Jay Adams (1961-2014)


Eulogy by Glen Friedman

great read of Matt Warshaw and Jay speak of their youth

Photographs by Kent Sherwood (Jay’s stepfather), handwritten captions by Jay Adams. more here
By Amy Larson
KBSW Central Coast Published: Aug 15, 2014
Jay Adams, the radical rebellious legend who reinvented street skateboarding while growing up in an L.A. beach town, has died, according to his longtime friends. He was 53.
Friends said Adams died from a heart attack on Thursday in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, where he had been vacationing with his wife and surfing for the past three months.
It appears Adams spent his last day on Earth happy and surfing. On Thursday, he uploaded a photo dated Aug. 14 on Instagram of himself tube riding a perfect wave in Mexico.
Adams was most famous for his aggressive style. Santa Cruz skate artist Jimbo Phillips told KSBW Friday, “Jay embodied all that skateboarding is about. Style, speed, and doing things your own way, and not caring what anyone thinks.”
Stacy Peralta, a skater who started the Z-Boys crew with Adams and turned empty swimming pools into places for concrete bowl riding, wrote on Instagram, “I just received the terribly sad news that Jay Adams passed away last night due to a massive heart attack, send your love.”
Skater Tony Hawk wrote, “Goodbye Jay Adams. Thank you for inspiring us to get vertical and to keep pushing the limits of what is possible.”
In a 2008 article, the New York Times wrote, “In the late 1970s, Adams was a leading figure in a seminal vertical skateboarding scene rising from a seedy section of Santa Monica and Venice known as Dogtown. Adams had been a talented teenage member of the Dogtown-based Zephyr Skate Team. Together they helped shape modern skateboarding with an aggressive attitude and style born in the streets, and maneuvers inspired by their favorite surfers.”
His 20-year-old son, Seven Adams, lives and surfs in Santa Cruz.
TMZ Sports reported that Jay Adams had achieve sobriety this year and did not have any previous medical heart problems. His manager, Susan Ferris, confirmed that the former drug addict who had spent time in prison was currently clean and sober.
“We are honestly shocked,” Ferris told CNN.
Ferris added that Jay Adams was scheduled to return to the U.S. in a few days, after an “endless summer surf vacation.”
The Skateboarding Hall of Fame legend famously said, “You didn’t quit skateboarding because you got old. You got old because you quit skateboarding.”