Hawk squawks

Vertical Urges

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Vert skating runs a lot deeper than what you see on TV. The scene is alive and well. GalleryPhoto Gallery

Innovator, entrepreneur, philanthropist and now author, Tony Hawk is many things to many people. But to the skaters who have grown up watching and idolizing him, and the ones he still skates with on a regular basis, he'll always be a skateboarder first and foremost. Hawk pushed the progression of vert skating, and skateboarding as a whole, through boom and bust and boom again. He's ridden the waves of skateboarding's popularity and reaped the rewards of his dedication.

With pockets packed and accolades aplenty, the 42-year-old Hawk continues to pad up and go for broke every chance he gets, and pro vert skaters might even be thankful that Hawk stepped away from the contest circuit and gave others a chance to win for a change. While he was on the East Coast promoting his new book and video game, we had a minute to catch up with Hawk to find out just who and what he's watching on the vert ramp these days.