Thousands attend skateboarder Jay Adams funeral over Labor Day weekend

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Friday, September 5, 2014

An estimated two thousand people from the skateboarding and surfing communities, and a Wikinews reporter, attended the funeral service and memorial paddle-out and skateboarding session this past Labor Day weekend in California for skateboarding pioneer Jay Adams, who died on August 15 while on a surfing trip with his wife Tracy in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. Within days after his death several smaller Hawaiian-style paddle-out tributes were also held in his honor from Santa Cruz, California to Jacksonville, Florida.

Photo of the memorial paddle-out next to the Venice Beach Pier on Saturday.
Image: SIX12 MEDIA.

Broadcast live on the web from Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa on Friday, pastor Raul Ries delivered the eulogy along with Skateboarder Christian Hosoi. Both spoke about Adams character and influence on the skateboarding and surfing communities. Adams' own church pastor and one of his closest friends Trip shared personal stories from letters Adams had written him concerning his faith and his desire to be known for being a man of God. Adams' step-father Kent Sherwood who taught Adams how to surf when he was just three years old, also shared personal stories about Adams when he was just starting to surf and skateboard as a young child.

With clear skies and warm sunny weather on Saturday, hundreds of surfers, amongst them long time friends of Adam's from the Z-Boys, held a large memorial paddle-out tribute mid-day on the north side of the Venice Beach Pier. Chants of "Jay Jay Jay" could be heard from the pier as onlookers watched water being splashed about into the air by the hundreds of people perched on their surfboards. Los Angeles County fire department boats and lifeguards were on hand to add to the paddle-out by spraying their water cannons high into the air and blowing their horns, while monitoring everyone's safety. Later in the afternoon nearby a skateboarding session was held at the Venice beach skate park also in Adams' honor.

Adams became an influential figure in skateboarding and its culture during the mid-seventies when he was a teenager, skateboarding with the Zephyr team in Southern California. He has been acknowledged as someone who helped transform the novelty of skateboarding into a global phenomenon. His story was featured in the films Dogtown and Z-Boys and Lords of Dogtown and he was inducted into the skateboarding hall of fame in 2012.

Later in life Adams became a Christian and found a purpose in helping the next generation of skaters and surfers by speaking to the public with positive messages about making good choices in life, along with other notable skateboarder Dennis Martinez. Adams is the second member of the Z-Boys to die this year, Shogo Kubo died while surfing in Hawaii in June.

He is survived by his wife Tracy, his son Seven and his daughter Venice.


Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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