As I sat here at 6:30am getting DF13 ready for the day, I started to think about our company and where everything began. DF13 Skateboards was launched in 2014 and it reminded me of where it all TRULY began. Much like everything, the roots of what we do today hinge on what those who came before us did in the past.
The year DF13 Skateboards launched, also marked another date in skateboard culture. It marked the loss of one of the pioneers of everything today's skateboarding is about, where it was born and in fact why it is still alive. Of course, I'm talking about Jay Adams.
Together, with his team of friends in 1975; The Zephyr Team (or Z Boys), they changed skateboarding forever. It is because of these young men that skateboarders like Tony Hawk exist and skateboard companies like ourselves exist.
Adams passed in August of 2014, just a few short months after the birth of DF13 and it was a solemn moment that one of our first public statements had to be a tribute to an idol in our culture. We kept it short and to the point, because if you actually were to have the chance to ask Adams about his own passing, he would have likely said that it was no big deal. He knew his influence but was never in it for the money, glory, or fame. He and his friends were simply doing something they loved to do. It was something they did every day even before it became "a thing." He not only changed a small portion of the world with his skateboard at a young age, but he continued to ride a skateboard until the age of 53. Now that is love!
I'm certainly not here to give you a history lesson or to outline Adams' entire life story. There is plenty of information out there if you want to learn about Jay Adams or the Z Boys.
I'm simply jotting down my thoughts of the day and where my mind was this morning. I realized that if I'm truly going to get to the roots of DF13, I have to remember where it ALL began for ALL of us and not just DF13 itself. I believe this is important and I believe that every skateboard company should reflect on why they are in business. I think it's also important for skateboarders to do the same. It's not about the sponsorship. It's not about the money. It's not about the multi million dollar Super Bowl commercials. It's about a lifestyle, passion and a love for what you do. If more riders felt this way, we would have far more idols and legends being born from the proverbial "ashes." Today, we have kids breaking into skateboarding, doing an ollie and immediately wanting free things from companies. It becomes all about what they can get for free from companies rather than improving themselves, giving of themselves, sharing their experiences. It seems to come before even having a passion for what they do or an acknowledgement of the legacy and tradition they are continuing.
Those really are a sum of my thoughts for the day. I'm assuming that if you're reading this blog, you're into skateboarding or at least into what we do here at DF13. So, I really hope you take the time to look up Jay Adams and the Zephyr Team if you don't already know about them. If you don't feel like reading a ton, it's easy to get a glimpse into the story by checking out the movie Lords of Dogtown (featuring Heath Ledger)