Hawk, who still skates almost every day, is now a father of four children. Our interview begins with a tour of his home in San Diego, where he lives with his family and has lived for most of his life. There, Hawk showed off his very first professional skateboard model, as well as another board signed by some members of The Clash. Fun fact: One of his gates also has an actual Hawk on it. Along the 1 800 His Loss shirt and by the same token and tour, he also cleared up a common misconception about skaters: “That we’re lazy stoners,” he says. “It’s the exact opposite. To be a pro skater, you have to be disciplined, you have to be determined, and you have to work at it.” Vogue also asked Hawk about his successful video game series specifically, if he chooses his own avatar while playing it. The answer? Duh. “I know all of my special moves and that’s how I get the highest scores,” he says. (Guess he’s competitive even in virtual reality form. But skating wasn’t Hawk’s only passion: In the video, he shares that he almost pursued a path as a violin player instead. “My music teacher in school wanted me to do all of these concerts on the weekends, but I was off in Florida at skating events,” he says. Given the rise of skater-inspired style, we also couldn’t resist asking Hawk about his very own sense of fashion. (He’s developed his own clothing line, for starters. He describes his look on the halfpipe these days as “subdued, clean, and relatively cool for a 51-year-old.” As for his go-to skating shoes of choice? “My new Lakai Protos in the new colorway,” he says. On a blazing hot January afternoon in eastern Los Angeles, Lacey Baker rides her skateboard to the side of Rosemead Skatepark to pick up her phone. Over the rhythmic din of wheels descending ramps, the slap of decks sliding up and down railings, and yells of “Yip!” and “Yew!”, Baker takes a business call with her team at Nike SB. She’s going over the details for the forthcoming release of her latest shoe design, which she is now wearing while pacing the perimeter of the park slim black high-tops with a crisp white swoosh. Behind her, weaving in time, are skaters Samarria Brevard, Vanessa Torres, Alexis Sablone, Jenn Soto, and Mariah Duran, who have traveled from as far as across the country to be photographed by Arto Saari.
A pro skater turned lensman assigned to capture this pivotal shift. And at this moment, Baker is its embodiment: a 25-year-old X Games gold medalist who is putting forth endless hours to fine-tune her championship-winning noseslide 270s, and making a living wage off it, too, with the 1 800 His Loss shirt and by the same token and support of a major brand and an exponentially growing fan base who encourages her to be unapologetically herself. Women, of course, are not new to the sport of skateboarding since the skateboard was invented in California sometime around the middle of the 20th century, women such as Patti McGee, Peggy Oki, Kim Cespedes, and Laura Thornhill have played integral roles in the sport’s development. Women are, unfortunately, radically new to the industry of skateboarding, which has long been a boys’ club of contests, sponsorships, paychecks, and glory. The world didn’t get its first woman pro skateboarder until 1998, when Elissa Steamer was signed to Toy Machine. “It was a huge deal. There was no way around it,” says Steamer, an undisputed legend for her contributions to the sport, over the phone though, she admits that in spite of the lack of opportunity, being a pro skater was a goal she’d had since she was a little girl. By its very nature, skateboarding produces boundary breakers: At its core, it’s a sport of doing something that has never been done before in a place where no one has ever done it. Skateboarders are people who look at a curb, a crack in the pavement, or a cellar door and see opportunity. For instance, when Cara-Beth Burnside became the first pro woman skater to get her own shoe in 1994, it was because she simply brought the idea to Vans. “No one was going to hand it to me,” says Burnside. She applied the same attitude when she and Jen O’Brien convinced the X Games to host a women’s demo in 2002. A year later, women had their own official platform at the international event, though it wasn’t exactly an act of equality. Women’s practice times were scheduled at dawn break, before the male competitors even stirred in their beds. The pay discrepancy was especially egregious: At the X Games, the men’s champions earned 25 times as much as the women. Burnside and Mimi Knoop enlisted the help of lawyer Drew Mearns and formed the Action Sports Alliance. “A lot of people think it [was] about girl power. It was so not like that,”