Probably his most remarkable achievement was surviving Duane Peters' torments that continue even to this day. Let me give you a relatively recent quote from Mr. Peters: " I can’t stand Tony Hawk, I just can’t stand going to get a soft drink and there’s that fuckin’ geek on the fuckin’ cup. I don’t understand why. The Playstation shit is where he belongs."
I sense a little hatin' going on. It probably doesn't help that Duane has crashed and burned in the worst way while Tony, after some financial setbacks, continues to make bank.
To be fair, Duane wasn't the only one heaping on the abuse. Tony wasn't (and was never) known for a smooth style. Tony's squeeb haircut probably didn't help his standing amongst the hardcore crowd either.
Yet Tony was all Teflon when it came to the scorn of his contemporatiies and fans of his rivals. I'm sure it motivated him, though I doubt he would admit it.
Tony almost singlehandedly brought skating out of the age of big airs and big grinds into big, twisty airs and big, twisty, flippy grinds. But no one can deny that his innovations took serious skill and balls of steel.
He adapted to street skating when Vert went bust. He became a successful businessman, and later became the first guy to cleanly land a 900, on top of the zillion other tricks he invented.
And he emerged from all the hate and scorn a friggin' legend, and this is undisputable. Sorry Duane.