The 2009 Supergirl Jam event series wrapped up in Venice Beach over the weekend as more than 50,000 Labor Day holiday spectators caught a glimpse of action sports industry’s only large scale, all-girl’s competition and lifestyle festival. The event’s prize purse totaled $36,000, so the ladies didn’t hold back and treated beachgoers to some real action.
Venice Beach may not be known for snow, but a 35- foot snowboard rail jam course, towered over the sand, showcasing the skills of 24 competitors in this category. From a field that ranged in age from 14 to 29, twelve women emerged from the preliminary rounds to battle in the finals and wowed the crowd with their creative tricks.
The girls had to battle some tough conditions, not the least of which was the slush and mud that encroached on the course as the sun beat down and melted the 80,000 pounds of snow.
After 40-minutes of snowboarding, with the Pacific Ocean providing a picturesque backdrop, Laurie Currier took the top podium spot, as both the event champion and the winner of the best trick contest with her ‘hard way front one/hard way front one out.’ It was the second year in a row that Currier topped the podium.
The skateboard street competition that followed offered three obstacles for the ladies to tackle. The course, set up on one of Venice Beach famed basketball courts, wasn’t particularly challenging but in the end skill and execution won out as local Amy Caron claimed the title.
“I didn’t win the first year, I didn’t win last year, so I really wanted to get it,” said Caron. “I needed to redeem myself. I tried the feeble grind down the long rail at X Games and landed in seventh place when I missed it. So, on my last run tonight I had to try it and I made it. I’m pretty stoked. [Supergirl Jam] features all sports, not just skating, so it’s great to get together and see all the ladies. That’s what it’s all about.”
Vanessa Torres (Orange County, CA), who took second place, was happy for her fellow competitor and friend, “Amy deserved to win, she skated well. I just came out here to skate, to hold it down for the ladies, so to walk away with money…I couldn’t be happier. This [Supergirl Jam] is a huge opportunity for girls.”
Alexis Sablone (Connecticut), who stunned the crowd with a ‘kick flip over the bank down the euro to flat,’ picked up not only the bronze medal, but was also awarded the best trick title.
The day began with the inline skaters. Eight women took to the street course obstacles, hitting the rails hard from the outset. Immediately, Sanchez and Fallon Heffernan (Jacksonville, FL) became the women to watch. Their runs pushed the others to take their tricks to the next level. When Sanchez nailed a ‘disaster to sweat stance,’ it gave her the best trick title and the gold. Aarin Gates (Camarillo, CA) won the silver and Heffernan, for the second year in a row, took home the bronze.
“Even though I just can’t seem to win this event, I still feel like I won today,” said Heffernan. “I was Coco’s camp coach at [Camp] Woodward, so it’s good to see her win, knowing I had a hand in pushing her to be her best.”
The Supergirl Jam series consisted of three stops this year – the Association of Surfing Professionals Grade-4 Supergirl Pro Junior contest that took place on August 15 & 16 in Oceanside, CA; the Supergirl Pro-Am Jam Skateboard Street competition that took place at Woodward West in Tehachapi, CA, on August 19; and the finale at Venice Beach.
Inline Best Trick Top 5:
1) Coco Sanchez (San Francisco, CA); 2) Aarin Gates (Camarillo, CA); 3) Fallon Heffernan (Jacksonville, FL); 4) Chynna Weierstall (Roseville, MI); Katie Ketchum (Buffalo, NY)
Skateboard Street Top 5:
1) Amy Caron (Huntington Beach, CA); 2) Vanessa Torres (Orange County, CA); 3) Alexis Sablone (Connecticut); 4) Tamara Drybrough (Port Coquitlam, Canada); 5) Leticia Bufoni (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Snowboard Rail Jam Top 5:
1) Laurie Currier (Wrightwood, CA); 2) Nicki Slechta (Los Angeles, CA); 3) Desiree Melancon (Riverside, CA); 4) Madison Blackley (Park City, Utah); 5) Colleen Quigley (Groton, MA)
Check back for pics and video from the event. In the meantime, if you need a primer on skateboarding, check out all the lingo here.