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Last year, I bought my first skateboard. I had been on a skateboard only once before, back in high school, and it had been a disaster—I fell, bruised my ribs, and planned to never touch one again. But this time was different. I skated through the summer of 2021, learning to balance, cruise, and eventually land the occasional ollie or shuvit. My reason for learning was simple: I wanted a hobby I couldn’t monetize, compete at, or excel in. I didn’t have a goal, standards, or expectations. I’m a middle-aged adult who will never be good at skateboarding, and I don’t want to be.
The only thing I want is what I call “a moment.”
I had seen a moment in a tweet from Tony Hawk earlier that year: Old Man Tony, the most accomplished skateboarder in history, 52 years old, trying to land a 720. The exact moment comes at 33 seconds into the clip—not when he finally lands the trick after countless tries, but the moment when he tosses his skateboard in celebration. It’s the moment he knows he landed the trick, did what he came to do, and can go home.
A moment rivals sex and drugs.
A moment is when everything feels right in the world.
A moment is perfect.
It was that clip that got me interested in a new documentary that premiered this month on HBO, Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off. And whether you’re interested in Tony’s career or only barely recognize his name, you should watch it.