Tony Hawk started breaking speed limits at age 9 when given his first skateboard. By 14, he’d gone pro, cementing skateboarding icon status by landing moves like the 900. Off the ramp, he spearheads numerous endeavors, including Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video-game franchise and Tony Hawk’s Demolition Radio show on Sirius XM. Where his true passion lies? Raising funds to empower youth through the Tony Hawk Foundation. Indeed, he’ll be teaming up with Candace Nelson (of Cupcake Wars and Sprinkles fame) for the 9th Annual Stand Up For Skateparks Benefit on Oct. 6 and 7. What makes him grumble? International airports that don’t consider skateboards carry-ons.
What’s something you never fail to pack in your suitcase?
My MacBook Pro, and a charger that works on international plugs.
Carry-on or check-in?
Carry-on, but certain airports won't let you carry a skateboard through the terminal (like London and Frankfurt). In those cases, it's check-in… begrudgingly.
Window or aisle?
Window, so I can lean against it and fall asleep.
Do you bring food with you on plane? If so, what do you typically pack?
No, I like to gamble. Although United’s "Tapas" snack box is always a winner.
What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
Kids, sun, surf, sleep, and lots of food.
Tell us about a vacation you’ve taken that’s come close thus far.
Took all of my kids to Kauai this spring. We rented a house near Secret Beach. It was mostly sunny, and the surf was not too big for my little ones. Fresh papayas in the morning, and fresh mahi mahi for dinner.
What’s the worst vacation you’ve ever been on?
When I got out of high school, three friends and I went to France for five weeks. Our first week was spent in a budget hostel-ish hotel in Biarritz. My bag was stolen out of my room while I was asleep within the first few days. I spent the rest of our trip borrowing shirts and wearing pants and shorts that didn't fit.
Where's your favorite destination for performing/practicing/competing in your sport?
My ramp is the best for all three purposes; it’s portable and arguably the best ramp around. We can put it up almost anywhere within three hours, and pack it back up in half that time.
What's the silliest/most unusual/decadent souvenir you ever came back with?
I bought an antique Burmese gong in Thailand. I put it on the front porch and my kids use it as a doorbell. It’s ridiculously old, expensive, and LOUD.
Ever try a food that you wished you hadn't?
Noodles off the street in Bangkok because they seemed like a fun novelty at the time. I have never experienced a worse panic trying to find a bathroom.
Favorite hotel you've ever stayed in?
The Peninsula in Tokyo has incredible rooms and view. I am also a big fan of Mondrian Hotel (Los Angeles and New York City) because we’ve held a few VIP events for our foundation (Tony Hawk Foundation) and the space is perfect (especially the rooftop in SoHo). And Chateau Marmont (Los Angeles) is the best hideaway.
Biggest regret you've ever had while on vacation?
I wish I’d made reservations at Sukiyabashi Jiro (Michelin Guide 3-star sushi restaurant) the last time I was in Tokyo. I don't know if I'll ever get the chance to experience Chef Jiro's (Ono) delicacies before he retires.
The one thing you're willing to splurge on above all else?
Three artists on your travel playlist?
The Clash, Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire
Where would you take someone visiting your hometown for the first time so they could see what you love about it so much?
To the beach in Encinitas or Carlsbad, so they can see that Southern California beaches can still have a small-town, uncrowded vibe to them.
If you only got one more trip in your lifetime, where would it be?
Back to Santorini island in Greece. I never had the desire to see Greece until a friend convinced me of it this summer. Santorini is the ultimate place to do absolutely nothing, surrounded by unimaginable beauty.
- Travel & Tourism
- Travel Destinations