Pipeline Skatepark - 2014 Skateboarding Hall of Fame Inductee

Pipeline Skatepark

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.

Lynn Cooper mid 80's at Upland Pipeline
Lynn Cooper mid 80’s at Upland Pipeline
Open from 1977 to 1988, many older skaters remember the Upland Pipeline skatepark for its legendary combi pool and full pipe features. We also used to have 1980’s banked slalom events that ran down a long reservoir runway, which then turned right into a very large vertical bowl. One of my personal favorite things to do at this park was to get a lot of speed and launch over the hip of the vert bowl and land back into the banked reservoir as shown in this night photo!

This photo of me was taken back in the mid- 80’s. I cannot thank Stan, Jeanne, Don and April Hoffman enough for all the years they enabled us to enjoy and compete at this park! Great memories for sure!