x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Tony Hawk returns to the capital

Skateboarding legend comes back to Abu Dhabi as the local scene takes shape.


ABU DHABI // Tony Hawk, a legend of skateboarding, is coming to Abu Dhabi next week to perform at the Real Action Heroes show at Yas Marina Circuit.

“I am excited to be back in Abu Dhabi, especially at the skating at Yas Marina Circuit,” said Hawk, one of the world’s most recognised sports figures and star of his own series of best-selling video games.

Now retired, Hawk was last in Abu Dhabi in April for the Laureus Sports Awards at Emirates Palace.

The father of four will demonstrate the skating skills that turned him into a millionaire, and plans to perform at opening and closing ceremonies of the Real Action Heroes show, which will also include racing events.

Slots racing will kick off at 3.45pm on Friday, and on the following day contestants will perform on a half-pipe specially imported for the event. Yas Marina Circuit officials say they are considering leaving the pipe in place and turning the site into a proper skatepark.

“We believe that a permanent skateboarding facility would be a great addition to the range of options here at the circuit, so we are giving serious consideration to creating a skateboarding park here,” said Richard Cregan, the chief executive officer of Yas Marina Circuit.

Evan Collisson, who has been skating for a dozen years, said a park at the circuit would enhance the skate scene in the UAE.

“It helps the scene grow, and skaters can progress a lot better, which is important for the development of the sport,” said the 23-year-old, who is from the US. “It would be a positive addition to skating here. Skateparks have been built here in the past, but they hired contractors who didn’t know the first thing about skateparks.”

Mr Collisson works for Rage, a store in Dubai that sells skateboarding equipment. He said the UAE has a good reputation among skateboarders around the world.

“Deira is very popular. There are lots of natural banks and natural slopes along the streets, and you don’t see that in too many places – Dubai has a knack for funky architecture.”

Abu Dhabi’s Corniche he said, is perfect for the sport.