Skateboarding is more than a sport; it’s a thrilling art form that challenges the boundaries of what’s physically possible.
Within this exhilarating world of flips, grinds, and aerial acrobatics, one trick stands out as the ultimate test of a skateboarder’s skill and audacity: the 900.
It’s a trick that has not only mesmerized skateboarding enthusiasts but has also left an indelible mark on mainstream culture.
In this blog post, we embark on a journey to unravel the mystery of the 900, delving into its history, the technical prowess required to perform it, and the profound impact it has had on skateboarding and beyond.
Whether you’re a passionate skateboarder or just curious about the world of extreme sports, join us in exploring the awe-inspiring phenomenon of the 900. So, stay focused.
What Is a 900 in Skateboarding?
In skateboarding, a “900” is a highly advanced and awe-inspiring trick that involves spinning the skateboarder around two and a half full rotations in mid-air, resulting in a 900-degree turn.
This means the skateboarder completes two and a half spins before landing back on the skateboard.
The 900 is an extremely challenging and rare maneuver, requiring not only exceptional skill and balance but also tremendous airtime and speed.
It was famously popularized by professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, who successfully executed the first documented 900 in skateboarding history during the 1999 X Games.
Since then, the 900 has become an iconic and aspirational trick within the skateboarding community, symbolizing the pinnacle of achievement in the sport.
How Many Skaters Have Landed a 900?
A few skateboarders have successfully landed a 900, a feat that requires remarkable skill, courage, and practice.
It’s worth noting that more skateboarders may have accomplished this since then, but the following points reflect the state of skateboarding up to that point:
Tony Hawk was the first skateboarder to successfully land a 900 in public during the 1999 X Games.
This historic achievement propelled him to global fame and solidified his status as a skateboarding legend.
In 2012, Tom Schaar, a talented young skateboarder, became the second person to land a 900. Schaar was only 12 years old at the time, making him one of the youngest skateboarders to accomplish this incredible trick.
In 2019, Mitchie Brusco, another skilled skateboarder, joined the elite group of 900-achievers during the X Games.
Brusco’s successful execution of the 900 further demonstrated the evolving skills and daring feats within the sport.
Although primarily known for his snowboarding achievements, Shaun White is a versatile athlete. In 2021, he successfully landed a 900 on a vertical ramp, adding to his list of accomplishments.
While these four skateboarders have successfully landed 900s, it’s important to recognize that this remains a rare and remarkable accomplishment within the skateboarding world, requiring immense dedication and talent.
The History of Skateboarding and Tony Hawk
The history of skateboarding is closely intertwined with the legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk, who played a pivotal role in its evolution.
Here are some key points that highlight their connection:
Early Skateboarding Culture
Skateboarding emerged in the late 1940s and early 1950s, initially as a way for surfers to practice their moves on land when there were no waves.
It gained popularity throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and by the 1980s, skateboarding had developed its own unique culture.
Tony Hawk 900 began skateboarding at a young age in the 1970s, during this period of growth.
Tony Hawk’s Impact
Tony Hawk is often referred to as the most influential skateboarder in history. He not only excelled at skateboarding but also contributed significantly to its mainstream recognition and acceptance.
His skill and charisma made him a prominent figure in the skateboarding world.
In 1999, Hawk achieved global fame by becoming the first skateboarder to successfully land a 900-degree spin, a trick that had long been considered nearly impossible.
This accomplishment not only solidified his status as a skateboarding icon but also brought skateboarding into the mainstream spotlight.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater Video Game Series
One of Tony Hawk’s most enduring contributions to skateboarding is the “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” video game series, which debuted in 1999.
These games introduced skateboarding to a wider audience and played a crucial role in popularizing the sport.
They featured Hawk as the central character and allowed players to perform various tricks and explore virtual skateparks.
The video games helped bridge the gap between the skateboarding subculture and mainstream entertainment, inspiring countless individuals to take up the sport.
