Being nicknamed “The Kid” might seem a little odd to you considering Jason Adams is a fully grown man, a husband and a father of two. He has weathered through a very colorful skateboard career with style, beer fueled frontside airs and a wardrobe that might give your grandpa a run for his money. With more sponsors under his belt than sexual partners in Paris Hilton’s closet, The Kid still holds it down now as a seasoning-salted veteran. Maybe a wee bit grumpier and a little slower to get the juices flowing, he still pushes faster than most once he gets the engine kicked into fourth gear. This old man still has a few tricks up his sleeve and a great head of hair to boot. Jason Adams, thank you for being you no matter the trends or lack of beer money. – Matt Evs
Hello Kid. You are embracing quite the professional career on a skateboard extending over two decades. Not many have been able to pull that one off, let alone doing it with the uniqueness that you bring. What have you done differently than most to make a legacy mimic that of an aged bottle of Glenlivet?
Well, These days I have a hard time calling it a career!?? Ha ha, For some reason I choose to to try and keep the dream alive! I guess I missed the boat when maturity came to port……….Man who knows. I have always had a point of view that I wanted to portray being a figure in sponsored skateboarding. An attitude or style can’t be dated like stair counting or the latest flip trick fad. I have always been on the fringe of everything I do or where I go starting with childhood. When I turned pro and started intermingling in the skateboard industry I soon realized this scene is no different than high school. At the time my attitude was “fuck you.” I think early on all the other weirdos out in skateboard land just backed me. Most of the time, I don’t think it had to do with my skill level or was trick related so much. It was the delivery and a guy representing an attitude that they could relate to. I never really left 80s skateboarding. Just tried to apply it to the modern day. When I look back at the 20 plus years…? If I had to compare it to something, I guess, my so called ‘career ‘is like a low budget cult movie. When it comes out, the majority of people think it sucks, but the underground nerds that get it, back it for ever…..and it slowly gains a following over time. But you know, I also got lucky when all the black planets aligned with the popularity of Black Label. It kinda boosted me out of the underground and gave me a second wind (I guess you could say) just when I thought I was done. Getting on Black Label was huge for me and came at just the right time! I had fought for years to do my thing. I wasn’t popular in skateboarding, And it was hard to get sponsors to really support me. With Lucero (who was one of my biggest influences), he fully backed my style, encouraged me to go get weird and get hot! The pieces fit. I felt really confident for the first time. Like, I was doing exactly what I was suppose to! It was very liberating! That was like 1997-98
I never really left 80s skateboarding. Just tried to apply it to the modern day.
That’s awesome that you “never left the 80′s.” Sex and drugs were cleaner then. Moonwalking and Rubiks Cubes were, like, totally bitchen’ for sure. After you left Lucero’s skulls and flames at Black Label you teamed up with some more lovely shapes and colorful elephants via Mike V . What lead to the switch to Elephant Brand and how is that vibing with your “Flock of Seagull’s hairdo” and “spandex shorts” way of life?
Yer an idiot, by the way……….. I dig it. When I got on Elephant Brand I was in a similar situation like I was in 97… down and almost out. Then, linking up with right fit and just the right time. Never mind the graphics. Elephant has a ideal to it that I jive with for sure! Its so far off from the mainstream skateboard industry. I can do what ever I want when I want and Mike (Vallely) backs me and helps out as much as he can.
I can do what ever I want when I want
Radical. Elephant seems pretty cool and they have some rad shapes. How hard would it be to list every sponsor you ever had? You up for it?
Venture Trucks, Santa Cruz Skateboards, Think Skateboards, SMA Skateboards, Independent Trucks, Speed Wheels, Krux Trucks, Vans, Creature Skateboards, Este Clothing, Scarecrow Skateboards, CCS, Pig Wheels, Sonic Skateboards, Killing Machine Hardware, Halos Bearings, Shorties Hardware, Black Label Skateboards, Speed Metal Bearings, 1984 Clothing, Duffs Shoes, Fast Times Griptape, Innes Clothing, Revolution Wheels, enjoi skateboards, Decline Shoes, Split Clothing, Ambiguous Clothing, OJ Wheels, Ruckus Trucks, Thunder Trucks, Lucky Bearings, 1031, Iron Fist and Elephant Brand.
Wow. You have really been around the block a few times. In a way, you remind me of the girl that took my virginity, only with less crabs. With all those sponsors under your belt, you have probably dealt with some shady mother fuckers and some incredible people. What advice do you have for the aspiring little guys that haven’t gotten their tip wet as of yet. Is there a proverbial “Jimmy Hat” out there or does one just have to “raw dog” it in this incestuous game of sponsored plank riding?
