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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cindy Whitehead skates the 405 freeway during carmageddon: interview

Cindy Whitehead Bombing the 405, one of the most transited Freeway in the world  during carmageddon 2012

An iconic Cindy Whitehead: skater, designer, stylist and rebel
Cindy Whitehead skates the 405 freeway during carmageddon: interview

Carmageddon II, the sequel hit the interstate 405 freeway during last week-end. A similar closure occurred last year to demolish portions of the Mulholland Drive Bridge to allow construction of an additional freeway lane. The bridgework that forced the closure of the 405 for the whole week-end was completed ahead of times and the lanes of the freeway through the Sepulveda Pass have already reopened a good 12 hours before planned.
For almost 48 hours, the most transited freeway in California was closed to any traffic leaving its concrete bare except for seven
Cindy Whitehead during carmageddon 2012. She had the guts to do something a lot of us where only dreaming to do...
people: a couple of newlywed, four rollerbladers and a pedestrian. They all got arrested and cited for trespassing something that was better guarded than Fort Knox.

On top of the seven people that tried and failed, one tried and made it: Cindy Whitehead. She took her board and skated the rough concrete of the 405. She is probably the only person in the world to have done that. An ex skateboarding champ, Cindy Whitehead arrived on the skate scene in the late 70’s, when girls like Laura Thornhill, Ellen Berryman and Ellen O’neal were all coming up doing amazing freestyle routines. She started skateboarding at Hermosa Pier doing Freestyle but quickly
At Venice Skatepark, October 16, 2011
switched to vert at Skateboard World in Torrance. It was the time when SkateBoarder magazine was still displaying full covers of a barefoot Gregg Weaver cruising below the coping in an empty pool which was a big deal at the time. But she rapidly surpassed Gregg Weaver in dexterity; the sky was the limit and she quickly became one of the few female Pros of the time and rode for Tracker Trucks, Sims Skateboards, Puma Tennis Shoes, Rector and Fly-a-Way Helmets.

After she briefly skated at The Runway in Carson, she switched to Marina Del Rey skatepark until Marina closed, for good. Of course she skated parks all over Southern California as contests were held different
"I was lucky enough to get a centerfold in Wild World of Skateboarding magazine
and that was a big deal at the time"
places each week or so. By 1981 she had skated over 26 parks across the USA, including Cherry Hill, Sensation Basin and Apple Skatepark.

She travelled across the USA for a skate tour, she did demos, photo sesh, tv shows, interviews, was hired as judge during skate contests and she was having the time of her life, skateboarding for a living, a much gnarly time than any girl at 17 years of age, all of the above with little to no supervision from the grown-ups…

Now Cindy is still in the sport business. She works as a Sports Stylist®, a term that she coined. Top brands, like Gatorade, Nike and Adidas, hire Cindy to communicate their message. She taps into each athlete’s individual style to create looks that are authentic, inspiring and she even sometimes works with old pals like Christian Hosoi, Dave Hackett, Lance Mountain, Brad Bowman, Shaun White and others. And she has the most impressive collection of Skatepark ID’s I have ever seen, all of them under her name…

She made national news. All L.A. chanels talked about Cindy Whitehead skating on the 405
We met with Cindy and asked her how the hell she got the idea to skate the 405 freeway during Armageddon?
Cindy Whitehead: I saw those people last year that set-up that table and chairs and they had like a dinner party on the 405. I remember seeing that during the last carmageddon and being so jalous. And I said, oh my God, How brilliant, why didn’t I think about that? How smart are they. So this year when it came out, I thought, “Oh we should do something”. Ian and I talked about it then, I got really sick and I thought about not doing it. Then, on Friday night we said “No we are not gonna do this.” And then Saturday we started about talking doing it again. And at 7pm at night we just thought, why don’t we just wake up early, go
There's an helicopter over there...  Cindy Whitehead during carmatemptation... 

there and whatever happens happens! That means if we get it, we get it and if we don’t, then we don’t. So that kinda how we decided to do it.

isTia.Tv: How did you manage not to be seen by anybody?
Cindy Whitehead: It was hard. We drove up and down for like an hour and half and everywhere (you can see all the photos on my blog) you can see all the places where I went (and where) it didn’t work. None of those places worked. We get to the freeway, we climbed through fields and we arrived to the freeway and there would be a policeman or there would be seven CalTrans workers. Or there would be trucks going back and forth. So we were ready to go home and suddenly Ian saw a stretch of the freeway and there was no-one right there. There was a perfect turn So I said, le’s walk it down the side of the road and see how it was and he said, OK you have to do it now. Ian told me just go on the freeway, start skating, I’ll shoot and get out quick and ran back to the car. So what’s what we did.

isTia.Tv: The whole thing lasted a couple of minutes
Cindy Whitehead: Yeah, about two minutes. That’s long enough

isTia.Tv: It’s amazing that nobody saw you.
Cindy Whitehead: Seven other people got citations. I don’t know what kind of citations they got. I know there were rollerbladers, newlyweds. That I want to say is my whole thing was not to cause problems or to annoy people it was really something I wanted to do really fast and cool And quickly be done with it. I wasn’t there to make it dangerous … You know me Xavier…

It's Not About Pretty: Cindy's board for Board Rescue

isTia.Tv: You are into a lot of things ultimately. You are also into the board rescue, like last year?
Cindy Whitehead: This year is more about colors. It’s not about pretty and the whole tail of the board is scratched up like when you skate a lot. The board is all shiny bubble gum pink and the word “It’s Not About Pretty” kinda cut out and the whole back of the board is scratched up. So It’s not about pretty, it’s about being rad about shredding and it’s not about looking pretty …

isTia.Tv: The design makes me think about punk expression
Cindy Whitehead: I wasn’t planning on doing exactly that. I started taking the letters from the printer that I got, cutting them out and sticking, laying them out to see where I wanted to color in with the sharpie and Ian and I looked at it and though it was kinda cool if you just leave the gold stickers and it looks very punk rock and I though, God I’m so not Punk Rock because that’s what’s funny it’s pink… So that wasn’t planned like this originally but sometimes that’s just how art happens...

Thanks Cindy
More pictures of Cindy Whitehead on her blog: It’s not about pretty
More pictures on Ian Logan's blog
Cindy Whitehead Interview with isTia (October 2011)
It's not About Pretty: Cindy Whitehead launches her website: (Inteview may 2012)
Happy Birthday Cindy Whitehead (June 2011)

All Pictures by Ian Logan and from Cindy's private collection. Thanks Ian!!

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Sunday, September 30, 2012 


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