We know and love Tony Hawk and his name is synonymous with skateboarding. You have likely seen the name Tony Hawk on the bottom graphic of many skateboards. But are Tony Hawk Skateboards any good? The quick answer is “it depends”.
There are excellent quality skateboards with Tony Hawks name on them, and there are skateboards of questionable and even poor quality with his name on them. Lets take a look at some of the models that you have seen for sale, the type of skater they would be best suited for, and have a look at what Tony Hawk himself uses.
Is a Tony Hawk Skateboard Good for Beginners?
Again, the answer to this question is “it depends”. Like anything else, there will be good Tony Hawk Skateboards and bad Tony Hawk Skateboards. Tony hawk skateboards are mass produced but are of higher quality than regular toy store skateboards. They are fine for beginners but not great for experienced skateboarders.
Tony Hawk Signature Series Skateboards Review
We found that the most common Tony Hawk Skateboards available for purchase online are the Tony Hawk Signature Series Skateboards. They are available in the 180, 360, and 540 Series. The 180 series being the lowest price point and quality board, and the 540 being more expensive but higher quality.
All of them are wrapped in plastic which means it’s a mass produced skateboard and not a single pressed deck. We we’re able to get Tony Hawk skateboard for $30 USD and it’s actually not that bad.
Tony Hawk Signature 180 Series (Basic)
The 180 Series is the most budget of the Signature Series. It is made of 7 ply maple, has metal trucks, slow bearings, soft bushings and softer polyurethane wheels with a hardness of 95A. Overall that doesn’t sound terrible. It’s definitely a beginners setup that will not turn great, and won’t roll very fast.
The biggest shortcoming of this skateboard is likely the deck and the trucks. The deck, while made of maple, is likely made of a cheaper, lower quality maple than the Hard Maple used to make quality decks.
This skateboard is designed for a very beginner rider. If you are younger, have never been on a skateboard and want to give it a try, the Tony Hawk Signature Series 180 might be an OK option for you. But, you will want to upgrade after a couple of months of steady skating for something that is going to stand up better and make learning tricks easier.
Tony Hawk Signature 360 Series
The 360 Series is the next step up. The deck is made of better quality maple, the bearings are faster, and the bushings and wheels are harder. This setup should perform much better than the 180 Series and will roll and handle better in general.
Rather than starting on the 180 Series, it might be beneficial to go right for the 360 Series. With its upgraded components, the 360 Series will offer more longevity for an improving beginner. But, again, once you are wanting to learn more tricks, you will need an upgrade. The components of beginner boards can’t generally take much punishment.
Tony Hawk Signature 540 Series
This is the top end of the Tony Hawk Signature Series Skateboards. All components of this setup are upgraded to the highest quality of the series. This setup should work well for a more advanced beginner/early intermediate skater.
Even though the deck and components of the 540 Series are upgraded from the 180 and 360 series, does not mean that you will be getting a top or even a standard quality skateboard by industry standards. You aren’t getting straight trash either.
The deck is made of maple and comes with decent trucks and wheels. It even has spacers to prevent the bearings from crushing, not something you see on most completes. The wheels are around 54mm which makes this board a bit faster but the trucks are quite heavy.
These are beginner quality. The Tony Hawk Signature Series Skateboards are designed for beginners and will not stand up to the rigours that advanced skateboarders will put them through.
Tony Hawk Birdhouse Skateboards
If you are a beginner and wanting a better all around quality complete skateboard by Tony Hawk, you should have a look at Birdhouse Skateboards. Birdhouse is Tony Hawks professional skateboard company and Birdhouse produces top quality Professional Skateboard Decks.
A Birdhouse complete skateboard will cost you more than the Tony Hawk Signature Series of skateboards, but you will be getting a much higher quality ride. You get what you pay for. Its better so it costs more.The components are much better than the Signature Series so it will last you longer and ultimately be better to learn on.
The Birdhouse completes come in 2 flavours: Beginner and Premium. The beginner has softer wheels and slower bearings, while the premium offers harder wheels and faster bearings. The premium should last a beginner well into intermediate territory.
Tony Hawk Walmart/Toys R Us Skateboards
You will want to steer clear of any of these. The price point looks right, but you are not going to get a quality skateboard, of any brand, make, or model, for under $40. It will be made of cheap plastic components that will not perform properly, nor last for much time at all. Save yourself the money and get a better product.
What Skateboard Does Tony Hawk Use?
Tony Hawks skateboard set up, according to his interview on The Nine Club from January 2021, is:
- Birdhouse Tony Hawk 8.5″ Deck
- Independent Trucks
- Bones Hard Bushings
- Bones SPF 60mm Wheels
- Bones Swiss Bearings
Tony Hawks Personal Setup vs. A Tony Hawk Complete Setup
Tony Hawks personal skateboard is made up of top quality professional components. With Tony Hawk being one of the top Vert Skaters of all time he would need top quality professional equipment to limit any potential failures while flying through the air. An equipment failure would be catastrophic at the speeds Tony achieves on a vert ramp.
We have shown you some decent starter boards at budget prices. These should get you on the road and progressing in skateboarding. If you were to reach the level of Tony Hawk, there is no way that you would feel comfortable taking the 180 Series skateboard on the vert ramp. You would need something more substantial and safe.
Just for fun, I built Tony Hawks set up on an online skateshop. Here is how his setup cost compares to the completes we looked at earlier:
- Tony Hawks Personal Setup Cost: $250
- Tony Hawk 180 Series Cost: $40 USD
- Tony Hawk 360 Series Cost: $70 USD
- Tony Hawk 540 Series Cost: $80 USD
- Birdhouse Complete Beginner Cost: $100
- Birdhouse Complete Premium Cost: $130
You can see the difference in cost as you go up in quality of the deck and components of completes. You need to spend a bit more for better quality parts. And then there is the cost of building a custom setup from professional parts. Skateboarding isn’t cheap, but you can get a decent beginners set up for a lower entry cost than most other sports.
Does Tony Hawk Make Skateboards?
In short, No. Tony Hawk does not make skateboards.
Tony Hawk is a retired Professional skateboarder. He leases his name to a company that makes Tony Hawk Signature Series Skateboards. He is also an owner of Birdhouse Skateboards which uses the Generator/BBS wood shop to manufacture their skateboards.
While Tony Hawk is not a carpenter, as a professional skater he would know what he likes. He likely had his hand in the design process of the decks and graphics before they went to production.
Are Tony Hawk Skateboards any good? Yes and No.
When purchasing a complete skateboard you will want it made of decent quality components. A cheap crappy skateboard will not be safe or fun to ride. It will not allow the skater to progress and they will fall out of love with the dream pretty quick. A high quality complete will keep the skater interested and last them longer.
The Tony Hawk Skateboards we discussed are decent options for their intended purpose. Pick the best skateboard you can comfortably afford based on your current skill level and where you think you will be. If you have never skated but are athletic and think you might progress quickly, you will want to select a higher end complete like the 540 Series or one of the Birdhouse completes.