VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The most famous skateboarder in the world has always had a soft spot for Virginia Beach.
Tony Hawk sent a special video message to the area during Mayor Bobby Dyer’s State of the City Address Wednesday at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
Hawk announced he will attend this summer’s Jackalope Festival, a sports action festival from Canada that will make its U.S. debut in Virginia Beach.
But it isn’t the first time Hawk has visited the area. Virginia Beach was the backdrop for a pivotal moment in his career – the 1986 East Coast Assault vert competition.
The competition arrived as skateboarding was becoming more popular, and you could find local kids building their own ramps and half pipes and skating almost every day after school.
But there was a half pipe that brought in people from all over the country – the Mount Trashmore half pipe, one of the only public skate parks in the U.S. at the time.
A scrawny, but talented 19-year-old by the name of Tony Hawk would place second in the competition and walk away with newfound fame. Hawk elaborated on the event in a 2013 interview with Pharrell Williams.
“I think [Mount Trashmore] was in the mid-80s when skating was just starting to take off a bit,” Hawk told Pharrell during an interview for Artst TLK in 2013. “That was the first time we really had rock star status.”
Hawk even posted about the Trashmore skate park a few years ago on Instagram, reminiscing about that 1986 event and the autographs he signed through a fence after he skated.
He’d make more trips to Virginia Beach too, showing up unannounced at the Mount Trashmore ramp at least once.
Then in 2008, he hosted Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Huckjam, a skating and motocross tour that made a stop at the Virginia Beach Amphitheater.
The Jackalope Festival coming this June isn’t some random stop for the world’s greatest skateboarder...it’s a reunion years in the making.