Skateboarding legend Jeff Grosso had died at the age of 51.
Jeff Grosso, who was one of the biggest skating stars in the 1980s, died in an Orange County hospital on Tuesday. At this point, it’s unclear the cause of the skater’s death, and an autopsy is currently being performed.
Tony Hawk paid tribute to his friend and legendary partner in shredding, saying, “It is with great sadness that I share with you the passing of Jeff Grosso. He was a true skateboarder at his core, and a great wealth of entertainment, insight and valuable philosophy to a younger generation. I was lucky enough to skate with him over the last four decades and occasionally featured on his @vans “Love Letters” series. Here are some clips that exemplify Jeff’s genuine love of skateboarding and his renegade attitude.”
He continued, “One of the last times we spoke, we talked about how ridiculous it is that we still get to do this for a living and that anyone even cares what we do or think in terms of skateboarding at our age. I believe Jeff is a big reason that anyone truly cares, and skateboarding was lucky to have him as an ambassador and gatekeeper to its history. He was also a great father, which is obvious in his last social media post.”
Tony ended his statement, “Thank you, Jeff, words cannot describe how much we will miss you. I feel like we’re living in the upside-down.”
Skateboarding Magazine ‘Thrasher’ also issued a statement on Grosso’s passing and mentioned some of Jeff’s struggles in life.
“Jeff went from number-one amateur to 80s superstar to cautionary tale and back again. His latest role as a lovable curmudgeon, host of his own history-packed web series and keeper of skateboarding’s righteousness, unafraid to offend or annoy in his quest to educate, was by far his greatest – second only to being Oliver’s dad.”
Jeff is survived by his 8-year-old son, Oliver.
They continued, “Ripping ’til the end, he became an unlikely mentor to the generations that followed – from Muska and Tom, to Lizzie and Brighton – always cheering, heckling or offering advice. Jeff could be as gentle and sincere as he could be hilarious and hard, (on the coping and himself.) He ALWAYS skated with style. His grinds were long, his backside airs were head high and his handplants were stalled out and sadder than a funeral. He will be sorely, sorely missed. Our hearts go out to his family and many friends. RIP.