Skateboarding enthusiasts, attention: Tony Hawk has his own course on MasterClass, and it’s an enjoyable watch, to say the least.
But this course can be so much more than just entertainment. After all, you’re probably taking this course to learn new tricks like Hawk’s famous 900 trick or hundreds of other tricks he invented.
Okay, you won’t learn all of them, obviously. But what you will get is a course that will take you from the basics to more advanced skateboarding tricks. Let’s see how the course looks like.
What is MasterClass?
If you’re reading this review, then you probably have at least a vague idea of what MasterClass is. If not, then we’ll clue you in here.
MasterClass is an online course platform with dozens of courses on almost every topic, which can range from cooking, basketball, tennis, and – of course – to skateboarding.
The platform differs from other online course providers in their instructors. We often say you’re learning from the best on-course platforms. However, we can honestly say that MasterClass has the best instructors in the world.
You’ll learn from people who’ve done it and done it in the big leagues. We’re talking about celebrities, people who have gone from the bottom to the top, and have been anywhere in between during the process.
While many of these courses will provide added value and will not teach you skill from scratch, there are also some courses that strive to do that. Tony Hawk’s course is a bit of both – you can learn the basics, but you’ll also get some insights and subtle tricks to make you a better skateboarder.
Who is Tony Hawk?
To most of you who are reading this review, Tony Hawk probably needs no introduction.
He is the king of the 1990s and 2000s skateboarding – some would argue that he’s the best skateboarder in history. To many, he is an inspiration, especially for people looking to get into skateboarding.
Up until the 90s, skateboarding was considered nothing more than a hobby for teenagers who have nothing else to do. Along came Tony Hawk and changed how the entire world perceives skateboarding. He helped turn it into a sport.
In his career, he won 64 professional skateboarding titles, more than every other skateboarder ever. He became a phenomenon with his unique and new tricks he came up with regularly. He’s invented more than 100 tricks in his career.
Skateboarding parks started popping up everywhere in the world. Plus, countless competitions are now being held regularly, and that’s mainly thanks to Tony Hawk. His influence also prompted video game creators to create a new game about Tony Hawk. This game still holds up well in the memories of the 80s and 90s kids.
Today, he’s 52 and he’s still nicknamed the “Birdman”. He’s still flying around, inventing tricks, despite his age. Skateboarding is an Olympic sport. He also has his own course on MasterClass, which we’re reviewing here in this article.
Tony Hawk MasterClass Review
So, about the course – is it any good?
Tony Hawk’s skateboarding course is not only fascinating to watch, but it also provides a great deal of value. You’ll learn the basics of skateboarding – Tony Hawk tells us skateboarding is a real sport, inspiring everyone to try it out themselves.
There are 16 lessons altogether in the course. It starts off by telling you more about Tony Hawk himself – how he started skateboarding (at just the age of 11!), and how his career took off in the 80s and 90s.
Who is it For?
The course is for anyone willing to try their hand at skateboarding, and for anyone wanting to improve their skateboarding skills.
Of course, it’s also appealing for those who want to learn new tricks. You’ll be able to learn tricks like “the Ollie”, and the “900” trick, which is one of the toughest tricks in the skateboarding book.
In essence, there are three types of skateboarding: street, park, and vert skateboarding. The course covers all three aspects, so you’ll be able to learn about all of them.
So we’d say this course is a must for those who are looking to:
A: Get into skateboarding
B: Learn some new skateboarding tricks
C: Learn more about Tony Hawk and his career
D: Learn more about Tony Hawk’s game
Also, honestly speaking, the course is also a must for those who have the all-around subscription for MasterClass because it’s just so interesting and engaging. It’s almost like a documentary at times.
Let’s see how the course is constructed.
Honestly, skateboarding is presented so neatly and excitingly in this course that it made me want to try it right now. At first, you’ll learn more about the basics and things like the fundamental technical aspects of skateboarding.
Tony also tells us more about the gear you need for skateboarding – how to pick a good skateboard for you.
It starts off by telling you how to push your skateboard, stop it, turn it, and perform and tic tac turn, which is an essential turn in skateboarding.
