On Saturday 27 May, this years Girl Skate Jam UK saw female skateboarders from all around Britain and Europe travel to the infamous Pioneer Skatepark in St Albans.
The only ‘girls-only’ competition to take place in the UK was the third organised by Pioneer Skatepark locals Jenna Selby and Jenny England and is now an annual fixture in the summer skate event calendar. Following on from the previous two years events, which have grown steadily bigger and better each year, this latest Jam was no exception.
Competitors travelled from as far afield as Italy, Belgium and Norway to take part and girls living in the UK travelling from places including Warrington, Bognor Regis, Birmingham, Derbyshire, Bristol and London, to name a few.
With four months preparation before the comp day there were one of two setbacks for the organisers. Perhaps trouble with the winners trophies being one of the more amusing. After collection, a closer inspection was made and there seemed to be slight discrepancies in the engravings. Instead of “Sponsored Slag” appearing on the sponsored section trophy, the dyslexic engraver had written “Sponsored Schlae” (Did he not realise it didn’t mean anything!!) and on the over 18’s trophy, “Grandma” now read “Gradnma.” However once Jenna’s dad had performed his DIY magic, trophies (which were formerly for female runners) combined with tech decks then became one of the competitions unique attributes.
The day of the comp started with a two hour jam, followed by competitions split into categories for those who wished to take part. Unfortunately this year the gods did not smile on the outdoor miniramp, and the rain that started just after midday persisted until the end of the day, calling off that particular comp. Nevertheless that disappointment was made up for by the level of skating that took place on the indoor street course.
In the under 18 competition winner Helena Long (who rocked the best knee pad steeze) impressed the crowd and judges alike with her two runs, which included a blunt nose grab to fakie on the small quarter pipe, kickflip on the driveway and unless my eyes were deceiving me a 5-0 on the Koston. Second placed Kim Lewis and third placed Georgina Winter concentrated on technical flatground “Mullen esq.” flip tricks, Georgina pulling off some varial pretzel flip malarkey!
In the over 18 section Kerry Dennis from Derbyshire was the winner for the second year running. Her tricks included a backside ollie, boardslide on the rail and a floaty ollie to fakie on the six foot quarter.
But it was the sponsored skaters competition that once again found the crowd in full voice. Third placed Sadie Hollins showed why she is one of the UK’s brightest female skating talents, cheered on by her local Death boys, her run included a nollie backside heelflip, switch kickflips and lots more Essex technical wizardry. She was piped to second place by fellow Rogue Skateboards rider Emma “The Brum” Richardson, who made good use of the whole park, pulling off amongst other tricks 50:50 grinds on the rail, frontside 5-0 on the quatre and a backside kickflip on the flatbank.
But it was Etnies sponsored Kristina Westad AKA “the Viking” from Norway who bagged herself first place, impressing judges Pip Procter and Andy Willis with two stylee runs (she did later admit that this was actually all thanks to her section tune of Queen’s: Don’t Stop Me Now) Her runs included lipslides, frontside boardslides down the rail and a 360flip on the Koston block. Kristina was very impressed with her trophy even if she did get slightly confused by “Sponsored Shlae.”
One notable absentee from the sponsored competition was Belgian skater Evelien Bouillart who unfortunately injured her ankle at the park the night before the competition. Even though she had to suffer the delights of Hemel Hempstead Hospital for that night, on the day of the competition Jenna and Jenny put her to good working use as a judge – a task she performed admirably! Other notable events were Kristina Westad winning best trick with a perfect frontside kickflip on the flatbank and Rebecca Aimee Davies, who had travelled from North Wales to take part in the miniramp comp, attempting an insanely difficult acid drop into the vert wall!
The crowds and skaters were once again entertained by MC Jack Wiggins from the Oxford Wheels Project with his unique style of MC-ing. Choice snippets included “Look at them go people, they’re risking their lives for you, it’s a wonder they’ve still got their own teeth!” All whilst wearing a rather fetching multicoloured lycra downhill luge catsuit!
The crowd were also kept happy with Djing from DJ Lupee and Pip, who very kindly stepped in when the other DJ’s pulled out at the last minute.
All in all, a great day was had by all. Once again the level of girl’s skating went up by more than a few notches and a small piece of the Pioneer’s reputation for holding skate comps was restored.
Jenna and Jenny would like to thank the following sponsors for supporting the Jam: Rogue Skateboards, Carhartt, Gallaz, Etnies, Eastpak, Rockstar Bearings, Death Skateboards, Heroin, Blest Lifestyle, Motel 6 Skateshop, Social Disorder, Riot Squad, Conspiracy Skateshop and:
Also a big thank you to Pioneer Skatepark for help with funding the event and everyone who volunteered on the day, as we couldn’t have done it without help from a lot of people.
Lastly thanks to the Selby and England families and Simon Kidner for all their help with organising on the day and putting up and feeding a lot of sweaty, drunken skaters!
1st – Helena Long
2nd – Kim Lewis
3rd – Georgina Winter
1st – Kerri Dennis
2nd – Becky Wood
3rd – Kate Hayden
1st – Kristina Westad
2nd – Emma Richardson
3rd – Sadie Hollins
Evelien Boulliart (Retrospectively)