Through the years with Austin native Chase Hawk
Chase Hawk at age 14
Austin, Texas, native Chase Hawk, 27, was brought into the BMX scene by the older generations of Austin BMXers, and his stylish bike control skills are a testament to his place in Austin's BMX heritage. Before Hawk descends on X Games Austin, XGames.com looks back on Hawk's BMX upbringing. Here, a 14-year-old Chase Hawk learns unlookbacks in the 5-Hip Ditch in Austin with his friend Mike Santana. This was Hawk's first photo in a BMX magazine. "I loved that bike. I also had a Standard Trails 250 in yellow," Hawk says.
After joining the Fit Bike Co. team in the early '00s, Hawk began expanding his riding into terrain outside of skateparks and dirt. Here, Hawk 180s a hedge in downtown Austin on an early street-riding shoot with Sandy Carson.
Wallride to turndown, 2004
Wallride to turndown in South Austin, circa 2004. "I raced for almost eight years, and I would say it's where a good amount of my bike control developed," Hawk says.
The Banana Farm was a backyard ramp setup that graced Austin in the mid '00s, and Hawk ruled the hip. Here, he blasts an invert with ease.
Terrible One high air competition, 2008
Chase Hawk frequently rides the local Terrible One ramp and is able to boost airs on it like no other. Here, Hawk wins a high air competition at the T-1 ramp in 2008 while his idol (and T-1 owner) Joe Rich looks on.
Pole carve, mid '00s
Hawk gets air on a column at one of Austin's ditches known as the Bannister Ditch.
This is a makeshift handicap access ramp hop using a parking block as the launcher near Hawk's old house. "I strive to have better bike control rather than trying to learn tricks," Hawk says.
360 transfer at the T-1 ramp
Hawk is typically the first rider to find new lines at any ramp or skatepark setup. Here he spins a 360 alley-oop transfer at his second home, the T-1 Ramp in South Austin.
Curved wallride to 180, 2005
"I rode at 9th Street on and off while I was racing, so I always had a dirt background, but as soon as the skatepark opened up, I couldn't get away from it and soon after quit racing," says Hawk. That riding expanded to include curved wallrides to 180 gaps.
NORA Cup Award, 2009
In 2009, Hawk won the Ride BMX Nora (Number One Rider Award) Cup for "Ramp Rider of the Year." After returning to Austin from the award ceremony, he ended up carving pumpkins for a Halloween-themed photo gallery for ESPN Action Sports. This is an outtake from that shoot.
Annual 9th Street Halloween Jam
"Chase is the one at the top of the game, and therefore definitely a torch-bearer for the Austin scene," friend and Empire BMX sponsor Tom Williams says. "He also owns 9th Street." This is demonstrated here.
ESPN bike check, 2010
Hawk left Fit Bike Co. to join Cult Bicycles in 2009, and soon after, posed for a bike check with his dogs Lucy and Oscar.
Texas Toast, 2011
Condos now stand in this location in downtown Austin, but in 2011, the first Odyssey BMX Texas Toast Jam was hosted at this spot. Here, Chase Hawk dips a 360 during dirt practice on Day 1.
Texas Toast, 2011
Hawk's bike-control skills allow for effortless flow in the air, but he's also extremely adept at the technical side of riding. Here he footjam nosepicks an obstacle at Texas Toast in 2011.
Texas Toast, 2013
Hawk throws down a signature invert at height at the Odyssey BMX Texas Toast Jam in May of 2013.
Fun Fun Fun Fest, 2013
Chase Hawk broke one of his first bones (his ankle) late last year and was forced to sit out riding in Austin's annual Fun Fun Fun Fest in November 2013. Instead, he shared downtime with BMX legend Mat Hoffman. "I have looked up to Mat for a long time, and I still do today," Hawk says.
Signature Hawk move
Chase Hawk and a dipped 360 at sunset in Austin, Texas. "Chase loves Austin and probably will never leave, so this is his town for the foreseeable future," friend and Empire BMX sponsor Tom Williams says.