Tony Hawk Has a Theory for Why Strangers Tell Him He ‘Looks Like Tony Hawk’

Tony Hawk is still being mistaken for Tony Hawk’s lookalike.

In an exclusive conversation with PEOPLE tied to his new partnership with Starbucks, the retired skateboarding star, 56, opens up about how people will still tell him that he “looks like Tony Hawk.”

Back in 2017, Hawk first shared a post on X, formerly Twitter, recalling how a TSA agent told him he looked “like that skateboarder.” In the years since, the athlete has highlighted numerous times when strangers — including baristas and store employees — have said the same.

“It happens all the time,” Hawk tells PEOPLE. “In fact, it happens so much that I stopped sharing it on social media, because people think that I was fabricating it.”

“But it’s all true,” he continues. “If you followed me around for a day, you’ll see that it does happen, and it’s usually in a funny sort of awkward interaction.”

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Tony Hawk.
Don Arnold/WireImage

When asked why he believes it is a common reoccurrence, Hawk believes it may have to do with him aging.

“I think it’s more that people know either my name or my face, but a lot of times they see me now, and they think, ‘Well, I don’t think of him as being older,’ ” he says.

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“They think I’m just stuck in this time capsule of my twenties and thirties, because that’s where my video game character is,” continues Hawk. “So they get surprised by saying he couldn’t be older or have gray hair, and they go, ‘Well yeah. You look like him.'”

Hawk has performed numerous daredevil tricks over the years, including jumping between two seven-story buildings and skating one of the first full loop ramps — stunts he credits as being two of his favorites over his career.

Now, through his partnership with Starbucks, Hawk is putting a twist on the “Don’t Try This at Home” warning that has followed his illustrious career. As part of the brand’s new “Try This at Home” campaign, he’s encouraging coffee drinkers to make Starbucks iced coffee blends and cold brew concentrates at home with their line of products.

“A lot of people are used to seeing me do skate tricks and stunts that have the disclaimer ‘Don’t Try This at Home,’ but this is something that you can actually try at home,” he says. “People don’t make iced coffee at home because they think they can’t get the taste right, so they always go to the café. With these new Starbucks products, you can actually make that quality at home.”

Hawk tells PEOPLE he drinks coffee “a couple of times a week” and his go-to order is “pure black coffee.”

“I started drinking the beverage as a young adult, and at some point I realized that I just love pure black coffee,” he explains. “That starts my day.”

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