Tony Hawk's Powell Peralta skateboard

Description (Brief)
This wood laminate skateboard displays Tony Hawk’s Birdhouse logo graphic designed by Vernon Cortlandt Johnson and was used by Tony Hawk in competitions during the mid-1980s. An archaic lapper band is attached to the front truck and was used in 1980s vert skating to make the transition to the half pipe rail smoother. Tony Hawk began competing at age 12 and turned pro at 14. An innovative vert skater, Hawk competed in over 100 competitions before he was 25 and was the first to land a 900 in competition. Hawk retired in 1999 but continues to skate in exhibitions and demos. In that same year, Hawk created ‘Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater’ video game franchise which became one of the most popular video games in history. The Tony Hawk Foundation has funded over $5 million to over 550 skate park projects throughout the world.
Vernon Courtlandt Johnson joined Powell Peralta in 1978 and began creating many of the iconic images we see in skateboarding today. The skull imagery was prevalent in Courtlandt’s black and white ink drawings during this time as were the sword and dragon. The images reflected the philosophy of skating as individualistic, drawing on the powerful symbols of life and death to convey the skate community’s audacious spirit. Courtlandt created specific designs for each rider – Tony Hawk and his Birdhouse logo, Mike McGill and his snake and skull logo – producing a strong, almost personal bond to the athlete and his followers. Courtlandt’s images from the 1980s are much sought after by collectors as works of art. His designs today are creating a new allegiance of admirers.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Hawk, Tony
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 31 in x 10 1/2 in x 5 3/4 in; 78.74 cm x 26.67 cm x 14.605 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Sports & Leisure
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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