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
Filmed by: Tye Donelly, Leecifer Eisler, joel Smith, Vin Bone
Music By: The Expendables
Song: Party at the Moontower
This SDDRL (San Diego Downhill Racing League) was fun, as they always are, but each SDDRL creates a new and exciting story and this was no different. The hill was on the other side of the mountain from the other hills we race and it was unraceable and hardly even rideable a few months ago. Thanks to Tye and the city the rough dirty left was patched, repaired and was actually the smoothest section of the race track.
The race began on a smooth little downslope where riders would take a sharp right and start speed tucking as they slowly and gradually picked up speed as they flowed through some floaty wide lefts and rights. Riders then hit a little left that dropped down giving riders a little extra boost of speed, they swooped back to the right passing the shaded spectating area and then swooped through another left to a downhill drop where riders hit the finish line at speeds that I would guess to be around 40 mph after the very last drop.
The road was awesome, it was a hot but beautiful day and the scenery of the road was amazing. The humidity had everyone dripping sweat and the racing was close and tight. I watched photo finish after photo finish fly through the finish line. The end of the race never means the end of the awesome day at an SDDRL, but it does mean podiums are about to happen.
1st- Drew Edwards
2nd- Max Capps
3rd- Nathan Marton
1st- Judson Vandertoll
2nd- Shamar Jackson
3rd- Danny Ronsen
After podiums were done the crew continued on to friends of SDDRL that lived in the area. A slide session and battle was held on their sweet driveway which we raced at SDDRL #32 Bombing Party after getting kicked off the church run. A pool party awaited at the house which was much needed after a hot, sweaty exhausting day of racing. Everyone had a blast and we can’t wait for full moon fever happening August 31! See you all there! – Leecifer
“That was gnarly” exclaimed Capps as I picked him up for his first run ever down the hill. The pavement gets really gnarly right at the fastest part. I followed him down again and watched him hit the rough patch break tuck and wobble. “This is the hill to do if you wanna get fast and gnarly” said Capps. Anyways watch the video clip to check out some super rad raw footage. – Leecifer
Barrett fucking Junction! If you have ever skated the road you understand this very well. This is the jankiest pavement you can find. Most people would say it is unskateable. This road has that sketchy gnarliness to it and you have to expect the unexpected. It is well known because of the pavement which grows continually worse each year.
Barrett Junction is a big bro-down with good friends and a road that we don’t get hassled at as long as we are American. Each Barrett Junction seems to be a new book of it’s own where stories are made, tales are told and friendships bond.
The first night you are there, as you look into the sky and you can see every star in the universe, a shooting star or two go by. You can see the milky way, planets and other foreign objects. A wolf howls, the branches move and then the dirt bike comes roaring back into the camp reminding you that you aren’t alone out there.
Sunday morning rolls around and it’s race time. With Mike and Joe running the show there was no bullshitting around. Practice runs were held in the morning and once the race had started heats were run one after the other. It was over in a fashionable time and the award ceremony didn’t take an hour. Straight to the point. No kissing anyone’s asses for 2 hours after the race.
If you haven’t made it out to one of these events yet then you are missing out on a great time. It was my first time there myself but I will not miss it again. – Leecifer
Hiking up the steep trail and turning the corner the course was finally visible. Two canopies marked the beginning and end of where the slide jam would be taking place.
There was no cars on this road at all making it the perfect spot to hold a slide jam. Also the area of the road we were on was not visible to anyone from the streets or neighborhoods below.
Riders threw down their best stuff, many of them able to conquer the kicker ramp. As the slide jam was coming to an end the cops showed up ensuring the end of the jam. As people talked to the cops shwag was handed out and winners were announced.