Tony Hawk Elliott Sloan Until the Wheels Fall Off
Elliott Sloan skating at the Los Angeles premiere of TONY HAWK: UNTIL THE WHEELS FALL OFF. Photo by Jeff Kravitz, courtesy of HBO

Tony Hawk told the crowd at the premiere of his new HBO documentary, Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off, that he intends to keep skateboarding once he recovers from a recent leg injury.

“I’m gonna be back,” the 53-year-old skateboarder said on Wednesday night at The Bungalow in Santa Monica, California.

“When I was a kid — when I found skateboarding — I was not cool in skateboarding, and I had to learn to forge my own way,” Hawk said.

“Skateboarding gave me so many of my life skills,” he added. “Now, finally, everyone is sort of figuring it out… there are skate parks everywhere, and the cool kids in school are the skaters. It’s amazing. I’m so excited to be living in this time that I get to watch that develop.”

The documentary features interviews with several of the pro skateboarders that Hawk came up with in the early 1980s, including Christian Hosoi and several members of Stacy Peralta’s original Bones Brigade, like Lance Mountain, Rodney Mullen, and Mike McGill.

Director Sam Jones was also in attendance. Hawk said he trusted him more than anyone else to tell his story.

“When Sam approached me… I was honored, and I told him I had other people offering me to do a documentary, and most of it was like, ‘You worked at it and you developed a skill, and then you had success, and then you didn’t have success, and then X Games happened and you made a 900 and then you did a videogame. Woo! Roll credits,'” Hawk said. “I felt like, sure, that’s the sort of fantastical version of it, but I did say to Sam that I’d like to think I’ve done a lot since then. That was 15, 20 years ago. And I continued to skate through the ups and downs, and I continue to skate into my old age. Hence the title Until the Wheels Fall Off,” he said.

On March 8, Hawk posted on Instagram that the previous day he’d broken his femur in a skateboarding accident. He noted the irony of the timing, given that the documentary is about Hawk and other skaters pushing themselves to the edges of their physical limits. On Wednesday night, that irony was still not lost on him.

Tony Hawk and wife Catherine Goodman

Catherine Goodman and Tony Hawk attend  the premiere of Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Offat The Bungalow in Santa Monica, California. Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Film Magic for HBO.

Also Read: Morbius Director Daniel Espinosa Has Something in Common with Jared Leto’s Doctor-Turned-Vampire

“The wheels didn’t fall off, but I fell off the wheels,” he joked. “I broke my leg, but I’m gonna be back. It sucks… it’s another injury to overcome, but it shows how much we persevere as skateboarders,” he said, giving a nod to the eight skateboarders who performed at the premiere on one of his personal vert ramps transported up from Hawk’s home in San Diego for the event: Lizzie Armanto, Elliot Sloan, Andy Macdonald, Jimmy Wilkins, Jordyn Barratt, Bucky Lasek, Kevin Staab, and Lincoln Ueda.

Emcee Jason Ellis narrated the skaters’ tricks as they flew through the air in front of dazzled onlookers.

“That’s why we do it — because it’s amazing to be able to fly and be part of this community. There’s really nothing else like it,” Hawk continued. “You go to skate parks these days and see the diversity in skate parks of age and race and background and gender, and everyone comes together and they’re all rooting for each other and there’s camaraderie. It’s magical, and I can’t think of any other sport that’s like that. I always thought of that when I was a kid. Why don’t people get it? Why is it not cool? And I feel like people are finally getting it.”

Then, he gave some more credit to Jones, who was in the crowd at many of the events Hawk competed in during his early career in the 1980s.

“Sam was there, so he knew what it took. He knew we were [making] this counter-culture all around the world. I knew that he would be authentic in the voice of presenting it as such, and also with my personal life and my personal challenges. I knew he would be mindful of that and respectful of my loved ones and I feel like he did that,” Hawk said. “I had no control over this narrative, but I was very thankful that he brought it to life, because he did it in a way that is authentic and I hope it will inspire people to chase their dreams and not be afraid of hard work and to take risks.”

Several of Hawk’s family members were at the premiere, including his wife, Catherine Goodman, several of his children, and his siblings. Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off  also features footage Hawk’s late parents — his father, Frank Hawk, died of lung cancer in 1995, and his mother, Nancy Elizabeth Hawk, died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s in 2019.

“Our mom passed away just before COVID. Oh man, if she were to see this — bragging rights,” he laughed.

Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off premieres April 5 on HBO.

Main Image: Elliott Sloan skating on Tony Hawk’s vert ramp at the Los Angeles premiere of Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off. Photo by Jeff Kravitz / HBO.