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Thomson Park Bowl Jam 2021
Yeah Gnar NZ are excited to once again be hosting the South Island's biggest skateboarding event, The Thomson Park Bowl Jam. We may have bowed out to Covid in 2020, but we have made the call to forge ahead this year and have faith we will be able to kick off the NZ competition season with a bang!
There are five divisions and $10,000 in product and cash prizes up for grabs and entry is open to all who want to give it a go. As with all competitions we sponsor, the prize pool will be equal for Men's and Women's division.
We will also be running a free Learn to Skate session for the community between 11am - 1pm, thanks to our Buddies at Skate Skool. All skateboards and safety gear provided.
And as always, we wouldn't let the spectators go hungry, so there is a free sausage sizzle between 12:30 - 1:30.
Skater registration will be live early next week, so keep an eye on our website for details.
This event is proudly sponsored by:
Backyard 3D
Pier People
Thunder Trucks
Arcadia Retro Arcade
Blacklisted Belts
Cheapskates Skate Skool
Duckewe Brand
Skateboarding New Zealand
Skinnies Sungel
Kerikeri Vert Jam 2019

The New Zealand skateboarding competition season has well and truly kicked off, following the success of last weekends Kerikeri Vert Jam.

This was the second year the competition has been hosted by the legendary Dave Crabb and one of the most exciting things about it was being able to see the progression the skaters have made from last years jam, particularly in the Groms and Women's divisions.

Skaters came from as far Kaeo in the North and Wanaka in the South, and the age difference between the youngest and oldest was 40 odd years, so this really was an event for everyone.

We were particularly proud of team member Krysta, who broke her leg on the Kerikeri ramp in warm up for last years competition. Krysta faced her fears head on and skated into first place in the women's division.

You can watch some of the epic skating that went down on the link below. https://www.facebook.com/getaheadmedia/videos/773949069714130/

New Zealand National Vert competition in Wanaka.

It was our absolute honour and privilege to have been invited to attend the New Zealand National Vert competition in Wanaka this year.

Not only is the Wanaka vert a thing of beauty to behold, the scenic view of the mountains from the deck of this gnarly beast is arguably one of the most beautiful views from a skate spot in the world.

The event was put together by the Wanaka Community in a display of what it truly means to be part of small town New Zealand, with a very special thank you going to the Fellows whanau who opened up their home to the New Zealand skateboarding community.

When we heard that there would be camping next to the vert, Yeah Gnar NZ hired a motor-home and headed south with team member Raph, who was to spend the day with the difficult job of judging the competition. Krysta, who had the difficult job of skating in the competition. And a gaggle of supporters who had the easy job of cheering from the sidelines.

We could not have been more proud of our skater Krysta, who was skating vert for the first time since she broke her leg in the warm ups at the Kerikeri Vert competition at the end of last year. She overcame her fears and skated like a boss, coming away with second place, with the winner of the national title going to Rhya Henare of Taupo.

There is a lot of history behind the Wanaka ramp, which you can watch about in the short film "Fourteen Foot Journey" on Amazon. Check out the trailer below!

Bowlzilla, Wellington 2019

Yeah Gnar NZ was proud to be a major sponsor again this year for Bowlzilla, the national park skating competition in Wellington, and we were all really excited about the competition this year.

We took up two of our skaters - Krysta who was only a month back skating from a major injury, and Tylre who was competing in his first ever nationals. Plus after the nail-biting finals of Mangawhai, we knew the national title for all divisions was going to be hard won. I

f you have ever spent time in Wellington, you will know that the weather forecast is never completely reliable. Unfortunately it rained, but with the determination of the Bowlzilla crew, constantly drying out the bowl with leaf blowers and bags of towels, they managed to get the Men's open division done in the bowl.

Despite the rain delays, everybody was amping and didn't want to see the skating end which is when Wellington based skateboarding-themed art gallery, Manky Chops, stepped up and kept the skating going. They offered up their gallery, which conveniently has a mini ramp inside, to finish the competition for the Masters, Womens and under 16. And just like that, the New Zealand skate community showed how versatile we are and Bowlzilla became Minizilla! The crowd loved the fact they were out of the rain and the skaters had pent up energy from the rain delays and were ready to throw down.

Between the sweat from the skaters and the rain from outside, the humidity inside Manky Chops HQ was off the charts, but everyone was just thankful the weather hadn't put an end to the epic skating. Full results of the day can be found on the Bowlzilla website https://www.bowlzilla.net/

The 8th Annual Mangawhai Bowl Jam

Despite the Mangawhai Bowl Jam being known as one of the best competitions in New Zealand, not one of our Canterbury based team had ever made the journey - which meant we were frothing with excitement about getting up there for this epic event.

