O’Mahoney Mondays: The First Skateboard Safety Film

O’Mahoney Mondays: The First Skateboard Safety Film

Words by James O’Mahoney

What a boring subject, but this was another major facet during the birth of the sport of skateboarding. The United States Skateboard Association and the World Skateboarding Association were the governing bodies and we did all we could to promote skateboarding in a positive and safe way. The skateboard was number eight on the most dangerous sport list in 1975 with 27,000 inures and in 1976, jumped to #5. We were approached by American Safety Films for guidance in producing their movie on skateboard safety, narrated by Olympic Gold Medalist, Rafer Johnson. This was a plus because anytime you could align with established sports personalities, it helped validate our sport.

SAFE SKATEBOARDING 1977 Safety Film

The film shows skaters falling at the Signal Hill Speed Run, Concrete Wave, Manhattan Beach streets and pool skating. Featured riders were Russ Howell, Robin Alaway, Waldo Autry, Gene Riley, Skip Harvey and others. They made me inhale helium for my part. They started the film in 1975 and it was released in 1977. YouTube – Safe Skateboarding in 1977. Here is Tom Sims toe stub.

tomsims-8325-001

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

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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

1 comment

  • Scott Starr September 30, 2015

    Yes Sir Jim O’Mahoney was first with many things in the Skateboard world. And I am the first to comment on his article, haha Anyhow Jim was behind the scenes with many early skateboarding events and has kept his finger in the skateboard pie his whole life. Check out his Surf Museum when you are in Santa Barbara. He’s got a lot of cool stories to tell ya too. He mentioned that he made that 1975 Skateboard Safety film to me about 15 years ago. It took me almost that long to find a copy of it and it happened to be in the UK. That’s right UK skaters, you had the only known copy of the film in your country and didn’t even know it. Anyhow, way to go Jimbo, you deserve your SHOF trophy as much as anyone.

    Reply

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