Here is a message from Saltrags’ Heidi Lemmon.
Wow is the most accurate word to describe Saturday’s event! We had a great turnout and so much fun celebrating Amateur Skateboarding for the Ladies! The City of Los Angeles & Venice Recreation and Parks provided the means to produce this event, the OG Jam crew pulled it off with the support and help from Venice Locals Peck and Tonan and a handful of skateboard legends and pros. As usual we had the top photographers out there shooting and recording history in the making.
Before I get into the event I want to thank our sponsors for being so generous! Every girl, every volunteer, every judge and our MC all went home with fat packs! Skateboard Hall of Fame pros Cindy Whitehead and Laura Thornhill Caswell even got Vans Beach Umbrellas!
We started off the day with the “Pup Cup” for 8 and under beginners. We got a surprise for sure. For the last 10 years this division was rank beginners but this year, thanks to coaching programs popping up, our Pup Cup girls were ripping and almost all of them went ahead and entered 10 and under as well! Good skating for sure and very exciting to see the little ones from 3 to 8 on their boards racing around the snake run and dropping into the small bowl like they had been born with wheels under their feet.
Ten and under really brought out some amazing skateboarding and the girls were fast and furious with their tricks, knocking them out and landing them too! Jim Gray on the mic kept the crowd amped up and cheering. Jim got a little carried away in the excitement and took a spill himself into the small bowl. That loud “THUNK” you heard was the mic hitting the concrete. He survived and poked fun at himself in pure Jim Gray style. 1st place winner was Quinne Daniels whose mom competed later.
Next division the skating was off the charts with Stella Reynold taking 1st, local Vianez Morales a close 2nd and ripper Dalia Lundquist in 3rd place. Stella’s dad is the legendary street skater and owner of Baker Skateboards, Andrew Reynolds. He was chill just sitting back with the moms and enjoying the day. Both Vianez parents skateboard and her mom Sely also competed in 25 and older.
Next up were our teens 15 thru 24. It was a big age gap but the girls handled it well. One of the things I love most about contests are the surprises. This time we were treated to Electra! I had never seen her skate before and loved her unique style of street and freestyle mix up. Plus she was rocking the fashion off the charts! Cindy Whitehead is also a professional sports stylist said “”every girl skating at the contest had a different style going on – not just skate style, but fashion too. Skateboarding has always been about individuality and not following the pack, so that was great to see!
1st place went to shredder Isa Campos, 2nd our local girl Tisa Chan and 3rd to stylin Electra Arechiga! There are not many contests for the girls so we are stoked to see them out there shredding every chance they get.
Last division was 25 and over and we had 2 mom’s of the younger skaters riding as well as Tracie Garacochea tearing up the park in her wheelchair. Tracie not only brought incredible cookies from “CookieGood” but she is fresh off taking 3rd place at the WCMX World Championships in Fontana a few weeks ago. Dagger Eddie Reategui brought an autographed deck for the “Best Trick” and was stoked to hand that out to Tracie for her daredevil, thrill seeking stunts. Julie Daniels, mom of Quinne, who skated 10 and under and Sely whose daughter Vianez skated 11 to 14 were our 2 mother daughter entries! This 16 rider group was also ripping with our local Sherrel Millstein and Amy Bradshaw proving that age is just a number after you pass 40!
Skateboarding should be fun, contests should be fun and exciting and I think Venice nailed it on Saturday! Big thanks to everyone and shout out to the guys who graciously turned the snake run and small bowl over to the girls on Saturday!
Quote from Cindy Whitehead, professional sports stylist, owner of Girl is Not a 4 Letter Word, Skateboard Hall of Fame and co-host of the Venice Ladies Jam; “every girl skating at the contest had a different style going on – not just skate style, but fashion too. Skateboarding has always been about individuality and not following the pack, so that was great to see!”
Quote from OG Jam head judge Brian Martin – pro and former head judge of NSA;
What a fantastic turnout for the Venice Ladies contest last Saturday. Great support from Lance Lemond, Venice Recreation and Parks, and his crew helped make the day run smoothly, and tremendous sponsor support with great prizes and gift bags for all the girls competing.
The first division of “pup” skaters showed that you are never too young to start skating, with the youngest competitor being only 3 years old. The 10 and under division showcased a few girls who weren’t afraid to taildrop into the larger bowl, and had a few tricks to add to their routines.
The 11 to 14 group of girls stepped it up and gave the crowd something to really get excited about as they unleashed a lot of tricks in all of the bowls, including the big bowl. These are the young ladies to keep your eye on, as they are already the next generation of girl skaters to compete against.
The 15 to 24 group saw a few of the Venice local ladies showing how to use the entire park in their runs. From rail slides to leaps over trash can tops, they upped the level for utilizing the entire park, and kept us judges on our toes trying to keep up with them.
The final division of 25 and up was anything but boring. Smooth lines in the snake runs, and a myriad of other tricks, as well as Tracie, in a wheelchair, dropping straight in over the coping in the largest vertical bowl. One of the highlights was having two of the moms in this division, having their daughters (who also competed) skate with them on their final runs. Such a great way to end a day of competition.
Venice Ladies Jam ground crew:
- On the mic- pro and industry legendary fun guy Jim Gray
- Judges pro and former head judge of Nsa Brian Martin, pro Lonny Hiramoto, lifelong skater and Pedlow Boss man Steve Wright
- Schwag – skatergirl Kimi Kallman
- Music and awards booth. Heidi Lemmon, Peck & Tonan
- Photos: Jeff Greenwood, Chris Hooten, Lauren Muller, Cindy Whitehead, Ken Hada
- Pros: Hanna Zanzi, Charlie Martin
- Skateboard Hall of Famers Cindy Whitehead & Laura Thornhill Caswell
Check out additional photos by Chris Hooten
Also check out Heidi Lemmon on facebook.com/heidi.lemmon. Heidi is always up to date on all skate info and events.