Girl Skate Jam UK returned for its sixth outing but fourth birthday at the Pioneer Skatepark, St Albans on Saturday 9th June.
Female skaters from around Britain and various countries in Europe travelled to sunny Hertfordshire to skate with their fellow lady skaters. The girls-only jam and comp, organised by Jenna Selby and Jenny England, is believed to be the only all female skate comp in the UK, although the Boardroom in Leicester are holding a girl’s jam later in the summer.
Now I know some guys don’t appreciate girl skaters and I’m not here to try and change anyone’s mind but there is no denying the fact that every year the girls are stepping up and ripping like never before. A fact demonstrated by a St Albans regular coming out of the park for a cig to be overheard saying “Jeez…some chick was just trying blunt finger flip out on the big quarter, never thought I’d see that!”
Girl Skate Jam UK has become an annual fixture in the summer skate event calendar, following on from the previous three years events, which have grown steadily bigger and better each year. The latest Jam was no exception. Competitors travelled from as far afield as Italy, Belgium and Spain to take part and girls living in the UK travelling from places including Cornwall, Bognor Regis, Wales, Derbyshire, Crawley and London, to name a few.
The day started with a jam, for girls of all ages and abilities, followed by competitions for those who wished to take part. The competitions kicked off at 2pm with the under 18 street comp.
Winner Georgie Winter impressed the crowd and judges with her two runs, pulling off a kickflip to fakie, huge heelflips on the driveway and frontside air on the flatbank and then went back to her freestyle roots in the second run with a backside heel and all manner of finger flipped pogo malarkey!
Due to a technical error Katie Hayden, who’s tricks included a melon, fakie flip and backside air, competed in the under 18s despite being over the age limit! (sorry everyone, but accidents happen, right?!) In the interests of keeping folks happy she got to keep her prizes but was later demoted to third place by skate-over-rulers Jen and Jen. Second placed Kim Lewis pulled out a fakie bigspin, nose grab and some freestyle trickery I can’t name, despite her having had to run outside to be sick between her first and second runs!
In the over 18 section pirate Laura Schwormstedt from Wales/Cornwall picked up first place with tricks including a frontside Indy, fakie bigspin on the flatbank and fakie shuv on the steep flatbank.
Second spot was nabbed by Kerri Dennis who landed a backside nollie, ollie, frontside ollie and frontside 180, whilst third was won by Becky Wood who got up and pulled an ollie and some other bits despite taking a few body hammers attempting a boardslide on the big rail, but winning worst slam to console herself on the trip home to Derbyshire.
This year the skating gods smiled on the day, and the brilliant sunshine and baking conditions couldn’t have been more in contrast with last year’s event when the miniramp comp was rained off. Now it could have been the weather or the newly resurfaced ramp, but the level of the girl’s miniramp skating has really improved and everyone gave their all despite the heat and blinding sun.
Everyone who entered displayed a pretty impressive bag of tricks but three skaters stood out and battled it out for the honours. Third placed Evelien Bouillart showed off fakie smiths, frontside rocks, reverts and a frontside Indy.
Vert skater Silvia Serret March had a proper burly style, with every grind locked as though she could grind her way back to her native Barcelona, if only the ramp were long enough. Her tricks included long 50;50s, boardslides, feebles, ally oops galore and a 180 disaster.
Rogue Skateboards and Vans rider Helena Long was rocking Maria’s white jeans due to an earlier unfortunate tear in her own pantaloons and a single ghetto kneepad, grabbed first place and the miniramp tramp trophy. Her two runs included backside 50:50, a handplant, backside 5:0, blunt and some old school trickery.
When the miniramp comp ended everyone piled back indoors for the sponsored skaters street comp, which once again found the crowd in full voice. Third placed Sam Bruce‘s run included a smooth as buttery silk boardslide on the rail, backside ollie and lots more besides. She was pipped to second place by Lucy Adams, who covered the whole skatepark and pulled out bigspins, bigflips, fakie kickflips, 50:50 and was attempting a feeble on the rail
But it was Element sponsored Evelien Bouillart from Belgium who bagged first place and left everyone scraping their chins off the floor after spanking the big rail with a frontside lipslide, two perfect feebles, back and frontside 50:50s and a 5:0, impressing judges Rod Clark, Pip Procter,Andy Willis and the crowd alike!
Other notable events of the day were Evelien winning best trick with a front bluntslide to fakie on the big rail and the fact we had to give prizes in Sainsbury’s and Homebase carrier bags for lack of anything less supermarket like to put the prizes in!
The crowds and skaters were entertained by MC Joff Talbot who decided to spend the entire day wearing a long blond wig and balloons stuff down his tee…a task made easier by the fact his boobies were continually groped by the nearest lady skater (bribery photos are being kept on file!)
The crowd were kept happy with some amazing DJing by Louise AKA DJ Lupee and her other half Emit’s Rob and Pip Procter.
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 people got to see some of the sickest girl skaters in Europe.
Jenna and Jenny would like to thank the following sponsors for supporting the Jam: Rogue Skateboards, Datuga, Architect Skateboards, Etnies, Rockstar Bearings, Riot Squad, Death Skateboards, Blest Lifestyle, Sixxa, Conspiracy Skateshop and Learic 3.
Also a big thank you to Pioneer Skatepark for help with the event and everyone who volunteered on the day, as we couldn’t have done it without help from a lot of people.
Cheers to Enter Shikari and Andy for the sorting us out some amazing raffle prizes and helping us raise money to keep the Pioneer Skatepark going for at least a while longer. Big thanks to Jenna’s Dad, Andrew Selby for his technical brilliance again, producing the highly coveted Skate Trophies.
Lastly thanks to everyone who turned up either to skate or to spectate, we really do appreciate you all coming to St Albans!
1st – Georgie Winter
2nd – Kimberley Lewis
3rd – Katie Hayden
1st – Laura Schwormstedt
2nd – Kerri Dennis
3rd – Becky Wood
1st – Evelien Bouillart
2nd – Lucy Adams
3rd – Samantha Bruce
1st – Helena Long
2nd – Silvia Serret March
3rd – Evelien Bouillart
Words by Jenny England – photos by Jenna Selby.