Rest In Peace Jay Adams

posted by / News / August 15, 2014

The world lost a great one last night as Jay Adams died of a heart attack at the age of 53. Photo: Sherm

The world lost a great one last night as Jay Adams died of a heart attack at the age of 53. Photo: Sherm

Jay shares a wave with Taj Burrow at Lowers last summer. Photo: Jimmicane

Jay shares a wave with Taj Burrow at Lowers last summer. Photo: Jimmicane

I grew up in an era when surfing and skating mattered together, and Jay Adams was the biggest influence on my life as both a surfer and a skater. There was no one in the world that I wanted to emulate more than Jay. He was the Larry Bertlemann of skating — and he was actually influenced by Bertlemann. I was lucky enough to meet Jay when we were younger and right when I met him, I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to being a surfer and a skater. He had the affect on people. It’s crazy when you can meet your hero and have him turn out to be way cooler than you had imagined. I consider myself lucky to have met Jay, and I think the world is lucky to have had him. —Steve Sherman

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  • christian islas

    rest in peace jay :/

  • Edwin Lap


  • DAvo

    RIP JAy

  • Jon Nugent

    RIP… the spark

  • Gillfeltafish Kaufmanowitz

    Rest in Peace-Kindred Spirit and innovator of Stoke!

  • susan

    Man, i loved his skating…wanted to be just like him…radical!

  • Andy_Kreiss

    Even though the Dogtown Boys were kinda A-holes to us Orange County kids back on the day, I couldn’t deny how much they set the pace. RIP, Jay.

  • Bill Atom Ant Redman

    Rest in PEACE The east coast boyz

  • aanthony48

    I moved to Dogtown in ’74 and quickly discovered who the Z-Boys were. Even though I was always 2 or 3 degrees away, I have to say I bought in to the whole “us vs. them” vibe. For those on the inside it was a (mostly) contrived fiction. For those of us on the outer rungs, it was just a point of pride being able to call Dogtown home. But of course with age comes perspective and I soon realized that, no matter where you lived, all that mattered was that skating mattered to you.

  • Mike A Sole Bowl SD State..

    Rest in Peace Jay Jay Adams, Robin Williams only the good die young..

  • JON B.

    Well said, Andy, as I was born in Los Angeles, just turned 51 August 12th, and remember them quite vividly!

  • Andy_Kreiss

    Yeah, of course it was being young, sort of like the local music scene, where some kids get some low-level fame and it goes to their heads. Of course, there are a bunch of “new friends” trying to shoehorn in, so it’s natural to be a little aggressive/defensive.

    I do remember meeting Shogo Kubo at Odyssey, that south OC indoor park, one time, and he was the mellowest, nicest guy you could meet. He redeemed the ones who dropped in on me. ;o)

  • Andy_Kreiss

    I turned 52 this year, we were that sort of in-between generation.

  • JON B.

    Yep! Precisely! Happy birthday as well, big guy! 😉

    We both entered/incarnated into the earth-plane back in the early 60’s right at the time of the in-between; that is, the changing of the guard from the old and tyrannical Reptilian dominated generations into the spiritual eclectic, universally and extraterrestrially enhanced, the interdimensionally evolved and the new.

    I knew you were a soulmate just by sensing the power, forthrightness and spiritual insights of your writings, not to mention the ridiculously wonderful insights of refreshing common sense that you bring to humanity as well. And soulmates NEVER forget one another, Andy. Never! Just keep living; you’ll see. I’m right. SOULMATES!!! (Meaning that we have known one another before over thousands of years, as we have hundreds, if not thousands of other lives both in the past, the present and the future). In short, we all evolve together and we grow each other up!

    Interesting. Most interesting. 😉

  • Martha Teaches

    Brings back memories. I lived in San Diego in late 70’s. Amazing how things have turned around. The beaches, from Santa Monica, Venice, to Mission Beach in San Diego were slum neighborhoods. My how things have changed. Tony Alva used to be my favorite. I remember some snot nosed little kid….Tony Hawk..

  • flowermike

    Steve Sherman wants to “dedicate his life” in any way because of Jay Adams? Jay wasn’t cool and the world wasn’t lucky to have him. The guy could skate at that brief time before parks sprouted up everywhere. His activities at that stage were not anything to strive for, especially his surfing. The effect Jay had on people was conflicted at best. Influential skater maybe, but even a pollyannish rose colored eulogy won’t rewrite a troubled history. Credit Peralta for cashing in on the hollywood varnish he painted on zephyr, but those of us there know a different truth that mirrored the environment. And minus Sarlo, none of them distinguished themselves in the water beyond Bay Street until Mc Clure began landing functionaly airs…

  • Watermancha

    I grew up i Redondo Beach Ca , during the 60’s both my older brothers surfed I learned to surf at The Breakwater, I started skating, when i was a student at Hillcrest Jr.High , and kept skating into high school (Redondo High)I never got the chance to meet Jay but I’m sure we would have been good friends . I read all the magazines back then ,I saw all the photo’s. Jay set the standards down to the letter, as far as skating was concerned. Special time in history to be growing up in this era. Most of us who skated were distracted huge just like when you surf, and Jays “you only live once” attitude, was “icing on the cake”. I wasn’t much into the pool stuff but always liked to downhill and just the natural paved embankments that i could find at just about any school playground . I ripped down Beryl Hill at night back then ,only a block or so from my house. I remember the smile i had on my face as the shear fear raced through my body and the chill of the night air shivered me. the roar of my Roadrider Wheels beneath me. I would have not attempted such a thing if it had not been for Jays influence. I will always remember Jay his life and the way he skated are in a place in my heart. I’m 54 years old still surfing and have some classic photo’s of Jay that i cut out of the mags years ago. Jay paddled out to the surf spot in the sky………. Charlie

  • ThomCruize

    Jon B., you are officially on a sick one.

  • Guest

    yeah and McClure is a dick

  • freerider

    Jay was more down to earth than probably all of the Z-Boys. We are going to miss him. Jay became a Christian also. Death is really just the beginning of some thing new. Looking forward to seeing him in Heaven some day.

  • JON B.

    You heard it here folks from the closet-case himself! Thanks freak!

  • freerider

    Jay was totally cool–and seemed more down to earth and honest than most pro wannabes today–check out the Dog Town “Documentary” (not– the lords of dog town).– He Didn’t want to self pro-mote himself–like most of the skate-surf world–wannabes of today. Are there any skaters -surfers–you could say that about today? May his legacy live on…..

  • Dude

    That photo of Jay’s cutty says so much .

  • freerider

    Let him that is without sin cast the first stone…

  • shit

    who the fucks mclure?

  • Mason

    Which flip book recently had him on a longboard, I think in CA?