Skateboarders And Artists Unite


Photo: Stuart Conway

Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk and renowned singer-songwriter and musician Ben Harper just concluded their ten-day Boards + Bands auction on eBay Giving Works, with participation and final numbers far surpassing original expectations.

A member of the nonprofit Tony Hawk Foundation Board Of Directors, Ben Harper conceived the idea to use pro skaters’ old decks to write song lyrics on to create unique skate/music memorabilia to raise funds to build positive recreational outlets for at-risk youth. From Dec. 3-13, eight boards were auctioned to raise over $126,000 for the Tony Hawk Foundation.

“As a musician, skater, and Board Member of the Tony Hawk Foundation, I am proud to say that the pairing of professional musicians’ lyrics on pro skaters’ hard-ridden boards has been a resounding success,” said Harper, who contributed lyrics to two of the eight decks auctioned. “A huge thank you to all the pro skaters and musicians involved in the first of many Boards + Bands collaborations!”

The chosen recording artists hand wrote their lyrics on the one-of-a-kind skateboards, which included collaborations by Bucky Lasek and Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, Rodney Mullen and Ben Harper, Jamie Thomas and Bob Dylan, Mike Vallely and Tom Petty, Steve Caballero and James Hetfield of Metallica, Bob Burnquist and Ben Harper, Lance Mountain and Jimmy Cliff, and Tony Hawk and Paul McCartney.

The Boards + Bands auction has inadvertently also produced the world’s most expensive skateboard, the $38,425 Jamie Thomas and Bob Dylan collaboration featuring Dylan’s “Blowin’ In The Wind” lyrics. Other top earners include Bucky Lasek’s and Adam Yauch’s set of four decks featuring the Beastie Boys’ “Bodhisattva Vow” lyrics, which sold for $35,000, and Hawk’s personal board with lyrics to The Beatles’ “Blackbird” by Paul McCartney, fetching $27,116.

Funds raised through this effort will benefit the Tony Hawk Foundation, which supports at-risk youth through the creation of public skateparks in low-income communities across the U.S. Proceeds from the Bucky Lasek/Adam Yauch collaboration boards will specifically benefit a skatepark project in New York City. These skateparks are safe, sanctioned places for youth to come together, form communities, and practice the sport they love in a healthy environment. Since 2002, the Foundation has helped to fund 512 public skateparks in 50 states.