Tom Sims R.I.P. / Layback / Soda Springs 1985


Photo by Bud FawcettBuy Print

Tom Sims, legendary snowboarding pioneer and skateboard industry giant, died from a heart attack this week, on Wednesday 12th September. Tom Sims’ influence on snowboarding – in particular, signing progressive riders like Terry Kidwell, hosting the first halfpipe competitions and generally shifting the emphasis from racing to freestyle – cannot be understated. And while he ultimately lost the battle with Jake Burton for the commercial ‘ownership’ of the sport, his early snowboards were well ahead of their time and helped pave the way for the equipment we use today.

It was only a fortnight ago that I posted this classic black-and-white photo of Sims in a slalom contest as part of my ‘Retro Sunday’ series. In tribute to a bona fide legend, here is another picture of Tom Sims from 1985, slashing it up Dogtown style and – though he might not have realised the significance at the time – blurring the line between skateboarding and snowboarding. Rest in peace Tom.

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