Thanks to some friends in common, we had the pleasure of meeting Cody Waggoner and visiting Laser Town. Here's the story of this "crazy city" and our interview with Cody.
Photos and text by Paolo Baraldi
Cody Waggoner was born in Whittier, California, and grew up in Yorba Linda where he remained until the age of 15. He then moved to Capistrano Beach, where he still live today! Cody also competed in several King of the Hammers. His first rig was a 1971 Jeep CJ-5, which he still owns. Waggoner started racing in 2001 at the Rock Crawling in La Cruces, New Mexico, and continued to compete until 2009. After a short break, he returned to the races in 2014. His love for King of the Hammers is one thing that only a few people have and all this love also puts it in the construction of its rig. Cody Waggoner is the owner of Lasernut. Lasernut is the largest laser cutting facility in Southern California, it caters to the automotive industry building all sorts of stuff from suspension parts to bumpers. They do bending, robotic welding, sanding, etc.. Trophies of KOH 2018 are made in Lasernut. Perhaps it is from his profession that Laser Town takes the name. What is it?
Laser Town is a village located in the Mojave desert just a few kilometers from Hammertown. It is not only the base from where Cody and his friends, all fans of Ultra4 and Rock Crawling, leave for their trip in the Johnson Valley but it is also a place dedicated to unlimited fun. Every night is a party and every occasion is good for party. Not everyone knows Laser Town and not everyone can enter. Thanks to some friends in common with Wagoner, we had the pleasure and the honor to visit it and to savor the spirit, all goliardic, that reigns among the "walls" of this ephemeral village.
Interview with Cody Waggoner
How did you start offroading and racing?
I started from a friend from high school told me to buy a Jeep and the rest was history.
What does King of the Hammers mean for you?
It is a challenge that only a few can accomplish.
Do you prefer rock crawling or Ultra4 style?
I prefer hardcore rock crawling .
How and when did you get the idea to create Laser Town?
Lol, I figure we need to brand the land and so we came up with Laser Town.
Is Laser Town open only during the KOH period or even throughout the year?
It’s open year round but private.
I saw that Laser Town is like a living creature in continuous growth, how does it work?
We are building a container home and always improving.
Who can enter and bivouac in Laser Town?
Friends and family. Invite only.
What is the spirit of Laser Town?
To be able to do whatever you want no restrictions.
What is the best memory that happened to you at Laser Town?
To many to list. Blowing things up, shooting, camp fires, kids first time experiences, etc
Finally, what does Laser Town mean for you?
It means I can get away to safe place away from mall people, laws and life.
And what about KOH 19?
So i made it a point not to go to koh until 2013 because I knew that I would want to be apart of it. So I went in 2013 and in 2014 I raced for the first time and got 18th. Then raced in 2015… got 7th. At that point I knew I needed a car like no other so Armada Engineering built the new car and in 2016 was dang, in 2017 I got 8th and in 2018 DNF. Goal for 2019 is to be on the top 3.