Tony Hawk Foundation
Beyond his achievements in skateboarding and video games, Tony Hawk established the Tony Hawk Foundation in 2002.
This non-profit organization aims to support the creation of skateboarding parks in underserved communities, providing safe spaces for young skaters to practice their skills.
Through this foundation, Hawk has worked to make skateboarding more accessible and promote its positive impact on youth development.
Tony Hawk’s journey in skateboarding has been marked by remarkable achievements and contributions that have left an indelible mark on the sport’s history.
The First 900 Ever
The first 900 in skateboarding, performed by Tony Hawk during the 1999 X Games, is a pivotal moment in the history of the sport.
Here are some key points that detail this historic achievement:
Tony Hawk’s Breakthrough Moment
On June 27, 1999, at the San Francisco X Games, Tony Hawk 900 landed the first documented 900 in skateboarding.
This groundbreaking trick involved executing two and a half spins while in mid-air, completing a 900-degree turn before landing back on the skateboard.
Prior to this event, the 900 had been a seemingly unattainable milestone in skateboarding, with many believing it couldn’t be done.
The Build-Up to the 900
Tony Hawk had been attempting the 900 for years, with numerous failed attempts. He had come close on several occasions, but the complexity and risk of the trick had deterred other skateboarders from attempting it.
Hawk’s persistence and determination to land the 900 despite repeated setbacks were a testament to his dedication and the desire to push the boundaries of what was possible in skateboarding.
Hawk’s successful 900 instantly propelled him to global fame and cemented his status as a skateboarding legend. The moment was a breakthrough not only for Hawk but for the entire skateboarding community.
It served as a turning point, marking the sport’s transition from a subculture to a mainstream phenomenon.
The 900 showcased the extraordinary skill, courage, and innovation within skateboarding, captivating audiences worldwide and inspiring a new generation of skateboarders.
Legacy and Inspiration
The first 900 remains one of the most iconic moments in skateboarding history.
Tony Hawk’s accomplishment not only inspired skateboarders to dream bigger but also encouraged athletes in various disciplines to push the boundaries of what’s possible in their respective fields.
The 900 is a symbol of human achievement and the relentless pursuit of greatness, making it a milestone that transcends skateboarding and continues to motivate individuals to reach new heights in their pursuits.
Effective 900 Skateboard Trick
Executing an effective 900 skateboard trick, or two and a half spins in mid-air, is a challenging feat that requires a combination of skill, technique, and determination.
Here are some key points to consider for a successful 900:
Build and Maintain Speed
Achieving and maintaining sufficient speed is critical for the 900. Begin by pumping or pushing off vigorously on a quarterpipe or halfpipe, or use a drop-in on a vert ramp to gain momentum.
The greater your speed, the more time you’ll have to complete the rotations and make a successful landing. Keeping your momentum throughout the entire trick is vital.
Body Position and Rotation
Your body position and rotation are fundamental to nailing the 900.
As you approach the lip of the ramp, crouch down, coil your body, and focus on the direction of your spin. It’s essential to generate the initial rotation with your shoulders and hips.
As you rise into the air, use your arms to initiate the spin and follow through with your legs.
Throughout the rotation, maintain a compact and balanced position to minimize air resistance and maximize control.
Spot Your Landing
Spotting your landing is crucial to the success of the 900. As you complete the final rotations, start looking for your landing spot. This visual reference is essential for timing and accuracy.
The ability to spot your landing will help you make micro-adjustments in your body position and board orientation to ensure a clean landing.
Be prepared to absorb the impact by bending your knees and keeping your weight centered over the skateboard.
Practice and Safety
Performing a 900 is extremely challenging and risky. Prioritize safety by wearing appropriate protective gear, including a helmet, pads, and gloves.
It’s also essential to practice this trick in a controlled environment, such as a skatepark or a well-maintained ramp, and under the supervision of experienced skateboarders or coaches.
Consistent practice, determination, and a willingness to learn from both successful attempts and falls are crucial for mastering the 900 trick.
