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Tony Hawk skateboards through Badlands in western South Dakota

Tony Hawk skateboards through Badlands in western South Dakota

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Tony Hawk takes a selfie with a park ranger on Sunday at Badlands National Park.

Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk shredded through the Badlands — and snubbed the rules — while visiting the national park with his family on Sunday.

“Driving through Badlands with my family, no other cars in sight. Saw a downhill section and stopped so I can skate it,” Hawk wrote on Twitter.

The 52-year-old then casually cruised down a section of smooth pavement next to the Badlands’ unique rock formations, according to a short video clip he posted. 

Hawk said he thought he was “busted” when a park ranger vehicle he passed turned around.

Skateboarding, rollerblading and similar activities are against park rules, according to the Summer 2019 visitor guide.

Hawk said he was greeted by a friendly and excited ranger and did not mention receiving any warning or punishment.

“Are you Tony Hawk? Can I get a selfie?” Hawk said the ranger asked him.

The park ranger’s fiancée responded to Hawk’s tweet with the selfie he took.

“‘Thanks for the selfie, hope you enjoyed the park,” the ranger told Hawk through his fiancée’s Twitter account. Hawk responded that his family did have a nice time. 

Badlands National Park did not immediately respond to a message asking how often people skateboard through the park and if those who are caught are usually given a verbal warning or fine.

Hawk drove through the Badlands as part of an RV road trip he's taking with his family and several South Dakota officials took the time to welcome him to the state. 

"Welcome to South Dakota, Birdman," Secretary of Tourism Jim Hagen tweeted while referencing Hawk's nickname. "Glad you enjoyed our South Dakota hospitality," tweeted Sen. Mike Rounds.

Several Twitter users suggested the Badlands be renamed the "Radlands" while a few South Dakotans encouraged him to visit the Corn Palace next. Others quipped that they found it funny that Hawk — who had tweeted about the many times people failed to recognize him or thought he was another celebrity — was finally recognized in rural South Dakota. 

Retrospective: Check out these old skateboarding photos from the Billings Gazette archives

— Contact Arielle Zionts at


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