Then, you’ll also learn how Tony Hawk started his career and how he made skateboarding a sport. It’s interesting to learn how Tony Hawk was actually bullied in school because of his scrawny frame but made everyone who bullied him eat their words years later.
Street, Park, Vert
Tony Hawk is not the only instructor of this course. Throughout the course, he borrows the word to his son, Riley Hawk, and Lizzie Armanto. Riley will teach you about park skateboarding, Lizzie talks about street skateboarding, while Tony talks about vert skateboarding.
Each style is unique in its own way. Street skateboarding is more about using the obstacles around you to make it work, while park skateboarding is slightly different. It’s much tighter and requires faster turns and quicker reflexes.
Vert skating is more of a freestyle skating that’s often seen in major competitions. It’s also featured in Tony Hawk’s games often. It’s basically skateboarding on a skate ramp (a U-shaped ramp) where every jump represents an opportunity to perform a different trick.
For each category, you’ll learn both the basics as well as the advanced techniques.
Learn the Tricks
One of the most appealing things about the course is that you get to see how some big tricks are performed. These are shown several times and are explained by Tony Hawk so you can learn them yourself.
You’ll learn tricks like:
- The Ollie
- The 900 trick
- The Kickflip McTwist
These tricks are presented in the “playback” format, which means you’ll be able to see them over and over again. And you’ll even be able to try them yourself, as Tony nicely explains the physics and the techniques behind the jumps.
In addition to all of those lessons, there are some additional lessons that will help you become a more complete skateboarder. These lessons include:
- How to win
- The future of skateboarding
- Trials & Tribulations
- A look inside Tony Hawk’s skating game
These lessons are all very fun and some of them are presented in a documentary-like style. But you’ll definitely get some inspiration to become a skateboarder. Tony tells us the importance of having fun and not being too much in your own head, which enables you to use your creativity better.
We also found the lesson where we take a look at how Tony’s video game was created. It’s a legendary game, and it’s also partly responsible for Tony’s fame, especially during the 2000s.
What We Liked
So, what did we like about the course itself?
- Firstly, we liked the fact that this course takes you from a beginner to an intermediate just with the content. Of course, you’ll still need to put in the hours of practice, but this course really providers some valuable information that will stay with you forever.
- The course does a good job of explaining the different types of skateboarding. You’ll learn that there’s not only one type of skating which we see in skating parks, but that there are actually three types: park, vert, and street skating.
- We liked the fact that you can learn the most popular tricks out there, and watch them as they unfold. Plus, they’ll be demonstrated by the skating god himself, so you’ll be able to rewatch them and try them out on your own.
You get some valuable insights behind the world of skateboarding. You’ll learn little tips like how to win, how to have fun, and how to improve yourself.
- You’ll also get a 60-page PDF document with all the course’s contents inside. That’s amazing, and the best part is that this document stays with you forever.
- There’s a community of course takers included, which you get entered into when you take the course. You can connect with other skateboarders from all over the world.
What Could be Improved
- The community is not the most active of communities out there. Some of the topics are more than a month old. However, there’s still a chance to connect with others in the community section.
- The course is a bit short. There are 16 lessons altogether, but some lessons are somewhat short. Overall, watching this course will be a breeze, especially for those who love skateboarding.
Honestly, there are not many drawbacks to this course. We went into the course expecting to find just a collection of some tricks and how-tos, but this course is more than just that.
It’s a complete skateboarding course that will take you from the basics and explain all concepts of skateboarding very nicely. You’ll learn about the fundamentals and the basic principles of skating, but also about the key techniques used by top skateboarders like Tony Hawk.
Let’s conclude this review with a final rating of the course.
In all honesty, there’s not much negative to say about the course. It’s different from many other skating courses and how-tos in the fact that it offers you valuable information and insights that you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, you’re learning from the legend himself, Tony Hawk.
It neatly explains the different types of skating and how you can try your hand at each one of them from the beginning, even if you have no skills at all. You’ll be able to learn new tricks, famous tricks that were invented by Tony Hawk, too.
Overall, this course is worth it if you already have the MasterClass all-around subscription. But we believe that it’s also worth it if you want to purchase the course individually and if you’re an avid skateboarder yourself.