Wasilla skateboarder vies for shot to meet Tony Hawk, bag $10k

FastCast digital headlines for Tuesday, June 27, 2023.
Published: Jun. 27, 2023 at 5:24 PM AKDT
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WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) - Erin Hogan understands the powerful impact of planting a skatepark in a community. The 32-year-old spent much of his upbringing at the Wasilla skatepark that was built in 1998 when Hogan was just a young kid. When Hogan went through a difficult period of his childhood, having a place to skateboard was a lifesaver.

“It revolutionized my world, it completely turned it around,” Hogan said. “It made me see the world completely differently. The people that it brought together in my life and that I’ve witnessed [it bring] in other people’s lives. It’s magnificent.”

This is why when Hogan came across a competition led by his idol Tony Hawk that supported other skateparks being built across the country, it was an opportunity that was too good to pass up. Hogan is one of roughly 350 skateboarders still vying for the opportunity to win $10,000 and skate with the skateboard legend, all thanks to supporters who have been buying votes for him through his fan page. Roughly 55,000 skateboarders started out in the Tony Hawk Skateboard Hero competition, according to Hogan.

For $10 supporters can buy 10 “hero votes” to go toward their favorite skateboarder, with the money going to Hawk’s The Skatepark Project nonprofit. The public can also vote for free once per day. While Hogan doesn’t know exactly how many votes he’s racked up, he said he’s raised over $1,000 through his fan page. As of Tuesday, Hogan is in fourth place in the quarterfinals for his group.

“It’s been mind-blowing to me to know how many people come together and support a cause to help a foundation that builds skate parks for cities that don’t have them,” Hogan said.

While growing up in Alaska, Hogan picked up a number of hobbies including camping, fishing and hunting. But skateboarding has been his main passion through it all.

“I don’t like to stay inside and just sit there and play video games. I gotta be outside doing something. We don’t get very long to enjoy our seasons here so we got to make the best of it,” Hogan said.

Over time, Hogan got pretty good on his board, even learning to do a backflip. First learned how to do it on a trampoline before he took it to the concrete. Hogan said if he was selected to skateboard with Hawk, he would want to pull out his backflip on the mega ramp. The mega ramp, which is commonly seen on television during the X Games, is a giant ramp and jump in which skateboarders fly up to 70 feet across the air after dropping in from a giant quarter pipe.

“Since I was a kid, I started watching the X Games and from that point on, it just stuck with me that that was what I wanted to do,” Hogan said.

Another childhood dream for Hogan? Meeting Tony Hawk.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live a dream that I’ve wanted since I was a little kid,” Hogan said.

The winner of the competition will be announced around the end of July.