If you played a decent amount of Pro Skater in your youth, you probably remember the moon gravity cheat. (C-up, Left, C-Down, C-Down, Up, Down, Right … FYI.) This past week Tony Hawk himself joined Aaron ‘Jaws’ Homoki in what’s called a ‘vomit comet’ to test that cheat out in real life. The vomit comet isn’t a simulation, it’s an actual plane owned by the Zero Gravity Corporation. A specially-trained pilot flies the plane in parabolic motions, directing it along an arched path, which creates that weightless feeling. These planes are used to train NASA astronauts, preparing them for the zero gravity feeling they’ll have in space.
Hawk and Homoki got to experience three levels of gravity — Martian, Lunar and zero. The Martian level was the warm-up — their body weight was reduced to a third of its normal value. Lunar reduced the weight to one-sixth of their normal value and zero gravity was obviously the state of total weightlessness.
Nobody puked and the two were actually able to land a few tricks. Before he boarded the plane, Hawk, who might be best known for landing the first ever 900-degree mid-air turn in the ’99 X Games, said something that was actually quite profound: “We’ve been battling gravity our whole lives.” It was interesting to see what these skaters could achieve when all limits were taken off the table.