Tony Hawk Talks Fatherhood and New Video Game

11/12/2010 at 10:00 AM ET
Lionel Hahn/Abaca

To pro skateboarder Tony Hawk, there’s not a lot that can top the feeling of catching some air during competition.

But fatherhood to sons Riley, almost 18, Spencer, 11, Keegan, 9, and daughter Kadence, 2, definitely trumps all.

Recently, we got the chance to chat with Hawk about his busy bunch and his new video game, Tony Hawk: Shred ($60 to $100) — an interactive snow- and skateboarding thrill for Wii, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

Here’s what he had to say.


How are the kids? My children are all doing well! Riley is well on his way to becoming a pro skater, traveling the world and touring with his various sponsors already. Spencer (above left) is an avid guitarist and he is in a band (called Cutback Curve) with his buddies. Keegan (above right) is still as crazy as ever and is a force to be reckoned when it comes to videogames. Kadence is 2 and exhibits all the fun qualities that come with that: feisty, sassy, and incredibly sweet.

Do your older three dote on Kadence? My boys love their sister very much. But she has a special connection with Keegan. They have very similar personalities and Kady looks very much like Keegan did when he was her age.

Are any of the younger kids poised to follow in your skateboarding footsteps? Riley is the only one that has pursued skateboarding seriously, and I am very proud of him for his determination and success at such a young age. He also does not rely on my name or influence for his own advantage. In fact, he disowns it as much as possible. It’s fun to sit back and watch people be amazed at his skills.

Courtesy Activision


Did your kids get to try the video game before it hit shelves? Spencer and Keegan were my in-house focus group for Shred. In fact, Keegan found level glitches in the early versions that the game’s developer didn’t know about. We fixed [them] quickly.

Tell us about Shred! Is it pretty similar to skateboarding? It’s not nearly as difficult. The motions are very subtle but the exhilaration is similar. There is a great sense of accomplishment when pulling tricks because you physically trigger them. It could serve as an introduction to the real thing if skateboarding seems too intimidating at first. And the fact that we’ve included snowboarding gives you a whole other world to experience.

Kate Hogan

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Lacey on

I think it’s great that the kids are close with one another, despite have seperate mothers and I figure, not living full time under one roof. I follow Tony on Twitter and I love reading about his kids and seeing the pictures. Kady is adorable!

Mina on

It would be nice if someone as rich as him could donate some video games or attempt to get the prices lowered. The main target audience is young boys and he is a father himself…I feel bad for the kids who want that game but simply cant afford it. Seriously, 110 dollars for 1 video game? In this economy with bills to pay, unfortumatly, most boys will miss out on this “experience”.

CelebBabyLover on

Mina- It says the game is “60 to $110”. In otherwords, $110 is the MOST the game costs. Some versions of it cost less. 🙂 Also, the reason the game costs more than most is because it comes packaged with a special skateboard meant for use with the game (if you click where it says Tony Hawk Shred, it will take you to the offical site for the game, and it shows the board).

If it were just the game being sold for that much, then I’d agree it was a bit expensive. But being the game comes packaged with that skateboard, I can understand the price (and as one of the rare adult female gamers out there, I know quite a bit about how much various video games tend to cost! :)).

simi on

Mina you truly are something else all together. If parents can not afford the game then their kids will just have to go without. It’s not the end of the world. Plus what happened to the good old days when kids went outside to play and learn how to skateboard on a actual skateboard, build social skill face to face with others, get of the computer away from the TV and see the big wide world that awaits them outside and not on a screen. Before you point out it’s not as safe as the game cause they can fall and get hurt. For centuries we have had kids and safety was not something that we as a race worried about till recent history. After all our grand parents have done more dangerous stuff than skateboard and they made it just fine. I don’t think he should lower his prices at all, there are many people involved in making the game, fixing any mistakes before someone can buy it, plus there is always going to staff on the phones to answer question, people that will fix any issues that come along as more people play the game, and they all still have to be payed for many years to come. I am sorry if your kid does not get the game that he wants. But as long as he gets all his needs and not all his wants then he should count his blessings not all of us are that lucky. Tell him to look at is a character building for the future you cannot always get what you want. If that doesn’t work take him to one of many homeless shelter, shelters for abused women and children, show him what the rest of the world looks like, show him that he is lucky to have a mom and dad, food in his belly, roof over his head, a warm safe place to sleep. After all that if he still wants the game tell him he has to earn it by doing something good for someone else, I do that with my daughter. She only ever gets one present for her birthday and that’s all. But it’s always something she really wanted, and if she wants more she goes over next door to an elderly couple and helps them with cleaning, cooking (she is young so she mostly cuts stuff up) picks up things of the floor, laundry and so on. For that she gets a second present of her choice. Since we do not celebrate any other holidays on those we go together to a soup kitchen and help out together with my husband as a family should. I am far from a perfect parent, I do not believe in spoiling your kids, or giving them too much stuff, cloths, toys and so on. They need to learn to appreciate what they have, really get to know themselves and what their wants are, this way when the their future comes they will know the true meaning of love, hope, happiness, and material goods.

Sky on

Congratulations to Riley! I remember seeing a video of him where he said someone asked his last name and he denied it was Hawk.

His kids are gorgeous!

Ashlee on

Mina, I must say, it’s comical how much you enjoy spreading negativity. What’s the point of visiting this website?

Tony’s given back to the community in numerous ways including donating money and helping with charities that aid cancers patients, disadvantaged youth, disaster relief, etc. Those things are more important than making sure every child has a video game in hand. In addition, those games must be played on a gaming console. Should he worry about making sure children have Playstations or is it more important that he focuses on those suffering from diseases and illnesses?

Mina on

simi, first of all, I have a right to an opinion. Second of all, I am speaking the truth.

My kid HAS all the games he wants…but I know plenty of people who’s kids dont, but beg for it, and it breaks my heart that they have to go without. I grew up poor so I know what its like. I guess for Hawk, 110 dollars is pocket change. But in reality, that is beyond expensive.

Most celebrities do donate. Hell, I donate to St Jude’s children hospital and I make a fraction of what he makes. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about regular kids. He made this game SPECIFICALLY for people who like skateboarding, which is usually young boys. This guy is so rich that him and his children and maybe even his granchildren will never want for nothing. I would think he would be in negotiation with getting his game prices lowered.

So write your paragraph bashing me, thats fine, it only gives me the will to go on and speak the truth some more! =)

Christie on

Just want to put it out there that Tony Hawk does a lit of things for charities and has his own charity which helps to build skate parks, especially in disadvantaged areas.

And Mina, it may be YOUR truth, but it might not be THE truth. He’s a businessman, and of course he is going to make a profit, and sell the game at least to cost. If kids want it maybe they can save, or get it as a present from an adult who saves for it. And yes, they may go without. Its life.

MiB on

In that case, I hope you let your sons friends come over and play the games with your son, that’s what we did when we were kids, if we didn’t have a game, we went over to a friends house and played it there, if our friends wanted to play a game that we had, then we’d let them come over and play it at our place. And if we really wanted a game (or something else for that matter) we saved up for it. If it was expensive we’d do deals with our parents and grandparents to sponsor a part of it as a christmas or birthday gift, or make extra money through additional chores at home, or at someone elses house.

Also, as celebbabylover pointed out, $110 is for the most expensive version of the game, probably the wii. Hate to say it, but if you have a limited budget, you most probably don’t own a Wii anyways, but if you do, and it is the only gaming console you have, then you’ll just have to either save the money or hope you have a friend who gets it and let you play it.