Executing an effective 900 skateboard trick is a monumental accomplishment, and it takes time, dedication, and a deep understanding of skateboarding physics and technique.
The Impact of the 900
The 900 skateboarding trick, first successfully executed by Tony Hawk in 1999, had a profound impact on skateboarding and sports culture as a whole.
Here are some key points that highlight the impact of the 900:
Elevating Skateboarding’s Popularity
Tony Hawk’s historic 900 brought skateboarding into the mainstream spotlight. The trick was not only a feat of incredible skill and daring but also a captivating spectacle that caught the attention of people worldwide.
As a result, skateboarding gained broader recognition and acceptance, evolving from a subculture to a respected and marketable sport.
This newfound attention opened doors for skateboarders, both professionally and in terms of skatepark construction, sponsorship opportunities, and events.
Inspiration and Innovation
The 900 inspired skateboarders of all levels to push the boundaries of what was possible within the sport. It encouraged athletes to dream bigger and work harder to accomplish their own goals and groundbreaking tricks.
Tony Hawk’s achievement set a new standard for skateboarding and served as a catalyst for innovation and progression, leading to a flurry of new and challenging tricks within the skateboarding community.
Tony Hawk’s Legacy
The 900 solidified Tony Hawk’s legacy as one of the most influential figures in the history of skateboarding. He became a global icon, transcending the sport itself.
This recognition not only boosted Hawk’s career but also allowed him to use his platform for positive initiatives.
He founded the Tony Hawk Foundation, which supports the construction of skateparks in underserved communities, providing safe spaces for youth to practice their skills and fostering a sense of community and growth.
Impact Beyond Skateboarding
The 900 had a ripple effect beyond skateboarding. It served as a symbol of human achievement and determination, inspiring individuals in various fields to reach for their own seemingly impossible goals.
The 900 became a cultural touchstone, demonstrating the power of perseverance and innovation in the face of daunting challenges.
Tony Hawk’s story and the 900 continue to motivate people from all walks of life to pursue their passions and strive for greatness.
The 900’s impact on skateboarding and the broader cultural landscape has been substantial.
How many people have landed a 900?
It’s difficult to provide an exact number, but Tony Hawk famously landed the first documented 900 in skateboarding history during the 1999 X Games. Others may have accomplished it since.
Who has landed a 900 on a skateboard?
Tony Hawk, a legendary skateboarder, landed the first documented 900 in skateboarding history at the 1999 X Games. Various skateboarders may have achieved this feat in the years that followed.
How difficult is it to perform a 900?
Performing a 900 is exceptionally challenging, requiring exceptional skill, balance, speed, and airtime. Many consider it one of the most difficult tricks in skateboarding.
What is the significance of a 900 in skateboarding culture?
The 900 is a symbol of achievement in skateboarding, signifying a skateboarder’s exceptional talent and the sport’s progression.
It has had a profound impact on skateboarding’s popularity and inspired countless skateboarders.
Are there any safety precautions when attempting a 900?
Yes, wearing protective gear, including a helmet and pads, is essential.
Skaters should practice in a controlled environment, under supervision if possible, and prioritize safety to minimize the risk of injury when attempting this challenging trick.
The 900 in skateboarding represents the epitome of human achievement in the world of extreme sports. Its history is marked by Tony Hawk’s groundbreaking success, which catapulted skateboarding into the mainstream consciousness.
This iconic trick is a testament to the dedication, innovation, and courage of skateboarders. Its impact reaches far beyond the skatepark, serving as an inspiration to individuals across diverse disciplines.
The 900 symbolizes the boundless possibilities of the human spirit, demonstrating that with unwavering determination, even the most seemingly impossible goals can be conquered.
As skateboarding continues to evolve and push its boundaries, the legacy of the 900 remains a shining example of what can be achieved through passion, practice, and the pursuit of greatness.
Whether you’re a skateboarder or an admirer of remarkable human feats, the 900 will forever hold a special place in the heart of extreme sports culture. Thank you so much.
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