Jay Boy: The Early Years of Jay Adams by Kent Sherwood
Universe 2017. ISBN 9780789332820
A charming collection of photographs of the legendary Jay Adams before the Z-Boys phenomenon shot him to international stardom.
Before joining the Zephyr team and, alongside Tony Alva, catapulting the tame kid's pastime of skateboarding into the rebellious youth culture it is now Jay Adams was just another sun bleached grom surfing the beaches and sidewalks of L.A. County.
In Jay Boy, Jay's stepfather and mentor Kent Sherwood shares his collection of photographs of the young legend when he was still full of innocence and before the punk rock attitude took hold. All annotated by Jay himself before his death in 2014, it's an endearing insight into not only the birth of a legend but also the life of a Santa Monica surf rat at the cusp of the 1970s.
ABOUT KENT SHERWOOD & JAY ADAMS
Born on O'ahu, Hawaii, Kent Sherwood was first taken out into the surf at the tender age of four. And in his own words, "From that moment on, surfing was my life." He moved back and forth throughout his children before settling, a keen photographer, in a surfboard glassing shop in Venice, Dogtown. Shortly after he met Philaine Adams and her then 3 year old son Jay. Kent and Jay would hang out on the beach all day every day and by the age of four, Jay was surfing the smaller inside waves. By the age of ten his skills had already overtaken those of his mentor.
Jay Adams would, along with his Zephyr teammate Tony Alva, change the face of skateboarding... and arguable youth culture as a whole. Both devoted surfers, whenever the ocean was flat they would hone their skills on skateboards. Jay and Tony brought an aggressive punk rock cool to the tame childish endeavour of skateboarding. And whilst Tony's skating was powerful and brash, Jay's brought an originality and stylishness to skateboarding which is still revered to this day. By the mid-70s, Jay, Tony and the rest of the Zephyr skate team were rockstars.