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RIP Hubba Hideout


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How many of you know or rather remember Hubba Hideout in San Francisco? Well it is now gone! Yep they, the city, destroyed it. I remember the first time I saw it in the first Plan B video, Questionable, which sold EMB and the Bay Area to my young mind. When I first moved up here I would spend endless nights taking the M line from SFSU to downtown SF getting off at Castro station and skating all the way down Market. The ledges throughout this stretch of the city then you'd hit the brick further down all the way to EMB like the yellow brick road. By far one of the most influential skate videos and meccas ever! First the EMB got redone some years ago, now Hubba gone, and the ledges at the pier are almost unskateable.

The soundtrack to the video Questionable is mostly various Primus songs/albums and the Beastie Boys "Check Your Head" album as they all killed it in and set the bar high for skateboarding. Here are some of the original skaters:

-Mike Carroll

-Rick Howard

-Colin McKay

-Rodney Mullen

-Danny Way

-Shean Sheffey

-Ryan Fabry

-Pat Duffy

-Sal Barbier

-Matt Hensley

It is rather interesting or coincidental to me how this video played such a big part in my life as most of the San Diego skate spots in it I skated often growing up then San Francisco spots I skated regularly once I moved up here. Here are my memorable moments from the video almost twenty years later:

Pat Duffy killed it in that video from the banks/hips at Jump Ramp School in Scripps Ranch San Diego and that other HS. The huge rail in Solano Beach at the middle or elementary school. Then the crazy steep handrails in the rain at the high school by Lake Hodges (I forget the name though should remember as I was arrested for skating there, haha, San Pasquail maybe they also had the above mentioned banks). San Diego Sports Arena Double set, the benches in Poway at Webbb Park, and rails at SFSU. Then the crazy rails and gaps throughout Marin County. Danny Way just destroyed it throughout Carlsbad. The L we used to call it cause in an L shape you had Carlsbad High, Valley Middle School, the church and Magnolia Elementary School. And the killer skate sessions at EMB (RIP), the pier and Hubba Hideout (RIP). Damn that whole video beginning to end is a must see if you have any fascination with skateboarding. Many of the guys on that first team were fuc'n young and some still skate or are active behind the scenes. The above names are by far not the inclusive list of who murdered those skate spots as the whole Plan B Team all did in their own rights.

Enough of my memories here's an article from ESPN and videos below article:

R.I.P. Hubba Hideout

By Adam Salo

ESPN Action Sports


The long-time iconic San Francisco skate spot, Hubba Hideout, is being destroyed. According to city employees who were on hand yesterday erecting fences around the area, the retaining wall ledges that have been a part of street-skating's history since the early '90s are scheduled for removal today. The spot's top ledge was ripped out yesterday.

Until yesterday, the Hubba Hideout was made up of two sets of six long stairs with tall concrete banisters on either side. Located in the heart of the city's Embarcadero, and a stone's throw from Justin Herman Plaza, it was commonly known among skaters as the famed '90s skateboarding mecca "EMB." The banisters became a proving ground where Bay Area skaters would attempt to take their tricks to the next level. Many of these ended up on the covers of magazines, including Thrasher covers of Mike Carroll (crooked grind, December 1992), Carl Shipman (frontside bluntslide, January 1994), and Fred Gall (switch five-0, February 1995) and TransWorld SKATEBoarding's Photo Annual cover in 1998 (Eric Koston backside nosebluntslide).

Organika skateboards pro Karl Watson remembered the Koston trick in a 2006 Skateboarder magazine article: "I was right there for Eric Koston's backside nosebluntslide, and I still couldn't believe it." A Bay Area native himself, Watson added a frontside noseslide frontside 270 out to Hubba Hideout's long list of memorable tricks.

Hubba Hideout got its handle because of the nefarious denizens that would frequent the skate spot looking for a hidden place to engage in illicit activity. The nickname was a nod to the Bay Area slang term for crack cocaine: "hubbas." Hubba Hideout's notoriety and popularity grew so much over the years that the word hubba became shorthand for any ledge-style banister that slanted down a set of stairs. The term has now been embraced by the BMX and snowboard communities as well.

Since Hubba Hideout was never a legalized skate space, there have been numerous attempts over the years to keep skaters from congregating at the spot. Several attempts to make the banisters un-skatable were thwarted when skate stopping devices drilled into the concrete were meticulously removed by an anonymous pro-skateboarding source. Most recently, city workers had removed the bricks in the landing on either side of the base of the staircase and banisters, leaving gravel spaces that skateboards couldn't roll away on. Still, skaters eager to make their mark on a historic spot would bring their own plywood to make it temporarily skateable again.

As of press time it is unclear if Hubba Hideout is being removed in order to put a final end to the skateboard sessions in the vicinity, or if it's as part of a greater civic initiative to renovate and remodel the area. One thing is certain: Hubba Hideout holds a place in skateboarding history and will be remembered fondly by those who skated it, and those who were inspired by the photos and footage that emerged from the progressive skateboarding that went down there.

Here's the Questionable video in six parts (the audio isn’t very good and they change out some of the music in these cuts). At about 4:50 in the Part One is Hubba Hideout for those that just want to see the reason for this article. For those that want to enjoy all….enjoy and if you have stories of Hubba Hideout, EMB, etc have at it!

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I used to watch this video and many others all the time when I used to work at a skate shop. I love watching Rodney Mullen's technical style it just blows my mind at how good a skater he is. Another amazing sample of his skating was in the videos Rodney Mullen vs. Daewon Song 1 and 2. Loved those ones too.

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Wasn't Daewon the first one to start doing roof gaps and setting up benches between buildings to do tricks?

I am not 100% sure if he was or not but that is some amazing skating they do. It just blows my mind to think about how it can possible have that much control. Even then you have to remember to watch the parts of the movies that show how many times they bail on a trick, and how bad they hurt themselves. Oh the hours spent trying to duplicate some of the less technical tricks and busting my self up in the process. :( I know those injuries will come back to haunt me some day.

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