Tom Sims, Snow and Skate Pioneer Dies

Posted By: The Ski Channel on September 13, 2012 1:50 pm

Tom Sims, the father of snowboarding, passed away from sudden cardiac arrest at age 62 on Wednesday, September 12, 2012. He was near his home at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Sims built the sport of snowboarding from the ground up and is credited for creating the very first snowboard in 1963 in his seventh grade wood shop class.  He founded his own brand in 1976, SIMS, and for nearly forty years persevered to continue the growth of the sport. 

Sims was a World Snowboarding Champion in 1983, as well as World Champion Skateboarder in 1975. He was featured in the 1976 skate film “Freewheelin” alongside Stacy Peralta. Sims also performed as the primary snowboard stunt double for Roger Moore in the 1985 James Bond film, “A View to a Kill”. 

His accomplishments are many; they include building the first freestyle snowboard, the first snowboarding half-pipe, the first women’s specific snowboard, and the first folding high-back bindings. He also designed and marketed the first longboards for skateboarding in the 1970′s.

“He was definitely the innovator of what snowboarding is today, and his legacy and contributions will be forever remembered and widely embraced,”  said Steve Fisher, a former Sims Snowboards team rider and two-time Winter X Games SuperPipe gold medalist. “What he stood for and what he did for the culture of action sports is so great that it should never go unrecognized or forgotten. He’s a true pioneer.”

Tom was a one of a kind revolutionary and will always be revered for his contributions that shaped the world of snowboarding and longboarding. He brought the concept of surfing to both the snow and the concrete. 

The Ski Channel pays its gratitude to this amazing individual and would like to send our best wishes to his family. Sims is survived by his wife Hilary, sister Margie Sims Klinger of Santa Barbara, sons Tommy and Shane, daughter Sarah and stepdaughters Alexa and Kylie Wagner.