Upland, California. Pipeline Skate Park. It was to be the ultimate vertical & over- vertical proving ground for skateboarders the world over. According to Steve Alba, the Combi pool was completed & opened to skate in 1979. Two years earlier, Stan Hoffman had opened the ‘Pipeline’ Skate park, with its huge bowl & full pipe. The Combi pool was a later addition.
Salba stated, that his first interview in Skateboarder Magazine, was the first day he rode the Combi. They shot his interview pictures during his first session! Salba told me that the ‘Pipeline’ had gold card holders, who each shelled out 500 dollars to help pay for the park & upgrades. 30-40 kids had gold cards and Stan Hoffman let them ride the Combi pool before the pros. Salba, Micke, Wally Inouye, Chris Strople and others, had to wait to ride. Salba told me tersely, that all the pros were pretty bummed at the time.
Unfortunately, the ‘Pipeline’ was finally closed to the public for undisclosed reasons. Salba told me that they rode it for another 6-7 months, until it was destroyed…bulldozed. (Click the enclosed link) Salba grabbed a few pieces of the coping at that time & kept them. He & Kelly Belmar actually have the two ‘Pipeline Skate Park’ signs from the front of the place. Stan Hoffman took them down and gave each of them- one.
Back in 1998 or 1999, Steve Alba moved into a new house with his family. He asked for my help & I believe Toby Burger helped as well. We moved him during a long, hot weekend in September. I must admit, it was a sweaty, grueling job. At the end of it all, I was walking out to my car & Salba directed me to the side of the house. He handed me a huge piece of pool coping & smiled. I knew what it was. Original Combi pool coping! Needless to say, I was stoked!
I have kept it ever since, in place of prominence in my home. Its on the front porch of Peter Kings, ‘Ridiculous’ , where I reside. I tap it with my toe every time I go in or out of the house. I tap it for power & respect. Respect; to those that went before me and paved the way for us all. Dedicated to Chris Robinson- Thank you to Glenn E. Friedman & JGrant Brittain for the images. Skate & remember your history. Ozzie