A game-changing pioneer in both the skateboard and snowboard industry, longtime Santa Barbara area resident Tom Sims was pronounced dead at Cottage Hospital late Wednesday night. According to friends, the 61-year-old Sims died from a massive heart attack.
Originally from New Jersey, Sims moved to Santa Barbara in 1971 and soon took up residence on Mountain Drive. Already an accomplished skater and surfer, Sims blossomed in his new environment. Eventually, at different times during the next couple decades, both Sims Skateboards and Sims Snowboards would be at the top of their respective industries, with Sims generally credited for being the driving force behind the modern snowboard.
“Tom’s accomplishments speak for themselves,” begins a statement released by Sims Snowboards today. “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 survived by his wife, Hilary; sister, Margie Klinger; daughter, Sarah; sons, Tommy and Shane; and stepdaughters, Alexa and Kylie Wagner.