On of skateboarding's earliest innovators Jay Adams had lead a tumultuous life to say the least. Born in Santa Monica, California on February 3, 1961.He was the only child of Robert Adams and Philaine Romero. His early years of surfing and skateboarding can be seen on the silver screen in Stacey Peralta's 2001 award-winning documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys and in the 2005 Hollywood version of the Z-Boys origins, Lords of Dogtown. In the Lords of Dogtown he was played by actor Emile Hirsch. Film critics praised Hirsh's performance of Adams. It was touted as authentic
His long struggles with drugs lead him in and out of prison. There were federal tax issues and even an involvement with a an assault which led to the death of Dan Bradbury. All of his legal issues seemed to stop in 2005 due to Jay apparently getting clean. He was an active in member in a California Church. He spoke at local schools discussing his life long struggles which he credited to poor choices he had made.
Jay Adams was recently honored the "Z Flex J Boy Classic". A contest held in April 2014 at the Venice Beach Skateboard Park on the Beach in Venice, California.
He died at 53 years of age on an extended surf vacation in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. He is survived by his wife Tracy Adams and his daughter Venice.
"Skateboarding is a progressive sport and Jay Adams played an integral part in sparking its early progression." - Jason Chapman The National Skateboarding Examiner