Jerry Valdez - 2020 Skateboarding Hall of Fame Inductee

Jerry Valdez

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The Jerry Valdez Timeline: Growing up in Southern California, Jerry experiences many of life’s obstacles with only his inner guidance to draw from. His skateboard, his sole source of transportation, is a great introduction to freestyle skating. In high school, Jerry excels at the science of physics through gymnastics and martial arts, preparation for his future professional skateboarding style. Hollywood Hills catch basins like the Viper and Skyline Bowls are new skate frontiers where Jer establishes himself as a top bowl rider.
The early 70’s California drought exposes Jerry to empty pool riding; his newfound passion thrusts him into the skateboarding spotlight. Early sponsors knock and Jer answers, leading to magazine articles such as “Things are Hot in the Valley,” and a “Who’s Hot!” in Skateboarder Magazine. His ongoing coverage leads to the job designing the two Endless Wave skateparks in Oxnard and Bakersfield; Van Doren Rubber Company uses Jerry in their launch of Off The Wall branding; and the BBC documentary ‘Skateboard Kings’ captures a window in time of skateboarding where Jer lays down skateboard history captured in many different skate sessions. Visionary John Baron develops a safety awareness program and presents it to Pepsi, who creates the first advertising campaign featuring skateboarders Jerry, Russ Howell, Stacy Peralta, and more.  The Pepsi-Cola Skateboard Team is among the first to pay skateboarders decently, and also provides the chance for Jerry’s iconic centerfold at the L.A. Coliseum, in front of 75,000 spectators, making him the first skateboard gladiator in 1977. Well-known as the originator of several pool riding benchmark moves including the tail tap, Jer’s frontside rock’n’roll sets the standard that remains to this day. Skateboard World magazine prominently features Jerry on its pages including two iconic covers which Johnny Carson shows to millions of viewers on The Tonight Show.  Jerry’s skateboarding achievements are also featured on many magazine covers including Life, Look, People, Skateboard World Japan, and Skateboarder Magazines. While in England for a Pepsi demo, Bobby Piercy propositions Jerry about creating the first international skateboard team, to be funded by a wealthy British man. That man soon hires Jerry and flies him to England several times on the Concorde to oversee the Arrow Skateboard Team. Eighteen months of international touring, product development, and door-opening industry parties, Arrow doesn’t get off the ground due to an unforeseen slump in the skateboarding industry. At Scott Senatore’s invitation, Jerry joins the Turningpoint Ramp team, touring across the U.S. During this time Jerry executes the first frontside third ring loop ever on that ramp.  
Jerry’s accomplishments continue and eventually include Associate Publisher of Skate Industry News; patent and trademark holder in sport equipment and apparel; acting in blockbuster movies like Toy Soldiers and Interceptor, and rounding off a successful life’s work as a licensed General Contractor, International Building Inspector and land developer.  In 2012, Jerry starts skating again, creates the International Brotherhood of Skateboarders Club, and to this day still is enjoying skating sessions with his longtime legendary friends.  – Written by Mark Waters & Jerry Valdez

Read The Blue Tile Obsession Story about Jerry

Jerry Valdez interviewed by Marty Grimes