Tony Hawk Pays Tribute to Jeff Grosso After Skateboarding Legend Dies at 51

Skateboarding legend Jeff Grosso died on Tuesday at the age of 51 years old. He was viewed as a pillar of the sport and as someone that impacted some of skateboarding's greats. Tony Hawk is someone that spent considerable time with Grosso throughout his life and wanted to pay tribute to his friend.

"Jeff was a true skateboarder at his core, and a great wealth of entertainment, insight and valuable philosophy to a younger generation," Hawk said in a post on Instagram. "I was lucky enough to skate with him over the last four decades and occasionally featured on his Vans' Love Letters series. One of the last times we spoke, we talked about how ridiculous it is that we still get to do this for a living and that anyone even cares what we do or think in terms of skateboarding at our age.

"I believe Jeff is a big reason that anyone truly cares, and skateboarding was lucky to have him as an ambassador and gatekeeper to its history," Hawk continued. "He was also a great father, which is obvious in his last social media post. Thank you Jeff, words cannot describe how much we will miss you."

As further evidence of Hawk's tribute to his friend, he posted a video on Instagram that showed them together at various stages of their lives. There were brief clips of them sitting side-by-side and drinking soda, skating in a pool as teenagers, and discussing their chosen profession during various interviews.

Hawk mentioned in his tribute to Grosso that they found it to be ridiculous that they get to skateboard for a living. He showed part of this discussion, particularly focusing on Grosso describing the skateboard as a toy for children and how it is "the great equalizer."

Bob Burnquist, a Brazilian skateboarding legend, also posted a tribute to Grosso on Instagram. He told a story about seeing the custom Coca-Cola skateboard for the first time while attempting to drop onto a vert ramp. Burnquist also mentioned that his last full conversation with Grosso revolved around the Brazilian skateboarding and that the late action sports icon was so caring about the scene.

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Grosso's fellow skateboarders will be looking for ways to honor his life in the coming years, and Burnquist has a specific plan. Every time that he does a "sad plant," which is a specific type of handstand on the edge of a ramp, he will smile and think about Grosso.

Photo Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images