Words and photos by: Steven Rodriguez
The beach was decorated with posters and photo collages of Jay. Flowers adorned the side of the pier. Classic lowriders were laid out in the adjoining parking lot. Family, friends, and fans came out to the Venice Beach Pier on Labor Day weekend from all over the world to celebrate Jay’s life with a memorial paddle out and skate super session.
“Jay didn’t pass, because he lives so much in our present, in our heart, and in our soul. Jay had this magic ability to make all of us all feel so good, just around his presence, to watch him surf is amazing. Jay’s candle was burning on both ends, and did it ever burn bright,” said Jay Adams’ longtime friend and Zephyr teammate, Allen Sarlo.
Sarlo was one of many of Jay’s friends who took to the mic and shared their fond memories of him. Every story told wouldn’t bring out tears but smiles and laughs.
“When the waves got really good, Jay used to say something that always reminds me of him,” Simon Ebling told the crowd, “He’d say ‘triple firing! It’s triple firing out here right now! Where are you, it’s triple firing!'”
Simon continued on about how when he would tell Jay about the waves Jay would ask “was it single firing, double firing, or was it triple firing?”
“It was always triple firing when you surfed with Jay,” Ebling said.
After the speakers. the paddle out began with paddlers forming a huge circle at the end of the pier. As the lifeguard boats sprayed water high on to the paddlers, the circle chanted “Live like Jay! Live like Jay!.”
Later in the afternoon, the Venice Skate Park hosted a memorial skate session. Legendary skaters like Tony Alva, Christian Hosoi, Nathan Pratt and a few other Dogtown skaters told tales about their buddy Jay.
The session also included the revealing of a large mural of Jay banking off the coping. A full on skate session in the pool went on into the evening. With several generations of Dogtown skaters skating the pool, it was “triple firing.”