Famed skateboarder Jay Adams has died, according to two of his pals. The original Z-Boys member was 53 years old. Fellow skater Stacy Peralta, another founding members of the Z-Boys, posted the below photo of Jay Adams while announcing his death. Peralta wrote that the legend died of a heart attack.
Another skateboarder, Glen E. Friedman, also tweeted the news that Jay Adams is dead.
horribly sad news, I have lost an old friend and hero to many, certainly one of the most important Skate Boarders of all time JAY ADAMS RIP
â€” glen E. friedman (@glenefriedman) August 15, 2014
“Jay was one of the biggest innovators of skateboarding in his time,” fellow skateboarder Danny Way said in 2008. “He brought a carefree personality to skateboarding, and skateboarding has always been a little rebellious.”
Watch a recent video of Jay Adams skateboarding in an empty pool below.
Indeed, Jay Adams was known as one of the bad boys of skateboarding. And that extended to off the course as well. In 1982, he was convicted of felony assault following a fight at a concert and spent six months in jail. He then spiraled into drug addiction during the 1980s and 1990 before the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys brought him back into the public light.
Jay Adams was released from prison the following year but was arrested again in 2005 for his role in a drug deal. He was released in 2008 and appeared to have learned from his mistakes. A year before his death, Jay Adams was visiting schools to warn kids about the dangers of drugs.
“Those were the states of youth,” Jay Adams said a year before he died. “The 70s and 80s were a different time. With punk rock there was a lot of violence and being young, drinking alcohol and making bad choices. Now I want to encourage people not to go down the same road I went down.”
Watch Jay Adams talk about growing up in Dogtown below.
And longtime pal Dennis Martinez agreed that Jay Adams was back on the right track before his death.
“He’s come such a long way,” Martinez said last year. “Jay is a character, period. Knowing these guys it was really an image that they built. He’s always been the same. At any given time Jay would do something so off the wall it would blow your mind. When you’re pioneers and put your hard work into something, you can’t take that away from guys like us. The youngsters, they understand that. Skateboarding wouldn’t be where it is today.”