Yeah, I’m a Slut! Ha ha! Shit?? It seems like a completely different ball game these days, I’m out of the loop for sure. I really only deal with Elephant for the most part. It seems like serious biz now. In my day there was this huge middle class of pro skateboarders. Companies for the most part were run by younger skateboarders. There wasn’t the money out there like there is now. It was more about making friendships and finding places that you fit in with. Now it seems like as a pro, you either are making serious dollar bill and you have representation or your broke riding for nickels and dimes. I’m a shitty business man. I’m in no position to give advice. I guess you just need to visualize what you want out of it, then bust your ass and go get it!
When you close your eyes and imagine what you want, what do you see? Why do you still struggle with being one of the low paid pros getting nickel and dime’d?
Well, aaahhh let me rewind a bit….. When my position in skateboarding nearly ceased to exist… among other things going on in my life at the time…… That was when the economy hit. Before that……. I worked for years to try and fight for my spot. Even though in the back of my mind (since 1992) I knew it all has to end sooner or later. But, I really tried to have one of those ever existing positions in sponsored skating. Granted I knew I wouldn’t make the same money….. what ever..….. just keep some consistency and keep a legit spot ……… but, when the shit hit the fan…..there was nothing I could do….. I was done……as a job that is. I tried to get new things going, but nothing. At the time it seemed the writing was on the wall, but I was burnt and I finally excepted it. I had gone 18 years (at that time), and I’ll admit I force-fed skateboarding in a lot of situations for a lot of years out of a ‘work ethic’…. So, I just said fuck it! It had been looming over my head for so long! I thought to my self “its time to move on”……so I focused on my art and being a dad . I kinda hustled my way through for years (income wise). So, to somewhat answer your question……I wasn’t focused on skateboarding what so ever. I rode when I could. I did a little project here and there, but art stuff was what was in my sites. Thats why I really don’t have anything going on besides Elephant Brand. They go above and beyond to try and keep me afloat considering the state of skateboarding right now. But, ya know, after a while I just really missed skateboarding…… not that I wasn’t riding…. but, I mean really trying to go out and live it. Get out of my paint fumed poisoned basement…ya know. When you go so long as a sponsored skateboarder…..the projects and photos, video and all that become part of it. Its fun, I feel productive…….. I like that……… Elephant had a big part of that though! So ‘what I see’ or what is ‘in my sites’ is me working on getting a few sponsors who appreciate what do, what I have done, are willing to help me out, keep me afloat and in return can use me to the best of there abilities so I can focus on bigger solid projects and stop this mad nickel and dime hustle!
bust your ass and go get it!
Don’t forget about Team Korrine! Mrs. Adams holds it down pretty tough and keeps a fire lit under your skinny buns! Sometimes I feel like I should call her and ask “Can Jason come out and play today?” Can you shed some light on Lost Highway and Slappy Hour?
Haaaaa, I feel the same about you and your lady!! She (Korrine) really doesn’t other than……. “you better pay these bills, asshole!” Ha ha ha! Lost Highway is my web site, its like the hub of what I do art-wise skate-wise, whatever. I also make art prints under Lost Highway editions, but its just the name I came up with to work under rather than ‘the art of Jason Adams.’ Slappy Hour kinda just happened….. you started it really, Matt Evs….so to explain, Matt and I were talking about stuff. Matt had the idea of consistently filming insta/web edits of curb skating, and that I should come up with a name. So, I thought up #slappyhour, made a logo and posted it. Now, due to such a positive response with out even doing the clips we talked about (yet!), now I’m seeing it as a brand as well? Possibly? Its just seems so obvious. People are really digging it! It just makes since and flows really easy!
you better pay these bills, asshole
There’s something so incredible about slappying curbs. It’s such an amazing feeling and you don’t need to jump down 10 stairs to do it. I want it to be Slappy Hour right now but the ol’ lady needs me to take out the trash. If you could put a dream team board company together on anyone you want, in any era, at any age (i.e. Karma Tsochef circa Dogtown flat bill, small wheels) who would you put on? Five pros and three ams.
Well, for one, you would have to be the master of the power slide. On the Am side it would be a drawn out battle during tryouts! These little shits would really have to dig deep to prove they got the chops for this team! Pros: (Ricky) Windsor, (Tom) Knox, (Eric) Dressen, Tim Jackson, John Lucero. You know what???? Fuck ams. Lance Mountain and Tommy G. We will say 1987. And one am….me. You are just gunna have to deal with my lack of math on this one!
Windsor, Knox, Dressen, Tim Jackson, John Lucero… Lance Mountain and Tommy G.
Bummer. I was hoping to fill one of those am spots. Oh well, I can start my own company and put myself on the flow program. Ha! That’s a pretty awesome dream team, though. Maybe you can make the Slappy Hour “Guest” team series and we can work on a full length video with that start studded cast just on curbs. Well, Thanks for taking the time to shoot the shit. I’m gonna plug some of your “whathaveyous” and “whatnots” now. Any closing words of wisdom?
Well Matt, why don’t you sign up for a my power slide crunch camp. I think you have the dedication, the heart and soul it takes to master the art of the power slide!……..and truly understand…………. I see max potential! other than that……no……. everyone just go get RADICAL!
Lost Highway (store)