Pipeline Skatepark – 2014

Open from 1977 to 1988, the Pipeline Skatepark in Upland, California, was one of the first and most legendary skateparks ever built. One of the few ’70s skateparks to survive into the late ’80s, it was also home to some of the most influential contests, video parts, and pros (from Steve Alba and Micke Alba to Chris Miller) during that period. Unveiled by Stan and Jeanne Hoffman in May 1977 and dubbed “the world’s first vertical skatepark,” the Pipeline sought to capitalize on the emergence of vertical backyard pool riding by offering up the first vertical walls intended for skateboarding, along with the first in-park full pipe (measuring some 20 feet tall and 40 feet long). As the park became an immediate success and was quickly emulated worldwide, the Hoffmans soon added their massive Combi Pool, a notorious 12 feet deep vertical double bowl consisting of a steep square pool connected to a round pool by a small shallow section.

The Combi Pool, along with what became known as Badlands, immediately became one of the most coveted destinations on the planet, and by ’81 at least eight other skateparks with similar dimensions had been built in the greater Los Angeles County area alone. After insurance and liability issues, along with dwindling participation, closed many of Pipeline’s imitators by ’83, the world’s first vertical skatepark finally faced the bulldozer’s blade in ’89. In 1994, with collaboration from the Hoffmans, a replica of the original Combi Pool was built at the Vans skatepark in Orange, California, and in 2002 a new version of Pipeline Skatepark (featuring many of the original features) was built by Steve Alba, Purkiss Rose, and California Skateparks not far from the original location.