20 years ago, Tony Hawk landed skateboarding’s 1st 900

SAN FRANCISCO — It took skateboarding legend Tony Hawk 11 tries, but he finally landed a 900 at the 1999 Summer X Games in a moment that launched the sport into popular consciousness in a new way.

Thursday marks 20 years since Hawk, who was born and raised in San Diego and now lives in Encinitas, landed the epic trick on what he called the “best day of (his) life.”

A successful 900 — a two-and-a-half spin (900-degree) jump — had never been documented on a skateboard before Hawk’s successful X Games attempt. The skater went on to perform the trick well into his 40s. He is widely considered one of the sport’s most decorated and recognizable ambassadors.

Hawk, now 51, has helped fund local skate parks and remains active in charitable work around San Diego.

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