I was always too big of a p*ssy to become anything decent at skateboarding.
The trailer bed that sat in the woods behind my neighborhood growing up, plywood carpeting the ground around it, was dominated by my friends who kickflipped off it and pirouetted the make-shift quarter-pipe we’d set up perpendicular with the trailer’s lip. They did, I watched. I’ll always rue never having the balls to do on a strip of plywood with a set of trucks, wheels and bearings.
Jay Adams of the legendary Dogtown Z-Boys was a doer on a skateboard. Matter of fact, he might’ve been the O.G. doer, depending upon whose history of skateboarding you consult. Adams passed away yesterday of an apparent heart attack while on a surfing vacation in Mexico. He was 53.
Per the L.A. Times:
Adams was not feeling well Thursday night and went to bed early. Early Friday morning, his wife, Tracy, alerted Sarlo and other visiting friends that her husband was choking in his sleep and having trouble breathing. An ambulance took him to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Without getting too sappy, Adams personified skateboarding during one of its initial popularity bursts in the 1970s. Images of him on a tiny Zephyr board strapped up in a pair of Vans Authentics getting so low to the blacktop he’s practically laying on it are skateboarding. He, along with the rest of the Dogtown crew, revolutionized the sport, fusing their surfing roots with the activity–and setting in motion the sport’s growth until now.
The 2001 documentary on Adams and the rest of the Z-Boys is required watching for anyone looking to understand skateboarding, especially the section on Adams. Watch that clip below.