Jay Adams also known as “The Original Seed”, “Jay-Boy” and one of the Z-Boys, helped shape the sport of skateboarding and was considered one of the most influential skateboarders of all time.
Jay Adams was born in Santa Monica, California in an area known as Dogtown. He began skating and surfing at the age of 4 and in 1974 became the youngest member of the Zephyr surf team that represented the local shop Jeff Ho Surfboards and Zephyr Productions. Fellow Z-Boy Tony Alva when asked about Adams said, “Some kids are born and raised on graham crackers and milk, he was born and raised on surfing and skateboarding.”
The Z-Boys became a skate team when they found out about the Bahne-Cadillac Del Mar Nationals competition in 1975. Jay Adams was the first team member to enter the contest claiming 3rd place in the Junior Men’s Freestyle. His powerful, energetic, low, bold, surf-like moves were synonymous with the style of the Z-Boys and differed massively with the traditional style of the era, which was still based on tricks first performed in the sixties. Stacy Peralta (Bones Brigade founder), said of Adams “is probably not the greatest skater of all time, but I can say without fear of being wrong that he is clearly the archetype of modern-day skateboarding.” Much of Adams and the rest of the Zephyr team’s fame is a result of Craig Stecyk’s “Dogtown articles” in the relaunch of Skateboarder magazine in 1975. The Dogtown articles were a series of articles appearing in the magazine that documented the adventures of the Z-Boys.
After the Del Mar Nationals the Zephyr team broke up, with half the team following Kent Sherwood, maker of the Zephyr boards, to a new team. Sherwood and Adams created the brand EZ RYDER, which eventually became Z-Flex six months later. Adams carried a significant roll as the face of Z-Flex.
During his career Jay-Boy was sponsored by numerous brands including Hurley, Nixon, Osiris Shoes, Z-Flex, Tracker Trucks, Vercelli Surfboards, Carver Racks, Abec 11 wheels and Black Flys.
In 2012 Adams was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame which also includes the likes of Tony Hamy, Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta and Christian Hosoi.
RIP Jay Adams.