As a kid growing up in Los Angeles, California, Jerry Valdez experienced a rough home life, which forced him to live on the streets from age 8 to 18. Whenever Jerry actually did go to school, he excelled in gymnastics, and he started skating on a Black Knight around 1969. By 1974, he had graduated to a Bahne with Cadillac wheels and was ripping the Viper Bowl in the Hollywood Hills. His first sponsor was a small brand called Kemo and not long after, Val Surf began to give him free equipment. Then John Baron put the Jer on the Pepsi team with super stars like Gregg Ayres, Stacy Peralta and Lonnie Toft. They got paid good money to push unhealthy sugary drinks and 360 Sportswear to school kids all over So Cal and, eventually, the whole U.S. Around this time, the Jer got sponsored by Bennett trucks and Alligator wheels. Well known as the inventor of the tail tap, Jerry was also one of the first to pull off a frontside rock ’n’ roll. In June 1977, the Sharp brothers started Skateboard World magazine, which prominently featured Jerry in its pages. He even made the cover of their September 1978 issue, which Johnny Carson showed off to millions of viewers on The Tonight Show.
At one point, Val Surf gave Jerry a pro model deck, and he designed the Endless Wave skatepark in Oxnard. Then a wealthy British man flew Jerry over to England on the Concorde super sonic jet to start a team for Arrow with Paul Constantineau, David Hackett and Kent Senatore. After 18 months of touring and partying over there, Jerry was asked by Scott Senatore to join the team of the see-through capsule-shaped Turning Point Ramp, with which they toured all over the U.S. Later, after his pro skating career ended, Jerry got into break dancing, appearing in videos for musicians such as the Gap Band and Lionel Richie, and in movies like Toy Soldiers and Interceptor. After that, Jerry got married, and entered the construction business as a licensed general contractor and building inspector. In 2012, Jerry started skating again for the “magic, freedom and astral surfing.”