The Devil's Pit - by Pete Koff

1980’s Pacifica, The Devil’s Pit, located 7 miles south of the San Francisco Zoo, was known for its gnarly surface and spooky hillside location huddled in the Eucalyptus trees. Very cool natural attributes and views of the Pacifica Pier and the Pacific Ocean. Skaters like Chris Cook, Pete the Ox and folks that had connections to find the hidden gem of a spot would spend hours risking their limbs all for the sake of skateboarding.

Our story dates to 1987, in high school, when we would take the 7F bus up the El Camino with our skateboards and sleeping bags to the top of the hill to the Daly City bus stop and skate down the hills to the Sharp Park golf course on the beach. There we’d camp under the windswept Monterey Cypress trees with our fireworks and an open mind for adventure. We camped there several times in those years. The main course was always the Devil’s Pit. This spot was definitely not made for skateboarding but that is what made it so epic. It was originally a drainage reservoir approx 6ft x 50ft x 150ft. It had multiple drop-in ramps and some curbs to get rad on. We were already riding Bullet 66mm wheels so we could get some speed and slash the curbs. The pool was big enough for the crew to all drop in at the same time which created some of my best adrenaline induced memories.

There’s much more than just skating Devil’s Pit on this hillside. It has a Blair Witch feeling that created a very eerie vibe. Next to the Pit appeared to be an old burial ground, and next to that is a whole hillside of 10 feet deep crevices from rain erosion. You can walk all throughout the crevices and we would mess around and hide from each other scaring the crap out of one another.

When we were done skating we would return to the golf course where we’d camp and make a fire. The adventure was only beginning. These Cypress trees were growing sideways from the wind about 20-30ft above the ground. The trees grew close enough together to weave themselves into a massive canopy in which we could climb up and walk all over the tops of them. I don’t know whose bright idea it was to get on top of the canopy, but I recall my friend Mark fell through the top, in the dark of night, and fell at least 20’ onto the sand below. He was unscathed and we all sat there in amazement and broke out into laughter.

The Devil’s Pit bowl was torn down by the city due to a BMX’r getting severely injured there in the early 90’s. The hillside is still accessible but completely overgrown with poison oak. There’s very little documentation or any information online because social media did not yet exist. I’m very glad to have these photos I took to document the rad times we had at this secret skate spot.

Words and pics by man like Pete Koff!
Originally printed in B0ardside5.