O’Mahoney Mondays: The Mt. Baldy Pipeline

O’Mahoney Monday: The Mt. Baldy Pipeline – 1975

Words by James O'Mahoney

In December 1975, Skateboard Magazine team rider and new site scout, Jim Higham, called me and he was so pumped he couldn’t talk. When he finally calmed down, he spit out “Mt. Baldy! It’s a pipe! Found it! Perfect! No one there! It’s ours!” Eureka! The next morning, I picked up Jim Higham, Gary Kocot and Dale Schull for our first taste of Mt. Baldy.

Getting there was like following a treasure map, but when we arrived, who would have thought that heaven would be made of cement?! After a couple of laps, we were seeing stars.

I think we went to the Pipeline every day after that and were just freaking because we were the only ones there. I took photos, but the light wasn’t quite right. The shot I wanted would have to be around 12 noon when the sun was straight up and down, so the face was lit and the inside pipe background was black.

Our crew was Jim Higham, Gary Kocot, Dale Schull, (who said he was going to do a loop, so I made him bring a helmet) plus, our new team rider who ripped in pools, Waldo Autry.

For the first couple of hours, we just skated and howled. At about 11, fearless Dale put on his candy red helmet and was positive that he was going to be the first Baldy looper. Dale made it to about 10 o’clock and dropped like a sack of rocks. The light was getting close to perfect, so I went outside and started shooting.

For about a half an hour, Waldo exited both sides, but the left side was the one, so we concentrated on his frontside drop in. So with his Skateboard Magazine team shirt, high green socks and shitty board, skateboard history was made. This was the first photo documenting that you could get past vertical on a skateboard.

Now 40 years later, published in more than 50 books and magazines, the photo keeps popping up. Waldo Autry has passed on, but he will always be past vertical. Roll in Peace, Waldo Autry.

——-

This shot was published sideways in Popular Mechanics. What geeks. They figured that there was no way some one could go past vert. The lead balloon theory?

surfingonconcrete

ABOUT JAMES O’MAHONEY

JAMES O'MAHONEY 
INTERVIEW BY DIBI FLETCHER
PHOTOS BY JAMES O'MAHONEY,
SUSANNE MELANIE BERRY,
TERRI CRAFT, DAN LEVY
AND SCOTT STARR.

A TOUR OF "THE MUSEUM" 
AT THE SANTA BARBARA SURFING MUSEUM
WITH JAMES O'MAHONEY. 
VIDEO BY DAN LEVY

JAMES O'MAHONEY 
SKATEBOARDING HALL OF FAME
ICON AWARD ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
FILMING BY DAN LEVY
FILMING BY VANS DAVEY.

ABOUT JAMES O'MAHONEY
Here are just a few of James O'Mahoney's 
vast and admirable accomplishments...

1965- WON THE CITY SKATEBOARD SLALOM EVENT -ASPEN CO.

1974-UNITED STATES SKATEBOARD ASSOCIATION-FOUNDER

1975- WORLD SKATEBOARD ASSOCIATION – STANDARDIZED THE RULES FOR SKATEBOARD COMPETITION WORLD WIDE

1975- SKATEBOARD MAGAZINE-PUBLISHER

1975- FIRST SKATEBOARD TRICK BOOK- PUBLISHER

1975- SKATEBOARD HANDBOOK – PUBLISHER

1975- FIRST MT BALDY ASSAULT+WALDO AT MT BALDY THE MOST PUBLISHED SKATEBOARD PICTURE IN HISTORY OF THE SPORT -1ST TO SHOW YOU COULD GET PAST VERT. FEATURED IN OVER 50 BOOKS & MAGS

STEVES SOUTH BAY X CALIBER SKATEBOARD CHAMPIONSHIPS

FIRST WORLD INVITATIONAL-LONG BEACH ARENA

FIRST SKATEBOARD TOOL-ELEPHANT BRAND-CO DESIGNED

FIRST SKATEBOARD SHOE-UNIROYAL-DESIGNED

FIRST BOWL CHAMPIONSHIPS-RUNWAY SK8PRK

FIRST VERT CONTEST-RUNWAY SK8PRK

FIRST PAST VERT CONTEST-SUPERBOWL 1 so. bay

FIRST BANK FREESTYLE-RUNWAY SKATEPARK

FIRST BANK SLALOM CONTEST-RUNWAY SKATEPARK

FIRST CALIFORNIA STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS-CHARLOTTE

FIRST CITY CHAMPIONSHIPS-HUNTINGTON BEACH, SANTA BARBARA, VENTURA, LONG BEACH ETC.

