Tom Sims, pioneering skateboarder and snowboarder, died from cardiac arrest Wednesday night at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, near his home in California, according to a statement released by Sims Snowboards on Thursday.
"Tom's accomplishments speak for themselves," read a statement from Sims Snowboards, the company he founded. "A true pioneer, Tom brought forward thinking concepts and innovations that forever changed the landscape of the snow and skate industry. His constant quest for the deepest powder, the longest downhill road and the smoothest wave has been and always will be an inspiration to us all."
Sims is frequently credited with inventing the first modern snowboard. He built his "Skiboard" prototype in seventh grade wood shop class in 1963, and followed with several skateboard and snowboard industry firsts, including the first snowboard with metal edges, the first pro-model and women's-specific snowboard. He was also the first to incorporate some of the earliest high-back binding systems.
Sims ran a skateshop and founded Sims Skateboards in Santa Barbara in 1976 and won the Skateboard World Championships that same year. He was featured, alongside Stacy Peralta, in the 1976 skate film "Freewheelin.' " Peralta and Christian Hosoi both turned pro for Sims shortly thereafter.