Tony Hawk became the world's most famous skateboarder by "going big" and performing maneuvers no one else had even thought of. But when it came to his new home, the avowed "electronics nut" decided that less is more. Hawk in front of his home theater system.
It's easy to figure out which house on a quiet street in Encinitas, California, belongs to the extreme-sports legend and videogame icon - the mound of skateboards and backpacks by the front door is a dead giveaway. And when Hawk answers the door at 8 a.m., bleary-eyed and barefoot, his tall, wiry frame wrapped in wrinkled jeans and a T-shirt, it's just as easy to tell he's a hard-core gear guy.
Although he's just rolled out of bed (thanks to our pounding on his door), Hawk politely escorts us over to his den, where we find a gorgeous 61-inch Sony plasma HDTV floating above a busy equipment rack. He apologizes as he clears away his kids' toys, saying that he had been expecting us - just not so early. Then the still-drowsy Hawk launches into a detailed explication of his system - until I interrupt to tell him it's okay to grab a cup of coffee first. "All right," he says, "I think I'll go take a shower."
Early AdopterUnlike some of his young-celebrity peers, who've just discovered gadgets and stockpile them as a symbol of living large, Hawk is a long-time technophile. "Since I was a kid, I had to have the calculator watch and all that sort of stuff," he confirms after returning with a wet mop of hair and dressed in a fresh T-shirt and jeans.
"As I became successful, I could afford fancier toys, so I went crazy with technology," he says. "But it got to be a little too much. The system in my previous house was much more elaborate and complicated. This one, though, has everything I use regularly, it's less flashy, and it takes up less room. I mean, you can spend whatever you want on equipment, but how often do you really use it?"