Tony Hawk is regarded today as one of the most successful businessmen not just in the skateboarding world, but the sports world as a whole. As of January 2021, Hawk has built up a lucrative net worth of $140 million from tournament winnings, endorsements, and a wide variety of investments.
But at one point during Hawk’s career, he was so tight on money that he was forced to survive on a $5-a-day Taco Bell allowance. Despite those hard times, Hawk stuck with skating and eventually became the most popular and richest skateboarder in the history of the sport.
Tony Hawk’s skating career
When the casual sports fan thinks of skateboarding, the first name that always comes to mind is Tony Hawk. Hawk was a skateboarding prodigy growing up in San Diego, Calif. in the 1970s and 80s, and he quickly became a human highlight reel by the time he was a young teenager.
By age 12, Hawk was winning skating competitions all over California against older skaters. By age 14, he had already turned pro. Hawk won 73 skating competitions before he even turned 26.
During his lengthy career competing in the X-Games, Hawk won 16 medals in the 17 events he entered. Naturally, 10 of those medals were gold. During the 1999 X-Games, Hawk had his career-defining moment when he landed the first-ever 900 in professional competition, which requires two-and-a-half twists in the air.
Hawk was a national skating icon during his pro career, and it paid handsomely.
Tony Hawk has a massive net worth
Along with Hawk’s massive success in skating came even bigger financial success for the revolutionary athlete. Hawk was raking in so much cash as a teenage phenom he was able to buy his own house when he was still in high school.
Aside from his tournament winnings, Hawk was making a living off his sponsorship deal with Powell Peralta skateboards. Every young skater in America wanted to be the next Tony Hawk, so he made hundreds of thousands of dollars on royalties before he could even legally drink a beer.
After retiring from professional skating in 1999, Hawk started exploring other business ventures. His video game, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, was released in 1999 and became a cult classic for skateboarders young and old.
Elsewhere, Hawk started his own video production company and became an investor in companies such as Blue Bottle Coffee, Nest, and DocuSign, among many others.
Hawk’s business savvy helped his net worth explode up to $140 million as of 2021, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Tony Hawk used to survive off a $5-a-day Taco Bell allowance
Tony Hawk might be a very rich man today, but it wasn’t always that way. At one point during his meteoric rise in skating, the sport saw a major decline in popularity. In 1991, Hawk’s wealth shrank exponentially as interest in skateboarding started to die.
Hawk fell into such deep financial struggles that he was forced to live off of a $5-a-day Taco Bell allowance.
But the hard times didn’t last for Hawk. He never gave up on skateboarding, and he eventually brought the sport back from the dead nearly single-handedly. Now, Hawk is the richest skater to ever live, but he’ll never forget the cheap tacos that got him where he is today.