In July 1980, Skateboarder magazine heralded Patti Hoffman as “skateboarding’s winningest amateur female competitor,” and she was just fifteen years old. Who knew that getting a skateboard for her tenth birthday would become a watershed moment? At age 11, Pattie joined her 16-year-old brother on road trips to pools and ditches across San Bernardino and Riverside counties. With the support and encouragement of her family, she visited skateparks in Southern California as quickly as they opened. Aspiring to emulate the girls she saw in the magazines, Pattie entered as many contests as she could, becoming the first and only member of the newly-minted Variflex team at age 12. Patti’s amateur victories included the USASA National Amateur Series and the Vans California Amateur State Championship.
As vertical riding went mainstream, Patti focused on what she loved most and continued her winning streak, notably at the 1979 Hester Series finale, “Battle In The Badlands” and the Big-O pro-am. Patti made a clean sweep at the third annual Skateboarder Poll Awards in June 1980: first in amateur freestyle Female, first in amateur slalom / downhill female, and first in amateur vertical female, along with a special “most improved female skater” award from the magazine. Patti made her pro debut in the 1980 Gold Cup Series, winning every women’s event of the series to become the top professional female skateboarder in the world. That same year, she participated in the first Variflex Summer Tour. She last appeared in the May 1981 issue of Skateboarder’s Action Now in a “People on the Go” feature. The opening line read “Pattie Hoffman is number one and wouldn’t settle for anything less.”