For over 20 years, 47-year-old Grant Brittain has captured images of Tony Hawk pulling off tricks on a skateboard that defy human anatomy, common sense, and the laws of physics. Brittain first photographed The Birdman in the early 1980s while managing the Del Mar Skate Ranch and continues to do so in his current position as photo editor and senior photographer for Transworld Skateboarding magazine.
"I've witnessed him do some pretty fantastic things through the years, " says Brittain. "And I don't always have to shoot photos of himI can sit down and watch the guy and just enjoy what he's doing."
Here, in an exclusive online photo gallery with audio narration, he shares with Outside select photographs from his collection and commentary on Hawk's relentless rise to the top of the skating world.
Read the complete October 2002 feature story on Tony Hawk, "The Birdman Drops In"