O’Mahoney Mondays: California Free Former
Words by James O’Mahoney
The California Free Former World Professional Skateboard Championships at the Long Beach Arena in 1977 with $20,000 prize money was sanctioned by the World Skateboard Association, sponsored by California Free Former and produced by Wolf and Rissmiller concerts and World Wide Entertainment. The teams represented included Hobie, Logan Earth Ski, Turner Summer Ski, Gordon & Smith, Sims Pure Juice, IMP, Skateboard Magazine, California Pro, Fox Skateboards, Makaha, Grentec, Bahne Pro Team, Brewer, Power Paw, Santa Cruz Skateboards and Ultra Flex. The events were freestyle, slalom, consecutive 360s, barrel jump, high jump and speed run. This was as big as it got for arena skateboard competition in the 1970s, plus $20,000 prize money. Competitors were: Robin Alaway, Tony Alva, Ellen Berryman, Warren Bolster, Cathy Bomeisler, Mark Boden, Kim Cespedes, Desiree Crisp, Chris Chaput, Debbie Eldridge, Paul Engh, Pat Flanagan, Ray Flores, Neil Graham, Skitch Hitchcock, Russ Howell, Roy Jameson, David Hackett, Henry Hester, John Hutson, Bob Jarvis, Torger Johnson, Gary Kocot, John Krisik, Bruce Logan, Robin Logan, Curt Lindgren, Andrea Malczewski, Jimmy McCall, Jim Muir, Bob Mohr, Conrad Miyoshi, Ed Nadalin, Ellen O’Neal, Stacy Peralta, Bob Piercy, Jerry Patterson, Ty Page, Andy Pryciak, Gene Reilly, Steve Shipp, Laura Thornhill, Desiree Von Essen, Mike Weed, Mike Williams, Jim Higham, Dan Trailer, Woody Woodstock, Brian Beardsley, Fred Flavell, Lance Smith, Chris Yandell, Tom Sims, Steve Brown and Gregg Weaver. This was a historic era for the sport. Jim Evans did the poster artwork.
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
“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
“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