• Skateboarding

Skateboard pioneer Adams dead at 53

ESPN staff
August 16, 2014
Tony Hawk took to Instagram to thank Jay Adams © Getty Images

Skateboarding pioneer Jay Adams died in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, early on Friday morning at the age of 53.

A full medical report is pending, but Adams' manager, Susan Ferris, says the Hall of Famer suffered a heart attack.

Adams had been on an extended surf vacation in Mexico with his wife and friends, including Solo Scott and Allen Sarlo. He had been surfing across the point earlier on Thursday and came in feeling sick, then began having chest pains around midnight, according to Scott.

Adams suffered a heart attack surfing in Mexico © AP

"His wife called us over in the middle of the night and we administered CPR until we could get an ambulance, and they kept working on him the whole way but he never revived," Scott told XGames.com.

"The important thing is he went out peacefully in his sleep, during the best surf trip of his life. He'd been down here for three months surfing every day, and he was in great shape and really good spirits. I've never seen him so happy and content and at peace."

Adams was known for bringing his aggressive surf style to skateboarding, first on the sidewalks of Venice, California, and eventually into the area's empty backyard pools. He was the first to air above the lip in a pool on a skateboard and the first to try handplants and other tricks that since have become staples.

"I've had the good fortune of spending decades in this sport, and he was the purest form of skateboarder that I've ever seen," Stacy Peralta, a fellow original member of the Z-Boys team and director of the documentary film 'Dogtown and Z-Boys', told XGames.com.

"He was literally skateboarding incarnate, and the genius of it was he wasn't the best at anything, he just was it. I've said before that he was the original virus that got so many people hooked on skateboarding. Now the original spore is gone, but that virus lives on in so many others.

Jay's passing reminds all of us and reaffirms that we're connected. We're all rolling down the sidewalk together."

Fellow legend Tony Hawk wrote on his Instagram account: "Goodbye Jay Adams. Thank you for inspiring us to get vertical and to keep pushing the limits of what is possible."

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