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Skateboard Legend Jay Adams Dies of Heart Attack at Age 53

Skateboard legend Jay Adams poses at the 9th Annual MusicCares MAP Fund Benefit Concert at Club Nokia on Thursday, May 30, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Chris Pizzello/Associated Press
Adam WellsFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 3, 2017

Jay Adams, one of the pioneers of skateboarding, has died of a heart attack at the age of 53, according to former Z-Boys member Stacy Peralta on Instagram.

"I just received the terribly sad news that Jay Adams passed away last night due to a massive heart attack, send your love," Peralta wrote.

The news of Adams' death was confirmed by TMZSports, which added more information about the skater's location and physical health before the heart attack: 

Sources connected with the skater tell TMZ ... he died late Thursday of an apparent heart attack in Mexico.

We're told Adams was there with his wife and the 2 were on a long surfing holiday.  They had been there for 3 months.

Family sources tell us ... the 53-year-old has been sober for months and had no history of heart problems.

Many high-profile people in the skating world took to social media to pay their respects to Adams and remember his contribution to the sport and to their lives. 

Tony Hawk, the most influential skateboarder in America since Adams, noted how important the Venice native was to his career:

Legendary X Games skater Andy MacDonald just had a simple, elegant message for Adams on Twitter:

Adams was one of the founding members of the Z-Boys skating group from the 1970s that helped revolutionize skating, incorporating many strategies that are still in place today, including a surfer mentality on the cement.

Along with the rest of the Z-Boys, Adams was the subject of a 2005 movie written by Peralta called Lords of Dogtown. The film chronicles the group's rise in the skating community and personal tribulations endured during that time. 

Skateboarding really broke into the mainstream in this country thanks to innovations like the X Games and Hawk being a crossover star with his video game series, but Adams' influence remains over the sport today. 


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