Tony Hawk And The Birdhouse Team Skate The Transworld Skatepark
Tony Hawk And The Birdhouse Team Skate The Transworld Skatepark
I spent a day doing what I always dreamed of doing as a teenager, filming and skating with Tony Hawk. I didn’t have to win any sort of crazy prize or have cancer to do it, I just met the right person at the right time and made the right moves. In this story post, I’ll go over how it came to be, what the day was like, and how you can achieve the same sort of happenstance luck in your life if you really want to.
It was late. I was driving Uber. I picked up a couple of passengers and dropped them off in the Long Beach area, then a ride took me a little farther north, into more sketchy areas. I decided to not just sit around and wait for rides all night, but to drive to downtown LA.The drive was fast thanks to clear traffic. About 20 minutes south from LA I got an Uber notification on the freeway. I was slightly nervous because I was in south LA, but I went anyway.
A guy emerged from the warehouse that was about my age, white, and had some heavy bags with him. I was relieved. He was probably a tech entrepreneur of some sort. I immediately engaged him in conversation. Many people that take Uber rides expect the driver to be silent and just drive, because most do, but I wasn’t driving Uber to make money, I was driving Uber to meet people and listen to podcasts about entrepreneurship all night. I was on fire at that time, on the edge of going broke, and needed to make some big moves fast. I was filling my mind and soul with passion and using the law of attraction to bring amazing people and experiences into my life.
Sure enough, this guy was really cool. We talked a lot about what he does. He is the co-founder of a company that does live streaming of music events in virtual reality, but not just any VR, 360 VR. Technology excites me, so our conversation ran deep. The drive to Hollywood from south LA was brief, but in that time I had secured a great relationship with that guy, even if I had never even looked him in the face yet (as a driver you can’t really see people in the back seat). At one point, I mentioned that I thought it would be cool if they did something with skateboarding and he said that they were planning on doing something with Tony Hawk because he is very much into emerging technology. I told him that I would be willing to volunteer my time to help out with the production process if I could go and I said it in a very sincere and convincing way. When he got off at his stop he gave me his card and asked me to hit him up.
The rest of the night went well and upon my return, I wrote him immediately. It was perfect timing as I was currently working on a virtual reality blog. I needed a breakthrough article to set my blog apart. I figured that since his company was new and in the content creation side of the industry, it would be the perfect fit. He liked the idea, so I sent him a short interview via email. He filled it out, sent it back with some pictures, and after I posted it up our relationship solidified. I built a lot of trust with him by doing that. It maybe took a couple hours of my time, but it gained me tons of goodwill.
About a week later, he invited me to meet him at the Transworld Carlsbad headquarters and hang out at the skatepark with them all afternoon while Tony Hawk and the Birdhouse team skated in front of 360 VR cameras. I was excited and nervous at the same time. It was going to be an hour and a half drive down to Carlsbad, but my wife was down to join me. Looking back, I should have invited her to come hang out with us, but the guy made it seem like we had to be super straight edge. I didn’t bring my skateboard or anything. When I asked him if I could bring my wife he kind of freaked out at me a little, but I had a feeling it was just because he was nervous about the meeting too.
My wife dropped me off at the headquarters and we went to the back where the warehouse was that housed the skatepark. As soon as we arrived, we met Tony. He was very friendly and cordial, even a little surprised that we didn’t freak out about meeting him or anything. I was warned not to make a big deal out of it, which is totally understandable. I helped the guys set up the equipment, then Dan asked me to film a behind-the-scenes video with my iPhone. I happily obliged.
Filming was so much fun because I was given the ok to get all up in the action as much as I wanted to. I still hung back a bit, but the guys totally ripped. The Birdhouse team is 6-7 professional skateboarders who’s sole job every day is to skate hard and land crazy tricks while looking and acting like rock stars. Their job isn’t so bad! They are all very cool guys and put on a show for us.
During a break I asked to borrow one of the guys boards and they were cool with it. I had Dan film me ollie the double set and board slide the rail. Since it wasn’t my board, I didn’t want to break it by accident, so I stopped there. It was a dream come true to get some footage at the Transworld park with all those pro skaters in the background and one watching me. I grew up reading magazines and watching skate videos with the guys in the Birdhouse team back in the early 2000’s, and even though the team is completely different now, they are all equally as badass. It was a lot of fun.
After I returned home, I immediately threw together a little edit of the day for YouTube and sent it to Dan. By doing this as fast as I could and putting as much effort into it as I could, I further solidified my relationship with him. A week later, he sent me another email asking for my help. This time, it was at a much bigger venue, EDC (electric daisy carnival) in Las Vegas. Since I moved to LA in 2005, I always wanted to go to that rave. It used to be in LA at the Colosseum until some girl died from an ecstasy overdose. Now they hold it at the racetrack just outside Vegas. He offered to provide a hotel for the entire 3 nights of the show along with staff passes so we could eat as much food as we wanted to 3 times a day at the staff tent of EDC. All we had to do was to film the same behind-the-scenes footage and help out at the VRLIVE booth.
In short, the three days were insane. Juliana and I went through some ups and downs with Dan and the guys at VRLIVE because they were going through some growing pains trying to build and manage a popular 360 live vr viewing booth at the show. We took a lot of pictures and made a bunch of videos that ended up just being more content online to promote their work, but it was all worth it. The last day, we didn’t spend any more time working for them at the booth. We took the night off and partied with a couple of our friends that were there. We took some E, had a great time, enjoyed watching all the girls wearing close to nothing walk around and act crazy. It was a good time.
Since then, we started traveling the world, and I haven’t done much with that blog, so our relationship has waned a bit. I’ve been thinking about putting more effort into that blog, but I need to hire a writer first. I’m currently in talks with freelance writers to find someone to take over the blogging and content creation for my e-commerce site, so if they end up working out I’ll definitely be using them to create all the content I need for my other blog projects as well. Virtual reality is a very trending and popular technology that is going to evolve as the physical headsets improve and become cheaper and more easily accessible.
I hope you enjoyed reading the story of how I met Tony Hawk. It was a lot of fun for me. The one tip I can give you is to watch a movie called The Secret. This documentary film talks about the law of attraction. You can use this law in your own life to put yourself into situations where you have the ability to meet the right people, say the right things, ask the right questions, and get yourself into situations you never dreamed of before. We are all only separated by just one person, so get out there and start meeting people. When you find a connector or creator, establish a relationship and nurture it. Those are the best people to know.
Thanks for reading,
Founder of SkateboardTravels.com