Vans All Girl Skate Jam

San Diego hosts the fourth ladies’ skate bash.

On September 12, the day after the fall ASR Trade Expo, San Diego’s annual Street Scene fair was visited by the ladies of skateboarding as the fourth Vans All Girl Skate Jam took over an asphalt patch and commenced with a day-long street and vert competition. The 30-foot-wide Red Bull vert ramp and some portable Volcom street obstacles set the stage for pro and am contests in each discipline as women, age five to 55, competed for cash and prizes.

As is becoming habitual at the All Girl Skate Jams, Elissa Steamer and Cara-Beth Burnside won the street and vert events, respectively. Even so, 85 women from as far away as Brazil and Japan came to compete for the remainder of the 5,000-dollar purse, and also just to skate and enjoy themselves. Burnside managed to do both: “This is a great event because it manages to bring girls from all over the world. Many of us are friends, and it’s one of the few opportunities where we can all come together.”

The All Girl Skate Jam also seems to be attracting many new faces. Founder Patty Segovia remembers the first Jam in 1997, in which 35 women competed. “This year, 85 girls entered, which truly shows the confidence that has been built up in these girls,” she says.

Announcing throughout the day were Surf Diva women’s surf-school founder Izzy Tihanyi and skate-legend Tony Alva. “The success of this event shows that women are serious,” Alva says. “There is an amazing camaraderie here¿the girls really support each other, and it’s such a positive environment.”

The vendor area was lined with booths representing Vans, Cliff Bar, Red Bull, and Mattel, which showcased its new Skateboard Shannen doll.

The last Vans All Girl Skate Jam was held at Rhode Island’s Skater Island Skatepark in May. From San Diego, the Jam goes to Haleiwa, Hawai’i for first leg of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing¿the G-Shock Hawai’ian Pro surfing contest on November 14.

Schedules and information about the Vans All Girl Skate Jam can be found on the event’s own Web site: