by all accounts "hella" is indigenous to the Bay Area.
I first learned the word while at Cal Poly SLO back in the mid-80s. I picked it up from a guy in my dorm who was from Castro Valley.
thus, the word has been in circulation for at least 20 years. it's a "classic" so to speak, in terms of Bay Area slang. it also immediately pegs a person as being from Northern Cali.
in context/contrast, "wicked" is a total East Coast term (Boston and New England, primarily to the best of my knowledge) while "totally" is of Southern Californian origin, if I'm not mistaken (i.e. "Valley" speak like in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, the classic Nick Cage cinematic vehicle Valley Girl (though Nick was also in FT@RH) or Frank & Moon Unit Zappa's classic "Valley Girl" hit from the '80s)
that said, I dated a girl who was a high school math teacher in Tracy and she gave detention to any of her students who said either "hella" or "hecka."
she never gave me detention. though she did eventually break up with me and marry some other guy (who i would be willing to bet never used either "hella" or "hecka" in a conversation).
linguistic history lesson aside, anybody know anything about these skis?