Skateboarding Lost A Legend, Tom Sims R.I.P.

Tom Sims (born 1950-2012) was a former World Snowboarding Champion (1983), World Champion Skateboarder (1975) and founder of Sims Snowboards and Sims Skateboards.” He has lived in Santa Barbara, California since 1971 and died from cardiac arrest Wednesday night, September 12th, 2012, at age 62,” according to a statement from the Sims family. He is survived by his wife Hilary, sister Margie Sims Klinger of Santa Barbara, sons Tommy and Shane, daughter Sarah and step daughters Alexa and Kylie Wagner.

Tom Sims could always be found trying his board prototype inventions himself

“Tom’s accomplishments speak for themselves,” reads a statement released today by Sims Snowboards, the company he founded. “Being a true pioneer, Tom brought forward thinking concepts and innovations that forever changed the landscape of the snowboard and skateboard industries. His constant quest for the deepest powder, the longest downhill run and the smoothest wave kept Sims busy doing what he loved. Tom has been and always will be an inspiration for us all.

Tom Sims competed as a world champion snowboarder

The first factory made Sims skateboard produced that wasn’t home made

Tom Sims was a legend in three sports, Skateboarding, Surfing and Snowboarding. Tom Sims and the Sims company sponsored athletes in 4 decades of extreme sports.

Tom Sims surfing, “good vibrations” in Santa Barbara, California

Sims Skateboards were designed by Tom Sims personally

Tom Sims coined the term “Pure Juice” early on in his inventive years.

Tom Sims ran a skateboard shop and in 1970 founded Sims Skateboards, out of Santa Barbara, California. Tom Sims was featured, along with Stacy Peralta, in the 1976 skateboarding film “Freewheelin.” Stacy Peralta skated pro for Sims Skateboards early in his dominating pro career and Peralta’s warp-tail skateboard deck became the industry standard of making quality skateboards in the 1970s.


Tom Sims From the film Freewheelin’

Here are a few of the milestones that Tom Sims brought to life:

1. He created the first metal edged snowboard
2. He created the first snowboarding Half Pipe
3. He created the first freestyle snowboard
4. He created the first pro-model snowboard
5. He created the world’s first longboards for skateboarding in 1975

Iconic Ed Economy, one of the Sims teams most legendary pro skaters

The Sims team was involved in all areas of amateur and professional; skateboarding, but was best known for his world class downhill, longboard skateboarding team.

He was a world champion skater in 1975 and a world champion snowboarder in 1983, and this led to him being James Bond’s primary stunt double in 1985 in the Hollywood hit Bond movie A View To Kill.”


After Burton recruited Craig Kelly, the Burton vs Sims war exploded to new heights, bringing snowboarding into the mainstream world and blessed all of us riding back then with better technology and more choices that were tears ahead of their time.

Sims biggest marks would be made in the snowboard industry: Sims and Chuck Barfoot collaborated on some of the earliest commercial snowboard designs beginning in 1977, before Sims set out on his own to start Sims Snowboards and the rest is history.

He also helped introduce some of the sport’s first halfpipe and freestyle competitions, and was the first to sponsor riders like Craig Kelly who would go on to bring the sport to new heights and mainstream attention.

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By Rich Monday

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One thought on “Skateboarding Lost A Legend, Tom Sims R.I.P.

  1. Pingback: Skateboarding Lost A Legend Tom Sims R.I.P. | Punx In Solidarity Blog

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