Due to injury, we only had one Yeah Gnar skater, Tylre, entering this competition, but as always we took a crew to support and learn from one of the New Zealand's longest running skateboarding competitions. I know we say this every competition we go to - but seriously, this event was simply the best and lived up to the hype! They had the best bowl skaters in New Zealand throwing down, and the Mangawhai bowl....arguably the best pool styled bowl in the entire country.

It was a hot day, which was OK because the township of Mangawhai has a beautiful estuary you can swim in and cool down. We don't know what took us so long to finally check out this competition, but we can assure you, we are hooked and will be there loyally every year from here on out! And if you are reading this and have never been, just check out the highlights below.

If that level of skating doesn't make you want to be there, we don't know what will!

Oakura Beach Bowl Jam

Having never been to the surfing haven that is Oakura, Taranaki, we thought we may as well take the journey and check it out. At first we found it really challenging to find accommodation for the Yeah Gnar team and couldn't figure out why. 

Apparently the band Toto were playing in New Plymouth the same weekend, which somehow turned into "Africa" being the theme song of that road trip. We showed up in Oakura not knowing what to expect having never been there or seen many Taranaki skaters in action. First of all, their seaside skate-park is a dream. A mini-ramp that has a tranny to die for and the bowl...the bowl is so smooth and has lines for days. We finally got to see local Niwa Shewry for the first time ever, and seriously, if you don't know this young man you need to follow him on instragram @niwaskates now. The skater and spectator turn out was massive, and the Yeah Gnar team joined forces with the Henare whanau to run the groms competition, before the Taranaki Skateboarding Association took over for the opens. We were left in awe at the depth of talent in the Taranaki skateboarding scene and can't wait to go back! A special shout out to the Oakura Boardriders Club for putting on an epic event. They have been supporting surfing and skating in Oakura since way back, and you can find more information about them on their Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/OakuraBoardriders/

Kerikeri presents the 1st Annual Vert Jam

When we heard there was going to be a Vert competition, our team unanimously decided we had to get on board with that. You hear the saying "Vert is Dead" a lot in skateboarding circles, but our belief is that no form of skateboarding is dead if there are people still passionate about it.

And that is how we became sponsors of Kerikeri's First Annual Vert Jam. Only three of our team ventured up for this one, mainly because being South Island based, we had heard horror stories about the humidity that happens that far North.

Not knowing what to expect from the ramp, or Kerikeri itself, we cautiously ventured out the day before the competition for a skate, where we found the best Vert skaters in New Zealand warming up and ready to throw down.

Unfortunately on the day, Yeah Gnar skater Krysta, broke her leg in two places which took her out of contention for the win. However, she did make it back for the finals and despite being on crutches was cheering for the boys louder then anyone. It was a beautiful day, with beautiful people, and we feel like nobody will be saying vert is dead after this competition.

In fact, we wouldn't be surprised if this has sparked a resurgence of more vert competition to come. A special thanks to Dave Crabb, a total legend of New Zealand skateboarding, who put this competition on for both the skateboarding, and Kerikeri community. If you would like to check out a small snippet of the calibre of skating at the competition you can on the link below; https://www.facebook.com/DaRollwilder/videos/vb.1004341034/10214265325999439/?type=3

