Skateboard icon Tony Hawk brings Birdhouse team to Riley Skate Park
By Austin Vicars
Tony Hawk brought his skateboard company, Birdhouse, to Farmington Hills Riley Skate Park for a skate demo as part of the Birdhouse Midwest Summer Tour on Saturday, Aug. 23. Hawk teamed up with fellow skaters Aaron Homoki, Ben Raybourn, Kevin Stabb, David Loy, Clint Walker, Mike Davis, Shaun Gregoire, Willy Santos, Clive Dixon and Shawn Hale to put on a skate demo for fans to enjoy.
“I like connecting with the fans,” said Hawk. “We get to actually interact with the kids there, sometimes skate with them and high five. It’s just fun being much more accessible like that.”
Tony is considered to be one of the greatest skateboarders of all time by many and with good reason. He turned pro at the young age of 12 and has evolved into the face of skateboarding through his several accomplishments, including earning 16 X-Games medals (10 gold), creating his own video game series and being the first person to ever land the 900.
He credits some of his success to his home state of California, and Hawk said, “It would have been hard to come up as a career in skating had I not lived in California.”
Luckily for Michigan skaters, Hawk decided to bring his Birdhouse tour to the mitten. It is not everyday fans get to skateboard with their favorite skaters at their local skate park. Spectators watched in awe as Tony and the rest of the Birdhouse team performed tricks all afternoon.
“We thought it would be a great idea to come by Riley. It’s a fantastic park,” Birdhouse tour manager and Tony Hawk Incorporated employee Steven Perelman said.
Riley Skate Park has make a positive impact on the community, and the 29,000 square foot all-concrete park has been the area’s prime hotspot for both local and pro skateboarders since 2009. It has various different ramps and rails for skaters of all levels to attempt tricks on.
“It’s awesome for the community. I see tons of kids up here who are here instead of getting into trouble,” said local fan and skater Cameron Carmichael.
The park was built by donations made by George Riley and the Riley Foundation. Unlike many skate parks, Riley Skate Park has no entry fee and is free for public use. The park is located at 35750 West 8 Mile Road and is open 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. every day.