Open from 1977 to 1988, 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 and Micke Alba to Chris Miller) during that era. Unveiled by Stan and Jeanne Hoffman in May of ’77 and dubbed “The World’s First Vertical Skatepark,” 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” fullpipe (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 Bowl”—a notorious (nine-foot, nine-inch transitions and 12 feet deep) vert double bowl consisting of a steep square pool connected to a round pool by a small shallow section. The Combi Bowl—along with what became known as Badlands (and the Badlanders who rivaled the Dogtowners)—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 ’94, with collaboration from the Hoffmans, a replica of the original Combi Bowl was built at the Vans skatepark in Orange, California, and in ‘02 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.
Chris Miller at Pipeline Photo by J. Grant Brittain
Steve Alba at Pipeline Skatepark Upland photo by Jim Goodrich
Stacy Peralta at Pipeline photo by Jim Goodrich