Tony Hawk Explains Why Strangers Think He Looks Like Himself

Skate legend Tony Hawk partners with Starbucks for campaign

by Zain ul Abedin
Tony Hawk Explains Why Strangers Think He Looks Like Himself
© Presley Ann/Getty Images

Despite his legendary status, Tony Hawk continues encountering an amusing mix-up: people often tell him he looks like... Tony Hawk. The retired skateboarding icon recently revealed this recurring case of mistaken identity in a candid conversation with PEOPLE, linked to his fresh partnership with Starbucks.

It all started in 2017 when Hawk tweeted about a TSA agent who remarked that he looked "like that skateboarder." This theme has persisted, with baristas, store employees, and other strangers echoing similar sentiments over the years.

Hawk shared, "It happens all the time. In fact, it happens so much that I stopped sharing it on social media because people think I was fabricating it." But the confusion is genuine, and Hawk believes it might stem from his aging process.

"People know either my name or my face, but they often don't expect me to look older," he explained. He theorizes that because his video game character remains eternally youthful, real-life encounters can lead to surprising reactions when people notice his gray hair.

From Stunts to Sips

Hawk's career has been filled with awe-inspiring stunts, including leaping between two seven-story buildings and mastering one of the first full loop ramps. These feats have left an indelible mark on the world of skateboarding.

Now, transitioning from stunts to something everyone can try at home, Hawk is embracing his role in Starbucks' new campaign, "Try This at Home." The initiative promotes making iced coffee blends and cold brew concentrates at home using Starbucks products - a shift from the usual "Don't Try This at Home" warning accompanying his more perilous tricks.

Hawk emphasizes the accessibility of making professional-grade coffee in the comfort of one's kitchen. "A lot of people are used to seeing me do skate tricks that come with a cautionary label, but making iced coffee at home is something everyone can do," he states.

Regarding his coffee habits, Hawk enjoys a "pure black coffee" a few times a week, a preference he developed in his young adult years. He appreciates the straightforward, robust flavor that helps kick-start his day, reflecting his no-nonsense approach to life and skateboarding.