Ozzie Ausband

ear to the ground

Upland Hester Series 1978

I’m keeping my ear to the ground. I continually hear rumblings on the grapevine about full pipes out in the desert of central California. I hear rumor and innuendo. Myth. Legend. The California/Colorado pipe project of the 1970’s has come and gone. Now, that was some epic pipe-riding time! Salba, Schneider, Waldo, Cortum, Senatore, Valdez and the entire G&S contingent all played in the hothouse climate of the desert pipes that entire summer long, long ago. Epic images from that time still surface. Pipeline put in the big full pipe in the late 70’s. Some of the greatest skateboarders of our time came out of the Mt. Baldy spillway and the Upland Pipeline. Someone once told me a story about a certain dam with a pipe. It was pretty far underground and the entire thing sloped down into the darkness. This person related that back then, he put a brand new Caster together with trucks and wheels and all for that mission. On the first run, he got pitched from about 10:00 o’clock and lost his board. It scuttled off into the darkness and he and his friends said that they heard that thing bouncing into the depths below for what seemed like forever.  Echoing. The black abyss. Somewhere out there, deep under the earth,  is a brand new Caster set up just waiting for an Army Corps of Engineers employee to find. Wouldn’t that be something?! Anyway, I will keep my ear to the ground. I might get a few turns in someday… Thanks to Goodrich for the images. Skate- Ozzie

desert pipes 1977