Lopes started skateboarding in the San Francisco Bay Area community of San Leandro in the late 1970s. He and his father Tony are credited with building one of the first half-pipes in their San Leandro backyard. Both professional and amateur skaters from around the world skated the ramp in Lopes' backyard, including a young Tony Hawk. Lopes was also the first pro to host a backyard pro jam-format contest in his backyard in 1983. During his professional career, Lopes was sponsored by Venture Trucks, Op clothing, Rector protective wear, and Schmitt Stix skateboards.
Lopes' barbecue graphics, designed by professional skateboarder Neil Blender, was considered to be one of the most popular skateboard graphics of the late 1980s.