Jay Adams was not the greatest pool skater, nor was he the greatest bank skater, or the greatest slalom skater or the greatest freestyler. The fact is, Jay Adams’ contribution to skateboarding defies description or category. Jay Adams is probably not the greatest skater of all time, but I can say without fear of being wrong that he is clearly the archetype of modern-day skateboarding. Archetype defined means an original pattern or model, a prototype. Prototype defined means the first thing or being of its kind. 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. - Stacy Peralta
Jay adams have inspired so many people to this day, and he will continue on doing that, legends never die. Rest in paradise Jay, you will never be forgotten ♡
“He (Jay Adams) didn’t give a shit about money, and I don’t think that’s why he did it to begin with. He never was interested in any of the material rewards that came from skateboarding. I think that he just basically had a total Fuck You approach to the whole commercialism of skateboarding.” - Tony Alva
Jay and I go back, way the fuck back. My First published photo was a full page subscription ad for SkateBoarder magazine. I took the photo when I was 14, Jay the belligerent “Radical Little Rat” was 15. Jay often rememberd it as his first published photo too – it actually wasn’t but he remembered it that way, which was always funny to me. It was very flattering. We were kids and we thought we knew everything, like most kids do. I found out about this pool near the Kenter Canyon School yard, borrowed a 35mm camera, invited Jay and PC to come and I’d take some photos. That’s where the documented history of Jay and I started. Over the years we would travel around the southern California basin to skate spots, parties and punk gigs. Jay was the youngest of the original Zephyr crew and I was a year and a month younger than him. I’ve witnessed some pretty incredible shit around him, both positive and negative, he was a wild one that’s for sure.
Jay was no slouch, he often surprised me, and others, with his brilliance on and off his board. Even though he was one of the most out of control motherfuckers, he would do some wild shit, and then, could hit you with some science that would have you asking yourself, “Where the fuck did that come from?”. Although he didn’t always act that way, Jay was smart. He was no doubt one of my favorite all time subjects to shoot, he was an inspiration to me and countless others of his generation, and generations to follow. Jay Boy’s legacy and inspiration will forever be unparalleled in the art/sport of skateboarding. When you look at Jay you have to think of the personification of all the DogTown stories that Craig Stecyk wrote and all the DogTown photos that I took: All we were trying to do was capture Jay Adams’ essence. He was really fucked up crazy, and he was really incredibly great, all at the same time. For so many, he was the inspiration, he was the seed. He was one of the originators,
and he didn’t do any of it on purpose. He was as spontaneous as they come, and because of that he was one of the sport’s great revolutionaries.