GUINNESS BOOK WORLD RECORD-SIGNAL HILL SPEED RUN-4 YEARS

GUINNESS BOOK WORLD RECORD-SKATEBOARD HIGH JUMP

GUINNESS BOOK WORLD RECORD-SKATEBOARD BARREL JUMP

GUINNESS BOOK WORLD RECORD- 360’S

DERBY DOWNS SPEED RUN-AKRON OHIO

FIRST SKATEBOARDING RONALD MCDONALD-I WAS THE 3RD RONMC

FIRST SKATEBOARD FOR ICE-MADE

FIRST WORLD MASTERS INVITATIONAL -NEW YORK NASSAU COLISEUM

EAST COAST SKATEBOARD CHAMPIONSHIPS-CHARLOTTE N.C

CBS CHALLENGE OF THE SEXES- ROBIN ALAWAY VS CHRIS CHAPUT

CBS CHALLEENGE OF THE NETWORK STARS-GRIZZLY ADAMS VS CHRISTY MC NICHOL

FIRST SKATEBOARD SAFTY FILM- WITH RAPHER JOHNSON-OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST

FIRST SKATEBOARD SHOE-UNIROYAL -KEDS

SKATEBOARDING AS AN EVENT IN THE ITA PRO TRACK TOUR(OLYMPIC MEDALIST). THIS WAS THE FIRST PRO SKATEBOARD SLALOM

ADDING SPARKS AND SKYROCKETS TO SKATEBOARD-LIFE MAG 76 YEAR IN PICTURES

1975 FIRST TO SKATEBOARD THROUGH THE TUNNEL OF FIRE

UNDEFEATED AT DEL MAR

2004 FIRST WORLD RECORD WALL RIDE ORGANIZER WITH THE U.S.S.A. / W.S.A. FOR THE GUINNESS WORLD BOOK OF RECORDS

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JAMES O’MAHONEY INTERVIEW 
BY SUSAN MELANIE BERRY, TERRI CRAFT, 
C.R. STECYK III AND SCOTT STARR

“O’Mahoney is one of the most interesting people on the planet. If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting “O”, consider yourself charmed. For those who haven’t, allow me to summarize… James O’Mahoney is ornery, sarcastic, incredibly intelligent, unique, witty, reserved, charming, understated, humble and respectful. He is a surfer, skateboarder, hang glider, pilot, collector, photographer, race car driver, stunt man, safari survivor, patriot, adventurer, competitor and a world class waterman. “O” is also one of the first skateboard media moguls, the keeper of the great Pete Peterson surfboard, king of the U.S.S.A., proprietor of the legendary Signal Hill, proud owner of the “Apocalypse Now” surfboard and a rebel with too many causes. He’ll tell you a story so fanciful and outrageous, that you’ll never forget the lesson contained within. He reminded me that the handing down of history and tradition is a vital and important duty. Here’s to “O” – a true hero.” – WORDS BY TERRI CRAFT

o62

JAMES O’MAHONEY INTERVIEW BY DIBI FLETCHER

“James O’Mahoney is a fascinating person to talk with. Whether it’s about his vast range of endeavors or fearless pursuit of pleasure, you’re instantly caught up in his enthusiasm for life that’s extremely intoxicating. As a life long collector of anything that caught his imagination, you get the feeling when talking to him that he’s gathering information from you as he would on a scavenger hunt as you scramble through the memories of more than half a century. Every time we speak it’s like discovering all over again a unique unexpected pleasure in someone that’s managed through all the ups and downs to really stay stoked and maintains the free spirit that most of us lose along the way. His myriad of accomplishments and the images that he’s captured over the years are a stunning affirmation of living life on the edge, and that’s something to be admired.” – WORDS BY DIBI FLETCHER

2 comments

  • James higham April 8, 2016

    wow now 57 years old no hair still pretty good shape and can still skate but what did you do to affect the rest of the skateboard industry first one to jump a car board to board on a skateboard July issue newest magazine Tom zimberoff photographer.Also originator of barrels jumping opening Guinness Book of World Records 1975 Cal Palace wow did I trash a shitload of metal trash cans in my neighborhood . By the way Tony alba never jumped a trash can in his life I held the record for 12 and beleive it or not first try tony jumped 13.. I came home from first big surf invitational driving my van drinking pure Vista orange juice and came up with the idea for pure juice wheels with Tom Sims …he fired me a month later . And I can’t forget to mention my good buddy Bob Jarvis holder of the world record 360 on a skateboard and that 1964 Vauxhall he had boy that car took us all over California.
    850 812 2215 to contact me if you wanna hear some more stories.

    Reply
  • Gary Kocot October 21, 2016

    Thank you James, jim,Russ,Tina,Desirée, Robin along with all the friends, team affilliations, enthusiasts and accosiates.
    Gary Kocot

    Reply

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