Tom Sims – R.I.P.

Tom Fain – Early Sims team rider.

George Powell

Tom Sims was one of those people you never forget your relationship with.  He was a force of nature in person, dynamic, energetic, forward looking and visionary.  With an easy smile that paved and smoothed the roads he pioneered, he parlayed an early love of skateboarding into one of the 1970’s leading skate companies, built one of skating’s most famous teams, and left a legacy that endures to this day.  Later he did the same thing in Snowboarding, his second love.

I am forever grateful to Tom for working with me to suggest the development of a slalom board, and subsequently to jointly promote and sell the Quicksilver Deck that enabled my entry into the amazing world of skateboarding.  In remembering Tom it is impossible for me to forget Tom’s amazing father Paul, who was always Tom’s ultimate supporter, and a consummate gentleman to all who knew him.  I will remember them both always.

Bert Lamar – Sims pro and subsequent snowboard icon

Skatebaording was a fun, competitive, challenging industry when Tom was at the top of his game, and I think we are all poorer for the loss of his warm spirit, kind heart, sharp wit, and long ranging foresight.  Skateboarding and Snowboarding have both lost, a pioneer, leader, and supporter.  Thank you Tom, and blessings to you and your family.- George Powell

Lonnie Toft

Thank you to George Powell for the memories and to William Sharp for the early Sims team rider images. R.I.P. Tom Sims. You were an amazing influence. Skate- Ozzie


8 thoughts on “Tom Sims – R.I.P.

  1. Pure Juice Forever. Viva Pure Juice! Would a skater like Lonnie Toft be sponsored today? Taperkicks, one of the best looking skateboards of all time. Thank you Tom Sims. Stoked I was able to have a few cool short conversations on facebook with him. Elevated my fb experience considerably.

  2. Very sad news. Tom, I thank you for all your groundbreaking dreams and being such an amazing inspiration. If it wasn’t for you and willie/ lonnie we never would have laminated skate decks back in the day. And i still remember riding that damn yellow plastic banana like it was yesterday.
    RIP, you most definitely will be missed!

  3. Tom lived a good life. He was a purist in more ways than one. God bless him and his family. I feel very privileged to have known him and consider the man one of my peers. Life is short here on earth, live every day like it’s your last and you will depart eventually, happy, joyous n free…… Love TA

  4. Tom Sims introduced me to skateboarding: it was the Summer of 1975, he showed up at my house for our annual Summer Solstice party with the first new issue of Skateboarder Magazine (the one with Gregg Weaver on the cover), I was 14 years old and had never seen a skateboard yet, myself and a bunch of other grommets crowded around him looking at the magically spellbinding images and the stoke began! The next weekend me and my friends went to the swap meet and I found and bought a no-name 23″ flat oak skateboard with Chicago Trucks and Wheels (non-urethane) on it, took it to Westmont College (we didn’t have any place to skate on my road) with friends and proceeded to lose all the bearings in one wheel; session over, but hooked for life. A few days later I went to Channel Islands Surf Shop and bought some Roller Sports urethane wheels, less than a year later I was selling Sims Pure Juice Wheels to my friends and neighbors after getting setup by Tom to be a teenage sales rep. Soon after I began riding for him. He loved the hills of Montecito and introduced me to his longboards which worked so much better for high speed. The longboards also ruled the legendary Tea Bowl because of the stability. We had many a great session at Rivenrock Road, Hot Springs Road, Hermosillo Road, Tea Bowl. Before skateboarding I was headed in some wrong directions, thanks to Tom for infusing me with stoke of skateboarding. He lives forever in all of us with the gifts he gave us. Thank you Tom for this life full of stoke!
    Marc Hollander

  5. The Love and respect is shared around the globe by many…. Tom will be forever! An innovator and an ICON…. to us all.. Who had the privilege to know him up close and personal, As I did, His passion For Adrenaline was infectious!! His contribution to this World! Will never ever be forgotten Good Bye… To a Mentor a friend and a Class Act, Tom Sims will be Missed!!! R.I.P G.O.

  6. Tom Sims was one of the originals of this whole thing we all love. He was always positive and always supportive and inspirational, as well as serious. Before I was even accepted at the magazine as someone serious, Tom encouraged me and let me know that i was doing something special that others weren’t. That meant a lot at 15 years old. He was a real photo buff too! And remember all the early blood he had riding his boards once urethane was being made by people other than Nasworthy and Roller Sports, with precision.

    Before the twin style robots, of Bowman and (his miniature) Lamar, there was the outrageous Lonnie Toft, Steve Monahan, just after Zephyr, Biniak, and Muir, Arthur Lake, Tom “Wally” Inoyue, Doug DeMontmorency (sorry for the poor spellings) and many more incredibly original riders…. Tom was a real dude, no one else like him in this field, one of the good ones, an innovator and a passionate leader of this whole deal. I haven’t seen him in many many years, and most have never even met him, but if you’re reading this, he has certainly touched your life as well. RIP


  7. So nice to read Georges eloquent words in his remembrance of Tom. He was indeed a true pioneer & someone I will always regard with respect. I will forever cherish all the fun times & memories of his Sims Team & the Logan Earth Ski Team and always being fierce competitors with one another. Sending loads of Love to his family and friends… RIP Tom… x…LTC

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