tony's got a shot at it. Can he do it?" This was the moment when history was about to be made, and the crowd could sense it. The tension was palpable as Hawk ascended the ramp, preparing to make his improbable attempt.

The first few moments of the attempt were a blur of spinning wheels and Hawk's body twisting in mid-air. Spectators held their collective breath, their eyes fixed on the mesmerizing spectacle taking place above the ramp. The commentator's voice was charged with anticipation as he shouted, "900! 900, this could be it. Oh. The closest one. We're not worthy."

For those watching, the 900 was nothing short of revolutionary. It was a trick that had never been successfully executed before, and the sheer audacity of attempting it was awe-inspiring. Friends, fellow skateboarders, and fans couldn't contain their emotions as they watched Hawk's determination on full display.

By Jason Gardner on Unsplash

Hawk's resolve during the attempt was unwavering. He knew there were only two possible outcomes that night: either he would land the 900 successfully, or he would be carried off the ramp on a stretcher and sent to the hospital. It was a high-stakes situation, and he had committed himself to the challenge.

The moment of truth arrived, and Hawk's board completed the two-and-a-half spins in mid-air. His eyes locked on the landing zone. And then, against all odds, he landed it. The crowd erupted in jubilation, and Hawk was surrounded by his peers rushing to congratulate him. It was a moment that transcended skateboarding, a moment that defined legendary status.

Hawk's successful 900 was a groundbreaking achievement. It wasn't just a triumph for the X Games or for Tony Hawk; it was a defining moment for the sport of skateboarding itself. Today, we might say it went "viral" because it captivated the hearts and minds of people everywhere. It remains a seminal moment in the history of extreme sports.

By shawn henry on Unsplash

As Hawk basked in the adoration of the crowd, he humbly acknowledged the role of the audience: "If it weren't for you people, I would have never made that, I swear to God." The connection between the skateboarder and his fans was evident, and it was their support and encouragement that fueled his extraordinary achievement.

In conclusion, the story of Tony Hawk's 900 at the X Games in 1999 is more than just a sports moment; it's a testament to the indomitable spirit of human determination. It's a tale of pushing the boundaries, conquering the seemingly impossible, and creating a legacy that extends far beyond the skatepark. Tony Hawk's 900 is a milestone in the world of extreme sports, an enduring symbol of what can be achieved when passion, skill, and sheer willpower converge in a moment of pure excellence.


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    Betty-AnnWritten by Betty-Ann

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