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December 6, 2023

Australian teen becomes first female to pull off Tony Hawk’s famed ‘720’ skateboard manuever

Australian teen becomes first female to pull off Tony Hawk’s famed ‘720’ skateboard manuever

A 13-year-old Australian girl nailed a “720,” becoming the first female skateboarder to competitively land two airborne rotations and pulling off the amazing move in front of the sport’s pioneer, Tony Hawk.

Arisa Trew won the women’s competition at Hawk’s Vert Alert in Salt Lake City over the weekend.

The audience roared when Trew, wearing a pink helmet and with her ponytail flying, pulled off the move.

When it was over, three male competitors rushed to hug and congratulate her.

“It made me feel really happy,” Trew told NBC News on Wednesday. “I had just landed it and I was so excited and about how they were excited.”

Even 72 hours after the history-making trick, the teenager didn’t seem to grasp the enormousness of her feat.

“It’s pretty big?” she said, when asked if the feat had sunk in.

Her coach, Trevor Ward, said he’s not surprised that Trew is so nonplussed by the worldwide attention she’s receiving.

“That’s kind of Arisa,” Ward said. “She focuses on something. She does it and says ‘OK what’s next?’ She’s one of the easiest people to coach.”

Trew and Ward had been working on the 720 at practice for only the past two weeks.

They elected to try it in the best trick portion of the competition after Trew had already won the event, so she had nothing to lose.

“I knew she was really close when we had done it a few times in Australia so when it came to best trick, I just said to her ‘Let’s just do it’ and she just did it,” Ward said.

The 720 is a signature move by skateboarding godfather Hawk, who first did the trick in 1985.

“It was super exciting” to be congratulated in person by Hawk, Trew said. “After I landed it he was really excited. He said, ‘Good job” and congrats to me.”

Trew hopes to qualify for the skateboarding competition at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

“When you got a girl doing a 720, it shows they can do the same as men can,” Ward said. “She’s looking at potentially a 900 and trying put this into her run at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.”

David K. Li

David K. Li is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.

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