Girls Skate NZ Showcase
When Girls Skate NZ first contacted us about their ladies only Skateboarding showcase, we knew it was something we wanted to attend. So we rented a large house in Auckland for the weekend and went through our roller-dex to contact all the competitive women skaters we know, offering free accommodation to help support the cause. We are pretty stoked to say that after the weekend, we have added many new women skaters to our network. It takes a lot of faith to put on a skateboarding event in the middle of winter, but the team at Girls Skate NZ were not afraid of the challenge. With a turn out of 20 participants, they may now hold the record for the most female competitors at a single skateboarding competition in New Zealand. The competition was supposed to include a street and bowl division, unfortunately the rain made it uncertain that both could be done so the decision was made to put everything into the bowl. Once the warm ups started, it quickly became clear that there was a lot of talent and the podium finish could be anyones. The supportive and friendly vibe around the bowl was just the perfect catalyst needed that saw many of the ladies pulling off new tricks for the first time, and despite some epic slams, people were walking away with a smile at the end of the day. We sincerely hope that this becomes an annual event! If you are Auckland based, and have a girl interested in skateboarding, you can get in touch with the team for more information at [email protected] and follow them on Instagram @girlsskatenz Final results: Opens 1st - Krysta Ashwell (Christchurch) 2nd - Oskana Lines (Florida) 3rd - Tanja Swanepoel (Auckland) Under 18 1st - Ela Huia (Auckland) 2nd - Billie Morrison (Auckland) 3rd - Sasha Brett (Auckland) Lil' Groms Alani (Auckland)
Yeah Gnar NZ in California
To achieve our goals of getting New Zealand skateboarding on the map, we need to make sure people are aware of New Zealand skateboarding around the map. And I will admit that this didn't start as an easy task, considering the majority of people we met in the USA didn't even know where New Zealand was. ("Oh, so you are from Australia", is something we heard several times a day). Obviously we took our skateboards with us, however it wasn't all skating, we were also there to educate ourselves further in the skateboarding industry to ensure we are supporting Kiwi skaters and encouraging the growth of skateboarding in a way that is consistent with Industry standards. It was a busy trip that included conferences with the International Association of Skateboard Committee, learning more about our history at the Skateboarding Hall of Fame, observing how professional competitions are run at the Vans Pool Party and talking to every skater, parent and coach we could find about what direction they think the International Skate Scene is heading. The whole trip was amazing, and we learnt so much that I envision the rest of the year will be going back through all of the research accumulated and figuring out how we can combine what have learnt, to our plans for Yeah Gnar's future. Other then the educational and research component of our trip, we also got to tick off some bucket list items. We skated the Combi Bowl, watched Vans Pool Party in person, got cuddles from Rodney Mullen and had a beer with Mike McGill. This trip we only took three of the team, however I feel like more of us will be making the next trip for the next conference. If you haven't had the chance to watch the Pool Party yet, The entire compeition is streaming on You Tube, which you can check out on the link below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXAeHIQcibs
Bowlzilla, Wellington 2018
What started as a cold and windy day in New Zealand’s capital, ended with sunshine all around at the national championship, Bowlzilla, last weekend. It was in the stands trying to fight off the cold Wellington wind, that Yeah Gnar members Da Roll and Adam, were given an idea that would make everyone warm with fuzzies. While watching the Women’s division, their friend mentioned they had just brought a T-shirt off an Australian company named Yeah Girl. In an effort to make Bowlzilla an equality-in-skateboarding event in Australia, Yeah Girl were selling T-shirts with all profit going to the Women’s prize purse. With International Women’s Day a few days prior, the struggle of gender equality still being a real issue and of course, the age-old Australia vs New Zealand rivalry, DaRoll and Adam decided to ensure the Aussies wouldn’t beat us to the punch. In the middle of the competition, they found a Bowlzilla organiser and offered a donation that would equal the prize purse for men and women. Just like that, a moment in New Zealand skateboarding history was made with Aotearoa’s first ever equality-in-Skateboarding competition. Leaving a shocked looking Bowlzilla Crew to process what they had just helped make happen, it was back to the stands to watch the finals. Luckily the wind had gone down, the sun had come up and the smiles all around made it an epic way to end the day. Yeah Gnar NZ are super proud to have been part of this moment, and of course we need to acknowledge this wouldn’t have happened without the wheels Yeah Girl set in motion, Bowlzilla for putting on the event and ALL the skaters who shredded their hearts out. We tip our helmets to you all. Even without the knowledge of equal prize money, there was a record number of women who entered, and seeing the talent in warm up, the crowd could tell the competition was going to be tight. With three runs each, and the best run counting, the women were not holding back. The crowd went wild when Krysta Ashwell pulled out a clean 50-50 in the middle section of the bowl, which was immediately answered by Rhya Henare. Tanja Swanepoel entered the bowl on her next run with a 50-50 roll in followed by what was arguably the most beautiful flow of carving on display over all the divisions on the day. Krysta answered by stepping her 50-50 up to the deep end and throwing in a backside air to her final run. When it came time for prize giving, we knew the scores would be close. So when it came down to the final two, Krysta and Tanja, the Yeah Gnar team were on the side-lines literally biting our nails. We are so incredibly proud to say that our team member, Krysta, was the one who came home with the National Title, however there is zero doubt in our minds that the competition is going to be even tougher next year. As the women involved in skateboarding continue to raise the bar, this competition is only going to grow and flourish in the future. A massive shout out to all the skaters of this weekend, full results can be found on the Bowlzilla website here http://www.bowlzilla.net/
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