Jamie Thomas

Last updated
Jamie Thomas
Born (1974-10-11) October 11, 1974 (age 46)
Other names"The Chief"
OccupationProfessional skateboarder
Website jamiethomasofficial.com
Summer X Games medal record
Representing Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1995 Newport Street Best Trick

Jamie Thomas (born October 11, 1974) is an American professional skateboarder and skateboard industry entrepreneur. Thomas is the owner and founder of Zero Skateboards and Fallen Footwear, until he announced its closure in January 2017. Thomas' nickname in the skateboard industry is "The Chief". [1]


Early life

Thomas grew up in Dothan, Alabama, but also spent time as a child in Atlanta, Georgia and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida for his father's work as a nuclear engineer. [2] [3] Thomas started skateboarding in Palm Beach Gardens at the age of eleven.

Skateboarding career

In 1991, Thomas won a skateboarding competition in Panama City, Florida. [4]

In 1992, Thomas left Alabama and relocated to San Francisco, California in order to pursue a career in professional skateboarding. At the time, he was sponsored by Thunder Trucks, Spitfire Wheels, Vans and as a flow rider for Real Skateboards. Thomas turned pro for a short lived brand called Experience. Thomas went on to ride for San Diego-based Invisible Skateboards. [4]

After relocating to Southern California in 1994, Thomas was featured on the cover of TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine and filmed video parts for Spitfire and Invisible. In 1995 Thomas left Invisible to join skateboarder/artist Ed Templeton at Toy Machine Skateboards. Thomas filmed and directed two Toy Machine videos, the second one being Welcome to Hell , one of the most influential skate videos of the 1990s. [5]

"Leap of Faith"

The Zero video Thrill Of It All featured Thomas's attempt at what would be coined "The Leap of Faith" [6] (an "ollie melon" over a handrail and down an 18-foot, 8-inch drop). The location of the "leap" was the Point Loma High School in San Diego. Although Thomas did not successfully land the trick, his attempt garnered notoriety. [4]


Thomas is sponsored by Zero skateboards, STRAYE footwear, Thunder trucks, Spitfire wheels, Bones Swiss, Fred Water, Mob Grip, olloclip, Active Ride Shop, and Official headwear. [3] [7] [8]

Business career

In 1996, Thomas started Zero Skateboards through skateboard distributor Tum Yeto. In 2003, Thomas started the skate footwear brand Fallen Footwear. In 2006, Thomas won a regional "Entrepreneur of the Year" award from business leaders Ernst & Young. [9]

In a June 2014 interview with the Jenkem online publication, Thomas explained that the Dwindle Distribution skateboard company—responsible for the Enjoi, Blind Skateboards, Almost Skateboards, Darkstar and Cliché Skateboards brands—will take over "the sales, finance, production and distribution aspects" of the Zero brand, without citing a time frame. Thomas further explained that the Zero employees will remain independent and will focus on "the team, marketing and creative aspects" of the brand. [10] On June 27, 2014, two time Thrasher Magazine Skater of the Year recipient Chris Cole (He had ridden for the brand for a decade, including both of his SOTY award winning years, to say nothing of his contest dominance [Both mainstream joints like Maloof and Street League and more industry/insider licks like Back to the 'Berg) announced his departure from Zero on the social media platform Instagram, without a corresponding reason; however, a reply from the Zero Instagram account thanked Cole for his "loyalty & dedication." [11]

Thomas explained in a June 24, 2014 interview with the Active brand's online media channel that core skateboard brands will need to remain authentic to survive in the marketplace. He also revealed that he continues to enjoy the process of working in collaboration with sponsors and companies on projects, and recommended skateboarding projects to the audience for motivational benefits. [12]

In 2017, Jamie Thomas Announced on instagram that he would be joining a new footwear brand called STRAYE footwear, alongside Chad Muska and Antwuan Dixon. [13]

Jamie Thomas announced on April 24, 2019 that he sold his collectible skateboard business, Garage Days Collection, to a collector. Garage Days Collection sued the collector, Florida resident and attorney Matthew R. Wendler, in the San Diego County Superior Court a month later, on May 24, 2019. Two days later, Wendler sued Thomas and Garage Days Collection in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The California case is now pending before the Honorable Janis L. Sammartino, and the Florida case is pending before the Honorable Roy K. Altman.

Personal life

Thomas is married to Joanne and they have three children (Julien Tiger, born October 30, 2003, James Ruby, born March 30, 2006, and Maximus Trey, born June 11, 2008). The Thomas family resides in Encinitas, California. Thomas is a Christian, with several board graphics that feature Christian imagery and scripture. [14]

Thomas has explained that his nickname, "The Chief", was started by professional skateboarders Elissa Steamer, Erik Ellington and Jim Greco. [1]


In January 2000, Thomas appeared with Ed Templeton in a print ad for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to promote vegetarianism. [15]


Blur guitarist, Graham Coxon wrote an eponymous song in tribute to Thomas, which can be found on his solo album, "The Golden D". [16]


Video games

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