Skateboard meets science at OMSI

Skateboard meets science at OMSI

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What does it take to pull off a mid-air 900 on a skateboard? Which surface makes for the best ride? What does science have to do with any of it?

Jump into the physics behind extreme sports at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry for Tony Hawk | Rad Science.

Set in a realistic skate park scene, Tony Hawk | Rad Science’s highly interactive elements introduce museum visitors to physics principles typically reserved for the classroom: gravity, force, velocity, acceleration, inertia and balance.

It breaks down the science of tricks and turns, inspiring visitors to consider a different side of sports—how working with physics can impact technique and ultimately enhance athletic performance.

“The best learning happens when we’re curious about how things work,” said OMSI President Nancy Stueber. “This exhibit connects science concepts to the excitement of skateboarding in ways that invite investigation, experimentation and hands-on learning.”

Tony Hawk | Rad Science helps visitors imagine themselves as skateboarders, extreme athletes and scientists as they explore more than 25 interactive experiences, including:

Bodacious Board Balance: Ride stationary skateboards designed to test your balance in classic tricks like “grinding” and “manuals” on the safety of a padded surface.

Friction Hill: Experiment with different skate-able surfaces to see what provides the best ride.

Newton’s Pool: Go inside an empty swimming pool to experiment with the laws of motion and see how a pool’s unique characteristics resulted in the origin of extreme skateboarding.

History Bowl: See skateboard designs from early prototypes in 1962 through the tricked out boards of today and learn how physics has driven the evolution of decks, wheels and axles.

Tony’s 900 Vert Theatre: Take a trip back in time to witness the first time Tony Hawk ever performed the 900 (2.5 revolutions in mid-air).

Wipeout Ambulance: See how inventions like helmets, kneepads and wrist guards have helped dissipate the extreme forces of a wipeout.

Tony Hawk | Rad Science runs through May 4.

For more information, visit or call 800-955-6674.



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