VIDEO: Cocoa Beach Native Adam Taylor; X Games Medalist, Professional Skateboarder
By SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME // March 27, 2016
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
ABOVE VIDEO: Space Coast Sports Hall of Famer Inductee of 2013 – Adam Taylor
ADAM TAYLOR – 2013 INDUCTEE
• Turned Pro Skateboarder in 2007
• Bronze Medal In the X Games
• Overcame Serious Injury
BEGAN ON A COCOA BEACH DRIVEWAY
On Easter Sunday in 1998, Adam Taylor of Cocoa Beach received his first skateboard at the age of 9 because it seemed like a lot of fun.
He never dreamed it would become a passion that has led him to scale the heights of skateboarding superstardom right up there with the likes of Tony Hawk and Mike McGill.
Fifteen years after getting that first skateboard, Taylor is a top-ranked professional skateboard star, competing in the X Games and major events such as the Dew Tour. But it all began in his driveway in Cocoa Beach and has led to his induction into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
To others, skateboarding seemed like a passing fancy, but Taylor worked countless hours jumping over homemade ramps made by his father to improve his skills. From there he practiced at Paradise Skate Park on Merritt Island and just about anywhere he could find to get ready for competition.
Quiet Flight Surf Shop sponsored Taylor so he could compete in contests in Tampa and around the state and eventually that led to some out-of-state events in California.
COMPETES WITH THE BEST IN THE WORLD
By 2003 the entire Taylor Family – his father Toby, mother Lisa, younger brother Dylan, and little sister Leah — believed Adam might have a career ahead in the sport after a string of victories in amateur contests. Dylan and Leah also took up skateboarding and helped push Adam to become stronger and more versatile.
He excels at ramp skating, vert skating and Big Air competitions, where contestants sail through the air similar to ski jumping off a mountain.
Turning professional starting in 2007, Adam proved he could handle the pressure of skateboarding with the best in the world, finishing fourth in the Tampa AM Vert Qualfiers and later that same year he was fifth in the Copenhagen Pro Vert Qualifiers.
In 2008 he finished third in the Tampa Pro Six Pack Vert qualifiers and was fourth in the Tampa Pro Six Pack Vert Finals.
Then in 2009, he was second in the Maloof Money Cup Pro Vert Qualifiers behind his idol Bob Burnquist and placed fourth in the Maloof Money Cup Pro Vert reaching his first pro semifinals, finished fourth in the X Games Big Air Finals and won the X Games Big Air Elimination.
A serious setback occurred that left Adam lucky to be alive in October 2010 when he sustained a life-changing traumatic brain injury when he hit his head on the flat bottom of the vert ramp at the Dew Tour event at Las Vegas.
He had to learn how to balance himself all over again and many doubted if he would ever return to professional competition. Physical pain and anguish led to depression and anxiety and Taylor felt as if hardwiring was ripped apart in his brain. It not only affected his motor skills, but how he gauged emotions and his judgment.
But he insisted on returning to the sport. He trained for hours on end and slowly worked his way toward a return.
Within six months following his injury, Taylor was indeed back on track, earning a bronze medal in the X Games Asia in the Mini Mega category in 2011. He went on that year to place fifth at the X Games 17 Vert, finished second in the X Games Big Air event, was fourth in the MMC South Africa Pro Vert and reached the Mini Mega finals. Also in 2011, Taylor was third in the Maloof Money Cup South Africa Mini Mega and took third at the Maloof Mini Mega Best trick.
While snowboarding at Big Bear in Southern California on New Year’s Day 2012, he re-aggravated his brain injury in a fall, but once again he overcame ensuing depression and is back in competition.
Along with his family, Adam is a part of Timeline Skateboards, a small skateboard company based in Cocoa Beach and he makes his home in Southern California.
THE 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 12.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com
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