Jamie Thomas

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]

Jamie Thomas
Born (1974-10-11) October 11, 1974
ResidenceEncinitas, California, U.S.
Other namesThe Chief[1]
OccupationProfessional skateboarder
Summer X Games medal record
Representing  United States
1995 Newport Street Best Trick

Early life

Thomas grew up in Dothan, Alabama, United States.[2] Thomas started skateboarding at the age of eleven.[3]

Skateboarding career

In 1991 Thomas won a skateboarding competition in Panama City, Florida.[3]

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.[3]

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.[4]

"Leap of Faith"

The Zero video Thrill Of It All featured Thomas's attempt at what would be coined "The Leap of Faith"[5] (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.[3]


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.[2][6][7]

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.[8]

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.[9] On June 27, 2014, Cole posted an announcement of 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."[10]

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.[11]

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.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]


Blur guitarist, Graham Coxon wrote an eponymous song in tribute to Thomas, which can be found on his solo album, "The Golden D".[15]


  • Spitfire Wheels: Spitfire (1993)[16]
  • Invisible Skateboards: Invisible (1994)[17]
  • Toy Machine: Heavy Metal (1995)[18]
  • Etnies: High Five (1995)[19]
  • Toy Machine: Welcome to Hell (1996)[20]
  • Emerica: Yellow – shared part with Adrian Lopez (1996)[21]
  • Zero: Thrill of it All (1997)[22]
  • Zero: Misled Youth (1999)[23]
  • Landspeed: CKY (1999)[24]
  • Transworld: VideoRadio (2001)[25][26][27][28][29]
  • Transworld: Chomp on This (2002)[30]
  • Zero: Dying to Live (2002)
  • Zero: New Blood (2005)
  • Reason to Believe (2005)
  • Thrasher: King of the Road (2004)
  • Thrasher: King of the Road (2005)
  • Thrasher: King of the Road (2006)
  • Zero promotional video (2007)
  • Fallen: Ride The Sky (2008)
  • Bill Maher's Religulous (2008)
  • Zero: Strange World (2009)
  • Insight: Untitled (2011)
  • Zero: Cold War (2013)[31]

Video games


  1. RIDEChannel (6 March 2013). "Jamie Thomas Gets Karate Chopped, Ollies The Gonz Gap Daily, and More ..." (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  2. "Jamie Thomas". Black Box Distribution. Black Box Distribution. 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  3. "Ten years of Thomas: what constitutes a great skateboard career? What makes a great skateboarder? Is it talent? - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. Thrasher.
  4. "Soundtrack Syllabus: Toy Machine's "Welcome to Hell"". Havoc TV.
  5. audiomasterk91 (7 February 2006). "jamie thomas leap of faith" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  6. Templeton Elliot (4 April 2014). "Jamie Thomas On Official". The Skateboard Mag. Strictly Skateboarding. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  7. "Sponsors". Jamie Thomas. Jamie Thomas Official. 2 March 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  8. Matt Higgins (24 November 2006). "In Board Sports, Insider Status Makes Gear Sell". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  9. Ian Michna (June 2014). "THE FUTURE OF ZERO & FALLEN WITH JAMIE THOMAS". Jenkem. Jenkem. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  10. Zac (28 June 2014). "Chris Cole Leaves Zero Skateboards". Caught In The Crossfire. Division Media. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  11. "Ask the Pros: Jamie Thomas" (Video upload). Thrasher Magazine. High Speed Productions, Inc. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  12. "JAMIE THOMAS INTRODUCES STRAYE -- A New Shoe Brand For 2017". The Berrics. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  13. Transworld (22 May 2003). "Cashing In On God". Transworld Skateboarding. Bonnier Corporation. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  14. "Jamie Thomas and Ed Templeton Appear In Print Ad To Promote Vegetarianism". Transworld Skateboarding. January 11, 2000. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  15. Graham Coxon – Jamie Thomas, retrieved 2019-04-01
  16. "Spitfire". Skatevideosite.com. Skatevideosite.com. 2005–2013. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  17. Don1970 (23 July 2008). "Jamie Thomas - Invisible (1994)" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  18. gamblingproblems (27 March 2009). "JAMIE THOMAS HEAVY METAL TOY MACHINE" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  19. skaidernation (2 November 2009). "Jamie Thomas - Etnies High 5" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  20. James Padilla (29 November 2011). "Jamie Thomas - Welcome to Hell [HD] [720p]" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  21. bigPantsLittleWheels (23 November 2009). "Jamie Thomas & Adrian Lopez - Emerica - Yellow" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  22. SoFaK1NgBeAsT (31 July 2012). "Jamie Thomas Thrill of it All" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  23. skaidernation (10 November 2009). "Jamie Thomas - Zero Misled Youth" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  24. ParisIsHesh; 623skates (2005–2013). "Landspeed: CKY". Skatevideosite.com. Skatevideosite.com. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  25. OstownArmySpoon (28 December 2008). "Tom Penny - Nollie Hardflip" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  26. skaidernation (12 November 2009). "Montage 3/4 - Transworld Skateboarding Videoradio '01" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  27. skaidernation (12 November 2009). "Montage 2/4 - Transworld Skateboarding Videoradio '01" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  28. skaidernation (12 November 2009). "Montage 1/4 - Transworld Skateboarding Videoradio '01" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  29. skaidernation (12 November 2009). "Montage 4/4 - Transworld Skateboarding Videoradio '01" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  30. skaidernation (13 November 2009). "Jamie Thomas - Chomp On This" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  31. "Jamie Thomas skate videos". SkatevideoSite.com. SkatevideoSite.com. 2005–2013. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
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