Since the beginning, skateboarding and filming have gone together like peanut butter & jelly, like two peas in a pod, like Laurel & Hardy, like Mike and Ike, like Nutella and more Nutella, or (if you’re in to that sort of thing) soap and water. “I get it, dude. Now tell me something I don’t know!” Right. Hold on, we’re getting to it. Right now. This Friday, January 25th, the documentary film The Signal Hill Speed Run is set to premier at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Narrated by boardskater and singer Ben Harper, the 90 minute film covers the skateboarding event that paved the way for the future of downhill skateboarding. Signal Hill is Wheelbase’s backyard, so you know we’re stoked about this! (“I can walk there” says our Editor-in-Chief.) Although we’ll be in Puerto Rico this weekend documenting Guajataka, we’ll be doing our best to get in on this action shortly after our return! If you’ll be in the SoCal area this weekend, let us highly recommend you attend this screening; if not for yourself, for your-future-self.
Here’s the official description for the film courtesy of the SBIF website:
In 1975, the Guinness World Records TV show called skateboard promoter James O’Mahoney – now owner of the Santa Barbara Surf Museum — and asked him to stage a skateboard race. The result was the world’s first skateboard contest, which came to be known as the Signal Hill Speed Run. It soon turned into an annual event, with crowds of over 5,000, television crews, and coverage by Sports Illustrated. Some winners even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. The film, narrated by singer Ben Harper, shows the evolution of this downhill dash, which became notorious in its day and began attracting daredevils of all types, including women. It became a singular microcosm of the exploding skateboard culture worldwide, until closing for good in 1978.
If you’d like to keep tabs on the event via Facebook, this is where you should go.