Every year the UK girl’s skate jam attracts all different levels of female skateboarding from all over Europe (and sometimes further) to take part in a jam style contest. Most skate contests these days for women tend to be invite only or do not have enough sections to encourage young, first time comp skaters to enter. Recognising this, Jenna Selby created the UK girls skate jam (11 years old now!) which has 4 different sections, under 18, over 18, sponsored and a mini ramp contest. The street sections are all jam format, which takes a lot of pressure off you as you get 2 minutes to skate the whole course among 3 skaters.
This years under 18’s comp welcomed a new face on the scene, that of Najla Woods from Barking in Essex. Although she’s only been skating a short time she rolled around the course with confidence adding a kickflip and heelflip in here and there – which helped her take 3rd place. Second went to local rider Caitlin Robinson Mawhood who was on her usual steamer mission boardsliding the rail and transferring between ramps. But it was 15-year-old Claire Thompson who stole the show with her flip trick magic. The run which awarded her first place included a clean tre flip on the flat, kickflip to fakie on the bank and a varial flip and fakie big spin flip on the driveway.
The over 18’s comp proved slightly more difficult to judge with many more riders participating. It was however one of New Zealand’s finest – Sophie Allen – who with a run which included a 50-50 on the block, boardslide on the flat bar and a wall ride on the err wall, won the judges DC’s Alex Barton and Rubicon’s Geoff Else over to award her 3rd place. Second went to Ellie Ford with her front heel on the bank, fakie front bigspin on the house wedge and a fakie 360 on the big quater. Anita who came over from Italy, was awarded 1st place after a somewhat speedy run that included a transfer from quater to quater, a 50-50 and a pop shuv into the bank and a kickflip and 180 up the Wembley gap. A mention definitely has to go out to another new face on the scene here – Zoe Kings, another Brummie who narrowly missed placing in the top 3. Her run included a 50-50 front shuv out on the block; flip over house wedge and a clean smith on the box.
Next up was the mini ramp competition and kicking it off with Hilary Pearce who it has to be said has one of the best styles out there when it comes to riding ramp. She landed solid front smiths and frontside 5-0s – a trick she then attempted to see how far she could take along the coping, narrowly missing out on bringing it back in.
Emily Russell the ninja of the miniramp world threw down as ever a super smooth run with a combo of tricks including long frontside to backside tailslides and backside disasters, which awarded her 3rd place. Helena Long landed a blunt fakie, front 5-0 to tail and a front disaster to take second. But it was Lucy Adams who again placed first with a run that included a variety of tricks – front and back 5-0’s, 5-0 fakie’s, sweepers and a fakie boardslide.
The finale of the day was the sponsored comp. Helena was on good rail form from the start, landing a boardslide down the rounded bar. Her run also included an inward heel over the house wedge and she was awarded 3rd place for her efforts. Emma Richardson who took second made good use of the whole park. 50-50’s and 5-0’s on the block, a nollie lipslide on the flat bar (which she’d only just learned the day before!) and a solid smith to fakie on the quater were just some of the tricks she landed. However for another year in a row Lucy Adams took first producing a run with a broad range of tricks – an ollie over, front board and feeble shuv out on the rail, backside 50-50 on the Koston and a lean-tail on the huge quater.
The end to the day saw prizes being handed out on the ramp out back. This year saw a new award being added ‘Best Newcomer to the GSJ’ which was given to Tamsin Bunce for her great efforts and the fact she acts as a reminder as to why we all love skating so much!
By Sophie Allen and Jenna Selby