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This article originally appeared in @THEU

“Would you consider Tony Hawk a physicist?”
“I would consider Tony Hawk a physicist. If nothing else, he’s an intuitive scientist, right?”

It looks like magic. When skateboarders launch off the lip of a vert ramp to fly into flips and spins, it appears they’re defying gravity. In fact, these athletes are exploiting the laws of physics.

The U community can watch legend Tony Hawk and the world’s top intuitive scientists for free at Vert Alert 2024, hosted at the Jon M. Huntsman Center at the University of Utah on June 14 and 15. The event is free—just show up!

Before you go, watch Kevin Davenport, assistant lecture professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the U, break down the physics that allows vert skaters to huck themselves into the stratosphere—learn why he calls Tony Hawk an intuitive scientist.

Lisa Potter Research communications specialist, University of Utah Communications