Rest In Peace: Jeff Grosso

Posted by Route One on 2nd April 2020

It was with an almost overwhelming sense of disbelief that we woke on Wednesday morning to hear whispers of the tragic death of Jeff Grosso. Less than 24 hours before he'd posted a clip dancing with son on Instagram and now the unbearably sad news of his passing was being confirmed by the biggest skate news pages stateside. Though "celebrities" and cultural icons shuffling off this mortal coil is nothing new, this time it's different; this one really, really hurts.

Jeff was a true skateboarder at his core, and a great wealth of entertainment, insight and valuable philosophy to a younger generation. I was lucky enough to skate with him over the last four decades and occasionally featured on his Vans “Love Letters” series. Jeff had a genuine love of skateboarding and a renegade attitude. 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. 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.  Tony Hawk.

Today we have the terrible task of saying a heartbreaking goodbye to beloved verticalist, commentator and friend of the mag Jeff Grosso. The Brat, Mothra, Grossman or just plain Jeff, Grosso went from number-one amateur to '80s superstar to cautionary tale and back again. His latest role as lovable curmudgeon, host of his own history-packed web series and keeper of skateboarding’s righteousness, unafraid to offend or annoy in his quest to educate, was by far his greatest—second only to being Oliver’s dad. Ripping ’til the end, he became an unlikely mentor to the generations that followed—from Muska and Tom, to Lizzie and Brighton. Jeff could be as gentle and sincere as he could be hilarious and hard (on the coping and himself). He always skated with style. His grinds were long, his backside airs were head-high and his handplants were stalled out and sadder than a funeral. He will be sorely, sorely missed. Our hearts go out to his family and many friends. RIP, Grosso.  Michael Burnett, Thrasher Editor.

Whether you grew up witnessing his eyebrow shaving vert heyday or knew him as the arbiter of skateboarding through his 'Love Letters' series, it's virtually impossible to be a skateboarder not touched by his influence. 

Rest in peace Jeff, you were one of the good ones.