Jeanne Hoffman, Skateboarding’s Good Friend

Jeanne and Stan Hoffman opened the Pipeline Skatepark in Upland, California in the late 70s, and for nearly a decade they hosted some of skateboarding’s greatest contests and skaters. The park produced some of the most notorious pool skaters ever, Steve Alba and Chris Miller among them. Pipeline was also home to the notorious Combi Pool, a vert double bowl consisting of a steep square pool connected to a round pool by a small shallow section. With the help of the Hoffmans, the infamous Combi was resurrected last year when Vans created a modernized replica at the new Vans Skatepark. Jean and Stan provided the blueprints to the original so that the new one could be built.

Even after the Pipeline Skatepark closed in the late 80s, Jeanne remained active in skateboarding, working with close friend Sonja Catalano on the California Amateur Skateboard League, which was founded in 1982 and continues to produce amateur kateboard-contest series. Jeanne and Sonja were also the women behind the United Skateboard Federation, which began producing professional skateboarding events in the early 90s, when pro contests were few and far between. USF was also instrumental in launching the Vans/Hard Rock Cafe Triple Crown of Skateboarding series. Jean was a tireless supporter of skateboarding and skateboarders.

In 1994 she and Sonja chaperoned a delegation of CASL skaters to the summer Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia, where the Americans skated and lived with Russian skaters for a week. The Russians were amazed by Jean’s stories about Pipeline, the countless skaters she’d known over the years, and her experiences as an American growing up during World War II. She made as much of an impression on them as they and their country did on the Americans.

Last year Jeanne was diagnosed with cancer, and fell ill soon after the Vans Skatepark, with its new Combi Pool, was dedicated in November. During her illness she received many cards and letters from individuals she influenced over the years. She died on Monday, May 17, 1999, knowing what a positive impact she had on the lives of so many young people. Skateboarding will never have another Jeanne Hoffman. Se will be greatly missed because she was a great friend to the sport and to those who-like her-love it so much.