The 2012 Skateboarding Hall of Fame inductee reportedly died of a massive heart attack this past Thursday (August 14, 2014) while vacationing with his wife Tracy Adams in Mexico. Adams was 53 years old.
Born and raised in the Venice, CA area know among the locals as “Dogtown”, Adams first rose to the limelight back in the 70’s as one of the original members of the Zephyr skateboarding team (with the likes of Tony Alva, Jim Muir, Shogo Kubo and others), for his unconventional and pioneering riding style, infused with fluid, surfing-inspired moves.
Much of his career has been chronicled in the silver screen in two movies – the documentary “Dogtown & Z-Boys” (2001), and also in the biopic “Lords of Dogtown” (2005). Fellow Z-Boys team member Stacy Peralta directed the first one and acted as a writer on both movies.
Adams' uncanny character and rebellious attitude weren’t limited to the sport. Notorious as one of the “bad boys of skateboarding”, Adams had his share of legal problems. He was first convicted of felony assault in 1982 and spent six months in jail. Later on, in the 80’s and 90’s, he fell into alcohol abuse and drug addiction. In 2005, he was arrested for participating in a crystal methamphetamine transaction.
Released in 2008, he was reportedly drug-free and lectured to children at churches and schools about his past struggles, warning them about the dangers of drugs.
Adams is survived by his widow Tracy, his daughter, Venice, and his son, Seven.