The Skateboarding Community Mourns The Loss Of Original ‘Z Boy’ Jay Adams

The legendary skateboarding pioneer will be deeply missed.

Yesterday (August 15), Jay Adams, a pop culture icon and one of the founding members of the skateboarding collective the “Z Boys,” died at the age of 53. Adams was on a surf vacation in Puerto Escondido, Mexico when he died. According to the Los Angeles Times, the preliminary diagnosis for his death is a heart attack.

As a member of the Zephyr Skateboarding team or “Z Boys” that helped shape skateboarding as a sport and a cultural force back in the ’70s, Adams really rose to prominence in 2001 when the documentary film “Dogtown and Z Boys” was released. The film’s plot surrounded Adams and his friends Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva skating in the Santa Monica neighborhood of Dogtown.

Adams was especially known for the way his surfing style influenced his skateboarding, and for a certain fluidity that most skaters couldn’t achieve. He had nicknames like “pure seed” and even “the chosen one” but mostly shied away from big, corporate skating competitions.

The story of “Dogtown and Z Boys” was turned into a fictional account in 2005 called “Lords of Dogtown,” and actor Emile Hirsch played Adams in the movie. Yesterday Hirsch took to Twitter to express his sense of grief.

Others also keenly felt the loss of Adams, like professional skater Tony Hawk, who cites Adams as an inspiration.

Photographer Glen E. Friedman who helped promote the work of Jay and other counter-culture figures also tweeted his grief.

And shared his own tribute to Jay:

Another photographer, Mike Andrick, shared another one of Glen’s incredible photographs of Jay skateboarding:

And his fellow “Z Boy” Tony Alva also tweeted his remembrance and shared his own tribute photograph of Jay.

Here’s the photo he linked to:

Tony Alva's Facebook

Our condolences are with Jay’s family during this difficult time.

MTV Weekend Editor. Acts like Madonna but listens to Merle.
@harmonicait