We recently dedicated an article to tell you 10 things about longboarding. If we talk about longboarding we have to talk about the most important figure, Jay Adams. Who was Jay Adams? Well, the father of the longboard and modern skateboarding, neither more nor less. There isn't a skater in the world who didn't dream of looking a little like him as a kid. He not only ruled the skateparks, he was also the king of the waves. His style both in and out of the water left anyone speechless. Without further ado, let's tell you the story of this legend!
WHERE IS JAY ADAMS FROM?
Jay Adams was born on February 3, 1961 in Los Angeles and grew up in an environment that was not ideal for a child: family absences at home, unhealthy habits... From a very young age he felt passion for surfing and skateboarding, and he knew that he would dedicate himself to this all his life. However, it would not be until a few years later when his name would start to make waves in California, along with other boys.
VENICE BEACH: Z-BOYS
Have you heard of the Z-Boys? The Z-Boys or Zephyr Team were a group of young skaters from the 1970s in Santa Monica and Venice, California, represented by Jeff Ho Surfboards. There were only three of them, and one of them was Adams, obviously. In a few dry days, given the lack of waves to surf, they decided to try skateboarding in the empty pools. This is how the longboard pool would be born, the favorite modality of our protagonist. This group would establish itself as the skate revolution, being famous throughout the world. The members of Z-Boys were bought by big firms in the skate universe, all but one. Our dear Adams, born rebellious, the “bad boy”, wanted to go it alone and opposed professionalizing skateboarding.
JAY ADAMS, UNIQUE STYLE
Adams' style on the board was unique, he had his own stamp , both in the waves and on the asphalt. He was one of those people with identity, that you see moving and you recognize it instantly. His low and explosive movements, always taking risks, pushing the limits, marked a new era. A new style that displaced the traditional skateboarding of the sixties and marked a trend for young skate lovers.
A HARD BUT INSPIRING LIFE
Adams' personal life is the closest thing to a roller coaster, full of ups and downs and with obscure episodes. Raised in a broken family, he soon began using substances, his brother was murdered... He himself spent a few months in jail on drug charges.
However, despite everything, he was the idol of thousands of young people and inspired everyone. So much so that his story served as an inspiration for the cinema. In 2001 Dogtown and Z-Boys was released, a documentary that featured the members of the group; in 2005, Lords of Dogtown, a film based on the story of the same group; in 2016, Made in Venice, another film that shows skaters from the 70s-80s in Venice… Their story also made it onto paper. The book Jay Boy: The Early Days of Jay Adams published in 2017 reviews his life through spectacular photographs.
Unfortunately, Jay Adams passed away on August 15, 2014 in Puerto Escondido (Mexico) due to a heart attack. He passed away doing what he loved the most, a surf trip. We like to remember him as the skateboarding revolution and we don't forget his most famous phrase: “You don't stop skating because you get older, you get older because you stop skating”.