Hot Wheels Skate is a line of “fingerboards” – mini skateboards used to simulate skateboard tricks using the middle and index fingers. The toys were first popularized by professional skateboarder Lance Mountain in the 1980s.
Tony Hawk keys and matching playsets, including ramps and other skate park elements, will be available exclusively at Walmart. For starters, the sets even include clip-on “skate shoes” that clip onto the boards, making them easy to use for kids of all ages.
Hawk, 54, told CNN he’s very excited that the line is suitable for fingerboarders of all skill levels.
“I loved the direction they had because it was more for all skill types,” he said. “Also, their creative team is so amazing. So the playsets they have are really fun and irreverent. And so it felt like a really cool angle and taking fingerboarding as a whole.”
For Hawk, the philosophy of beginner-friendly fingerboards stems from the inclusiveness that skateboarding in general symbolizes.
“I feel like skateboarding is the great equalizer,” he said. “And everyone is welcome to pitch in. You are judged only on your skating and not your background. And uniqueness is key – uniqueness is welcome.”
As part of the partnership, Hot Wheels has announced that it will donate to The Skate Park Project, a non-profit organization Hawk started creating public skate parks in the United States.
The organization is “important to me because I grew up near one of the last skateparks in the United States,” he said. “It was my home away from home, it was where I found my sense of community, where I found my friends, my sense of identity. And I never lost sight of how lucky I was to have that.”
“And so when I had some kind of success, I thought the best thing I could do with it was provide more of those places that meant so much to me as a kid,” he said. he continued. “It’s more about developing a place for your community, not trying to train professionals.”
This year, Hawk plans to host the second annual Green Alert, a competition designed to highlight the “underappreciated” challenges of vertical skating, i.e. skating on a steep ramp or incline, rather than in a street or a skate park.