It is said that if you don’t want to come home bloody, don’t leave home with a skateboard. But just in time for holiday shopping, Tony Hawk has invented a skateboard for home use that takes the blood out of the sport – perhaps ruining the experience for extreme, thrill seekers. At 41 with four kids to manage, one might be tempted to think of him as the ghost of skateboarding past. But instead of fading quietly into the backdrop, Tony Hawk continues to expand his product line in new and innovative ways. He is now, um, hawking a new skateboarding video game, Tony Hawk: Ride, without hand controls.
With the advent of other joystick free games such as the Wii and Guitar Hero, Hawk figured the time was ripe for going to market with the idea that he’s had for a while. The controller which looks like a snowboard has two accelerometers and infrared sensors. But still, it’s a videogame. It doesn’t have wheels for true skateboarding. The gamer doesn’t have to actually perform an ollie (a jump) or a kickflip (flipping the board) in real life to accomplish these moves in the game.
While Hawk is hoping for his new game to be successful and is planning future games, he continues to pay close attention to keeping the Tony Hawk brand alive and well and in demand. While he doesn’t compete, he continues to tour, doing exhibition shows around the world. Whether it’s in a Rancid music video, or on the Simpsons or on episodes of the “Suite Life of Zach and Cody,” Tony Hawk probably rides the rails for the adrenaline but he also does it to keep his name and brand in the forefront. This weekend he takes the jam to Paris where he teams up with Chester Bennington’s new group and Parisian graffiti artist, Andre for an entertaining weekend of skateboarding, art and music, and generating buzz for the brand.
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