WASHINGTON -- Skateboarding legend Darren Harper and his daughters, Tink and Demi, have become viral sensations thanks to their impressive online videos documenting their skateboarding journeys.
Darren, who refers to himself as the "Obama of Skateboarding," has been a long-time fixture of the Washington D.C. skating scene and is widely recognized as one of the first prominent Black skaters. "I started skating when I was about eight or nine years old," Harper says. "I picked up a board when I was living in a low-income neighborhood in Southeast D.C." Harper credits skateboarding with helping him escape the drugs and violence that surrounded him and says the sport encouraged him to forge a better future for himself as a teen.
In October 2021 one of Harper's videos caught the attention of skateboarding icon Tony Hawk, who reposted the clip on his Instagram and applauded Harper as "next level." A few months later, Harper, Tink, and Demi were shocked to receive an invitation to meet Hawk for dinner!
For Harper, it was a dream come true. As a teen, he says his peers idolized athletes like Michael Jordan or Deion Sanders, but his own hero was always Tony Hawk. "He is the reason pretty much why I kept continuing to push and who saved me," he added.
Harper plans to continue sharing the videos of his daughters skateboarding online and hopes Tink and Demi follow in his footsteps of professional skating. "The girls love it and will continue to strive for greatness," he says. "I would love to see them in the Olympics hopefully, if not, I still want to see them take over and be a household name in skateboarding."