Waldo Autry 1957-2013. On January 23, 2013 Waldo Autry, a skateboard legend, street luger and the definition of an adrenaline junky passed away. Waldo was a friend to everyone that knew him. He touched the lives of many and his passing away was a shock to everyone who knew him.
Waldo was best known for inventing the kickturn on an invert in the Baldy pipes. He raced in the Signal Hill speed runs and made the cover of many skateboarding magazines. He was always pushing the limits with everything he did. “If they were going to jump over a car, I was going to jump over a garage” Waldo said in an interview with Juice Magazine.
Not only is Waldo well known for skateboarding but he was also a well known street luger. Most people who don’t know much about street luging know him for his participation in the Red Bull luge launch in San Francisco.
The skateboarding he did in bowls far exceeded others of his time. Anybody who skateboarded in the 70′s would know who Waldo Autry was and anyone who has ever had the chance to meet or ride with the man has a story to tell.
My first time meeting him was at Barrett Junction and it was obvious that he was willing to push the envelope. Waldo only knew how to charge into things hard.
At Barrett Junction I saw him crash twice and both times were crazy. I know he liked the way I told the story of his crash. I was street luging right behind him and almost got tangled up in his wreck with Niko Kroha. “It was probably better to crash there then to make it,” Waldo said after I told him my recollections about watching his crash and how crazy it was. I pretty much had first row seats to the crash following right behind him down the hill.
Waldo Autry’s crash with Niko Kroha was one of the gnarliest street luge crashes that I have witnessed in person.
Niko was out in front of Waldo, I was right behind them and Tabitha Mitchell was right behind me.
Waldo went for the pass on Niko on the inside. Niko was pretty far inside though and there wasn’t much room for him to pass.
Instead of throwing his feet down and braking Waldo was trying so hard to pass Niko two of his wheels left the road for a second. As soon as this happened he got the speed wobbles and wobbled straight through the right hand turn before Docs corner.
As he wobbled through the turn he clipped wheels with Niko causing him to lose his line.
Waldo hit the rock and dirt covered wall at around 45 mph and the wall exploded around him.
After his wheel was clipped Niko was also headed to the dirt and rock wall. As soon as his luge left the road the front dug into the dirt and catapulted him into the wall.
Me and Tabitha Mitchell threw our brakes down because we were right behind them when all this went down and the crash looked pretty intense.
I looked up to the crash scene and waldo was laying on the side of the road not moving. His street luge was flipped upside down on top of him.
Niko was also walking towards Waldo. “Waldo? (no response)…….Waldo are you there?” said Niko.
All of a sudden Waldo started shaking around and shoving the street luge off of himself. “I was just checking everything out, making sure I was alright” said Waldo.
Waldo Autry was a man, a legend and a friend to everyone who knew him. His passing is definitely a big blow to the community but he is a man who will never be forgotten.
The stories about him will live on forever. – Lee