Jake Phelps, skateboarder and editor in chief of Thrasher magazine dies at age 56

Jake Phelps with Andrew Allen (Joe Krolick)

The editor and chief of the skateboarding magazine Thrasher was pronounced dead on Thursday.

Jake Phelps, longtime editor of Thrasher magazine was pronounced dead on Thursday afternoon. According to Phelps’ uncle posted on Facebook Thursday night saying that he died “suddenly and easy.” Tony Vitello, son of the founder of Thrasher shared a statement soon after he was announced dead.

Jake Phelps was 100% skateboarder, but that label sells him way too short, because beyond his enormous influence in our world, he was truly an individual beyond this world. When loved ones pass we sometimes mythologize about their full lives rich in friendships and experiences. Sometimes we need to talk ourselves into believing it all. It makes us feel better, and helps us cope with the loss. Well, in the case of Jake, the task becomes wrapping your head around just how many lives one person could possibly live. He really did see it all, do it all, and that incredible brain of his could relish every last detail.
But most of you reading this now identified primarily with Jake Phelps the skateboarder, and editor of our magazine, so I will leave you with this truth – I never met anybody who loves anything more than Jake worshipped skateboarding. Just as we need food and water to survive, Jake needed skateboarding to keep his blood pumping. It was more than a hobby or form of transportation or way of life – it was his oxygen. Here’s another thing. Jake never bailed. Jake fucking slammed. And there is a big difference. He only knew commitment. He was going to go for it without hesitation, and there were only two outcomes. Either you’d see his triumphant fist pumping in the air or it’d be an earth-shaking collision with the concrete. I remember him telling me once that he never fell backwards, he always fell forward. Leaning back meant there was hesitation, and Jake was all the way IN.
There was no myth. The man was the myth. We love you, Jake.

Tony Hawk also took to social media to honor Phelps.