“He’s the real thing, an original seed, the original virus that infected all of us. He was beyond comparison. To this day I haven’t witnessed any skater more vital, more dynamic, more fun to watch, more unpredictable, and more spontaneous in his approach than Jay. There are not enough superlatives to describe him. In contests, Jay was simply the most exciting skater to watch. He never skated the same run the same way twice. His routines were wickedly random yet exceedingly tight and beautiful to watch: he even invented tricks during his runs. I’ve never seen any skater destroy convention and expectation better. Watching him skate was something new every second: he was “skate and destroy” personified.”

“I believe this photo of Jay (above) is the most stunning and strikingly clear representation, of any photo ever taken, of modern skateboarding. It contains all the elements that make up what modern-day skateboarding has become: awesome aggression and style, power and fury, wild abandon, destruction of all fear, untamed individualism, and a free-spirited determination to tear, shred, and rip relentlessly.” Stacy Peralta

Jay Adams on skateboarding “For me, skateboarding started in 1965 so by the time the Dogtown era came around I’d already been skatin’ for 10 years. When I started it was clay wheels and mostly home made decks. We were just trying to copy surfing. Everything about skateboarding had to do with surfing. It was all about fun and a way to surf when the waves were shitty. Our attitude was: Skate Destroy Surf/Slash Style.

Photo Credit: Pep Williams

Photo Credit: Pep Williams

Jay Adams on his drug addictions “I think I just kind of put it back on the shelf and never really dealt with it. I’m hoping one of the main reasons I did drugs was to kill the pain of thinking about grief issues, just get high and everything’s alright. Since I went to this little rehab thing they kind of brought that shit out. Shit that I never really dealt with like my brother got murdered and my dad died, then my grandma died and then my mom died and that was all in like a one year period of time. Then I had a girlfriend that I really loved and I caught her in bed with another guy. That one hurt more actually than the other things. My brother was really a surprise and was really dramatic and just fucked, a fucked thing to deal with. Some people killing your brother for $60,000 and a kilo of cocaine. It really sucked. I didn’t really know my Dad, but it sucked to me that he took his own life with pills. Because he didn’t want to deal with the pain of cancer and I thought that he was lame to do that. I thought he should have suffered it out to the end and not taken his own life, but who am I to say that. I don’t know what pain he was going through. My mom, it was pretty gnarly dealing with her. She was a really good friend of mine and I really miss my mom a lot. I miss my brother too. But my mom was my good friend I used to tell her everything and to watch her in six months or eight months wither down and die and have to change her diapers and carry her to the toilet. I was relieved when she died. I was prepared for her death and I was thankful when it came because of the suffering that she was going through. I’m kind of hoping that was the main cause of me doing drugs.”

Jay Adams, age 13, Del Mar, 1975.