Tempe Underground Pipes

The Tempe Pipes were built in 1990 near some new freeways being built on the border of Tempe and Mesa AZ. The only access was to climb down a ladder approx. 200 ft underground, then walk through a 12 ft pipe about 1/2 mile to get to the larger 20 ft pipes. The only access was through a sort of manhole, with a series of ladders to get down to the level of the pipes. It was so dusty, we had to wear bandanas as dust masks, and carry brooms and lanterns so we could skate.

The neighbors got bummed on the whole scene early on, so we could only go in on nights when there was no moon, total stealth mode. We had to cross a big canal, I remember Malba tried to barge across and sank in the mud almost to his knees! Pretty sketchy scene as I recall, one of the PV crew broke his arm down there, and went into shock on the climb back up, we had to talk him through it, it was pretty scary being that far underground. His nickname was “Chicken” as I recall, I never called him “Chicken” after that. It’s all good fun until something goes wrong…

00_BrianB BS TempeUG_1990

I remember on the very last session we came back up the ladder, and the cops were waiting for us. They hassled us for like an hour, then took us all to the police station in downtown Mesa, then made us walk about 6 miles back to our cars, and it was impossible for 6 thrashed skaters to get a ride at at 2:00 a.m. Pipes were big game tho’, always an adventure …
AZ Players: the PV Crew, (Shane, Tapia, Dean, Matt, etc), Malba, Brian Brannon, Colin Choy, Rob Locker (aka:Psycho), Tex Allen, Glen Byrom, Tom Cooper (T-Bomb), Ping and a very select few…

I only have about 2 rolls of film of the Tempe Underground pipeline.


  1. I’ll check my archives and see if I can find any photo’s. Before the ladder there was big power cables that dropped through the massive hole at the top, rope climb. That’s when the power lines went down the pipes as well and we had to lift them off the ground with 2×4’s or metal framing that was laying around. Great time!

  2. I remember Texas Dan skated some pools with him he was a nice guy. Colin choy also super cool guy. His backyard pool was also pretty fun…..he’s a ripper. Killer pics of the underground pipes

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