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Grand Opening Celebration - Upland CA.
10/14/02

Upland Grand Opening Video Clip
56k or 300k

Going! Next! After! After After! Damn Salba snaked Again!

It was a glorious day for Disciples across the southland. An enormous piece of concrete had become available to ride on for free daily. And what a piece of concrete this thing is!

Roll Call: Steve and Micke Alba, Spidey, Grosso, Kanights, Dave Swift, Astorga, Jim Gray, Delgado, Hassan, Patch, Partain, Kevin Foster, Lance Mountain, Stan Hoffman, Ray Allan, Ted Terrebone, Tuma, Don Hamilton, Jeff Epley, and so many others it's ridiculous to try to know them all.

Steve Alba riding the edge.

The grand opening day drew in skaters from far and wide to Upland California where they were laid to witness the rebirth of full pipe action. The police were out in excessive force and the rules list was a mile long on this day, but most said I'll go along with this, just get me in that pipe! Once through the regulatory b.s. they were then confronted by a wall of snaking pros and a long, deep, and threatening wall of perfectly contoured cement.

Don Hamilton It's design was a replica of the original Upland Pipeline skateparks full pipe with two towering tombstones on either end of the drop in side of the pipe which were to replicate the walls from the famous Baldy pipe's flat wall section. Up hill from there is a small drop in area with a big waterfall to get a full head of steam to go barreling into the pipe. On the other end of the pipe was a new bowl with excellent trannies and great vert for blasting airs and tricks in. Oh yea, there is a street course too. This was pretty empty on opening day but it'll likely be more used than the full pipe.

As I was waiting to get in for my allotted ½ hour skate session I got to talk to Stan Hoffman, the owner of the original Upland Pipeline. He was passing out the classic Pipeline Stickers for everyone. Barlfy and I asked "just how long did the park operate without insurance?". His reply was incredible. "10 years. We (Jeane and Stan) woke up one day and knew we were pushing our luck way too far and that's when we closed down." I then asked Stan's daughter how this park opening compared to the day the original park opened in 1977. She told me "…it was about the same amount of people showing up, but the first park was so much bigger that the crowds weren't as dense. The skaters at today's opening are different too because they can already skateboard really good. When we opened nobody could skate any of the vert stuff we built. It took them some time to figure it out. Even when we built the Combi Bowl no-one dropped in for about 2 weeks!" Amazing! Thanks for all the inspiration the Hoffman family has given to skateboarding from all us Concrete Disiciples.

Lance Mountain close up from the full pipe. I finally got in for my skate session and pushed my way into the fray. I got a whopping 2 runs in before the cops came to kick me out. Apparently others didn't even get in one run. My two runs were bliss though. I cranked up past vert on my first wall in the pipe with ease. The cement work is perfectly smooth and speed is not a problem. Disappointed me, Barfly, Butler, and Tammy went for some grub and beers. Butler insisted we go back over there and see about skating some more when we were finished. I was reluctant but went any way.

They were gonna close @ 6:00 so we barged in there at 5:20 and the session was much less hectic. After I got the buzz off I enjoyed many more great runs through the pipe and around the bowl. I left a second time much more satisfied than the first. The park is now open daily at 10 a.m. and I'm not sure when it closes. I'll see you there sometime!

Also check out the additional opening day footage here
- Jeff G.
J. Greenwood skating. Photo by Brad.

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