Words, photos and edit by Jenna Selby
Last weekend saw the 15th annual Girl Skate Jam held at Pioneer Skatepark in St Albans. Riders travelled from all over the UK to get involved. First to arrive was 7-year-old Roxana Howlett, driven up by her dad from sunny Devon. Not long after followed a crew of Exist Skatepark locals from Swansea. Longest drive of the day went to Lucy Adams and Josie Millard, who spent the best part of three hours on the M25 (AKA the road from hell) in its usual car park-come-traffic jam like state.
The Groms comp kicked off the day, this was a chance for the younger ones to get involved and they were given four minutes to show their stuff. This was followed shortly afterwards by the Under 18’s. These girls are definitely the ones to keep an eye out for in the future. Daisy Oblein, a Pioneer local, unfortunately hadn’t skated for four weeks due to a broken foot but still landed some wallie rock fakies on the ledge and front 180’s and pop shuvs on the driveway. Roxana landed some nice bonelesses on the quarter and boardslides on the rail whilst Swansea’s Naomi opted for a long boardslide on the block and flips out of the driveways.
Next up were the Over 18’s, unfortunately though it seemed to be a day of injured riders!
A GSJ favourite, Anita Almonte had damaged her knee and although awaiting surgery had convinced herself she was OK to skate. On this occasion her knee thankfully held out and she bombed Anita style around the park. Georgie Winter landed some nice pop shuvit tail grabs over the driveway but it was Danni Gallacher who stole the show, getting frontside flips and frontside hurricanes on the quarter and kickflips over the driveway to name a few! Last up were the sponsored ladies. Lucy Adams took a pretty hefty slam in her first run, overshooting a rocket noseslide down the ledge and basically landing on every part of her body heavily in some way or another which unfortunately put her out of action for the rest of the comp.
Although she’d already competed in the under 18’s, the youngest sponsored skater Roxana pulled out her bag of tricks for a second time that day. Josie Millard got some huge pressure flips over the driveway and a sweet nose manual to drop off, as well as winning best trick with a backside flip up the euro gap. But it was Camilla Mullins who took 1st place overall with 5-0’s and tailslides on the ledge, a frontboard on the big rail and a tre flip over the driveway. With the Pioneer miniramp waiting to be resurfaced, this was the first year without that particular part of the jam. The day was rounded off instead by the Fastest Lap - a slightly more ruthless (and funny!) thing to watch admittedly. The course was set; first to the end of the skate park and back again. This sounded fairly straightforward, but a bit like a dad’s race on sports day there had to be some sort of carnage involved - Josie Millard took a slam-roll any footballer would have been proud of at the beginning of the race, whilst others apparently ‘did their best’ not to run her over. Camilla Mullins took first once again.
Cheers very much to Pioneer Skate Park, Andy Cooper, Alex Barton, Pioneer Management Committee, Matt Talbot, Andrew Selby (AKA the trophy maker) and all of the sponsors - Lakai, Vans, Lovenskate, Rogue, Loud, Volcom, Lariatt, Girl Skate UK, Death, Footprint and Royal Trucks. We couldn’t do this without your help and generosity, thanks!!
1st - Camilla Mullins
2nd - Josie Millard
3rd - Roxana Howlett
1st - Danni Gallacher
2nd - Anita Almonte
3rd - Georgie Winter
1st - Naomi Richards
2nd - Roxana Howlett
3rd - Daisy Oblein
1st - Ione Atkinson
2nd - Nina Julca
3rd - Emily Fradley