Tony Hawk on Skating Past 40: 'Shred or Die'

Between sessions on the ramp, Hawk cools down by reviewing colors and patterns for his full line of clothing. There are Tony Hawk watches and bicycles -- even linens.

Hit Video Games, Stunts and Twitter-Hunts

He does an extreme-sports show between tweaking his latest videogame, which is set to be released this fall. The game, complete with its own board loaded with sensors, is already being called a hit by critics. Which got us wondering: How is it that someone Hawk's age could have his finger on the pulse of teenagers so well?

His friend and former competitor Andy Macdonald said it's because Hawk is a one-man focus group. He never stopped hanging out with kids. And he still does -- every day.

"I want to walk the walk. You know what I mean?" Hawk asked. "Like, I can't have all this stuff and all these endorsements and my name out there if I'm not really living this and doing it all the time."

He's embraced the social networking site Twitter more than most, sending his nearly 1 million followers on what he calls "Twitter-hunts." He hides brand new skateboards all over the world -- "tweets" the location and leaves. Click here to watch video of "Tony Hawk's Hide and Go Tweet."

It's 'Shred or Die' for Hawk

He believes skateboarding can be a powerful outlet for troubled teens. And through his charitable foundation, he's built more than 350 skateboard parks in low-income cities nationwide.

With all the businesses and games, there is simply this -- a love affair between a man and his skateboard.

His wife, Lhotse, has yet to see him coast gently through a single day.

"The thing is, he's still progressing in the sport. Like, he's still doing tricks that nobody else is doing. He's still progressing as an athlete," she said. "Even when he feels like an old man, he's still better than so many of the young guys."

"I'm just really enjoying the ride right now. It's unbelievable that I get to do this for a living. This is still my career, is riding my skateboard," said Hawk. "I have a lot of successful business ventures, but it all focuses to me on whether I can still ride my skateboard -- and I can, and I love it. ... And I'm going to keep doing it as long as I can.

The skateboard with a cane that he got for his 40th birthday sits in a closet gathering dust. Hawk doesn't know the word "retire." Even as a wealthy businessman and tireless father, he goes by the skateboarder's creed: "Shred or die."

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