Hermosa Beach native Cindy Whitehead has done what no one has.
The former skateboard pro grabbed her board, found a place to access a closed 405 Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass Sunday and found her way into infamy by skateboarding for a brief two minutes without being detected.
Patch caught up with Whitehead and asked her about her 405 skateboarding adventure, her life, and her love for Hermosa Beach.
Patch: How old are you and how many of those years have you lived in Hermosa Beach?
Cindy Whitehead: I'm in my 40s and I have lived in Hermosa Beach my whole life--born and raised here.
Patch: You live there, now, yes?
Patch: What do you for a living?
Whitehead: I am a fashion stylist who specializes in athletes for editorial, catalog and advertising shoots.
Patch: When did you first pick up a skateboard and why?
Whitehead: When I was 15; I surfed a bit and skateboarding looked like fun and it was something to do that my older brother hadn't mastered!
Patch: When did you become a pro skateboarder, for how long and what was that like?
Whitehead: I turned pro when I was about 16 years old and "retired" from competitive skateboarding at about age 22 when all the skateparks were being closed down.
Patch: Could you make a living at it?
Whitehead: During that time, being young and having no overhead except a car -- yes.
Patch: You're a notable sports stylist®. What is a sports stylist® and what do you do?
Whitehead: It's basically the same as a fashion or wardrobe stylst but I choose to specialize in athlete-related photo shoots.
Patch: How'd you get into sports styling?
Whitehead: I was styling young celebrities and one day I met a photographer who mainly shot all sports and I decided that was the direction I needed to head since my skateboard background combined with my styling work was a foundation for that.
Patch: Obviously, you still ride a skateboard. How often do you ride?
Whitehead: As often as I can but not as often as I would like.
Patch: What else do you do for fun, athletic wise?
Whitehead: Surf, snowboard, mountain bike.
Patch: What inspired you to ride your skateboard on the 405 while it was closed and supposedly off limits?
Whitehead: I thought it would be something very iconic "L.A." to do and my husband, who was the photographer, had a picture in mind he really wanted to make so that sealed it for me.
Patch: The L.A. Times reports you and your husband spent quite a bit of time scouting for places to access the road. What roads were you driving when you were doing your scouting?
Whitehead: Up and down Sepulveda and back into some residential areas as well.
Patch: Did you climb any fences, span any barricades?
Whitehead: No comment.
Patch: Now that stretch of the 405 is fairly removed from the South Bay, so why did you decide to try to skateboard on it?
Whitehead: Well, for Carmegeddon a 10-mile stretch of the 405 was closed-- from the 10 to the 101 so that's the section I had to work with. I also drive the 405 almost every week for work or meetings and it's usually bumper to bumper when I am on it so to have a nice memory of it is pretty awesome.
Patch: Did your and your husband Ian think you both might be arrested? Is that why you wrote the phone numbers of a bail bondsman and three friends on your arms?
Whitehead: It crossed my mind.
Patch: Ian's photos are great! Is he a professional photographer?
Whitehead: Yes, Ian is a professional advertising and editorial photographer.
Patch: Did police speak with you after you skateboarded?
Whitehead: No. No one saw me.
Patch: How often do you do skateboard stunts like this?
Patch: Your original skateboard gear is in the HB Historical museum. What does the gear consist of, what's it from and when was it put on display in the museum?
Whitehead: Right now, due to space issues, the skateboarding magazine centerfold of me riding a plexi glass 1/2 pipe is hung in the museum. When they had the Skateboard History show they had my skate shorts, helmet, pads, sneakers, board, photos, etc. all on display.
Patch: Where is the HB Historical Museum?
Whitehead: The Hermosa Beach Historical Society is located at 710 Pier Avenue -- in the Community Center by the skatepark.
Patch: Anything else you'd like to add?
Whitehead: I'm happy to still be living in Hermosa Beach after all these years, and I can't imagine living anywhere else!