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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Old Guys Never Die: OG Jam Series at Skatelab

O.G Jam Series on June 3rd at Skatelab
Old Guys Never Die: OG Jam Series at Skatelab

Next Sunday June 3rd from noon till exhaustion do us part will take place at the Skatelab in Simi Valley the second stop of the OG Jam series. The divisions are 30 to 39 years old, 40 to 49 years old and over 50. The 40 to 49 is a big group of skaters and, as you can imagine, the over 50 division is running thin…

The first stop took place on 03/24/2012 at Pedlow skatepark (close to Los Angeles) and three more stops are on the works until the rest of the year (The Cove, Etnies, Pedlow). On the Concrete Disciple website, Jeff Greenwood wrote about the first stop that: “To my knowledge this is the first time there has been a contest with an over 50 division.
Eddie Hadvina 1st place +50 years proving skateboarding as
a lifestyle will keep you fit and healthy!
Few are left. Most skaters in their 50's are left with fond memories and aching bodies from a lifelong battle against gravity. Fewer still are able to skateboard on any given day like a contest day. Today we saw a select few who were willing and able to rip ride the concrete pit in Van Nuys Ca. These dudes, one and all, inspire us younger (yet old), skate rats more then they know.

Actually, the over 50 division might not be new. A gathering of French OG has organized for the seventh year in a row the FOSSJ (French Old School Skate Jam). The idea of the French Skate Jam is an itinerant contest, once a year over several days. They even have a dedicated website for the contest. The French OG reunite, drink wine with smelly cheese (French Oblige) party and cry over those gone to heaven in between, and that lasts for three days! The next FOSSJ contest will take place in July at Vassiviere, a brand new concept skatepark where the concrete is phosphorescent (which means you can skate at night with the concrete lighted within…) I was told that the FOSSJ was actually duplicated from a US old school contest (though not 50+) that only lasted a couple of years.

Whether it has been done before or not is beyond the point. As Jeff is saying, trying to gather more than a couple of over 50 odd skaters who can actually rip pits is difficult enough and those who show up should be praised. Heidi Lemmon is the force behind the 2012 OG Jam series contest. Heidi has been in skateboarding for a very long time and she is currently team manager at Termite Skateboards and the director of the SPAUSA. We asked her about the organization of the series…

isTia.Tv: Who got the idea of the contest? Heidi Lemmon: That was my idea. I shoot a lot of the guys in Venice. I was shooting TONAN RUIZ, 44, at Venice for fun and I got an idea for our 2012 campaign to promote skateparks.

Tonan Ruiz at Venice Skatepark
This guy absolutely rips and I thought we need to do something to promote skateboarding under health and fitness instead of injuries and liability. First I talked to Chris at Pedlow Skatepark and he said “We can do a contest here.” Then I called Jeff Greenwood at Concrete Disciples and basically we put this together. We thought it would be fun but didn't really know if anyone would come or if we woukd have any sponsors. Earl from SMA jumped on board and Yoshi from Hill Skateboards and we announced it. We got a great response from everybody, especially the sponsors. The cities have sponsored the series with us and waived all the fees so the contest can be free. Skatelab is only $10 to enter and Todd has to pay rent and we are happy to support Skatelab and the museum. Sadly we cant have a contest at Venice as they will not waive the fees, almost $2,000, to use the park and we don't want to hold a for profit event.

I am getting emails from all over and as far away as South. Africa asking, "How can we bring an OG Jam here?" So that’s pretty cool, we have a lot of Old Guys out there who want to skate and compete for fun.

isTia.Tv: The first stop was in March. Since then, have you gathered more sponsors? Heidi Lemmon: Yes, we picked up four more sponsors for the second one.
Chuck Hults #2 "over 50" in March 2012

isTia.Tv: How is it going to work? Heidi Lemmon: We are going to do points, so at the end we will have a championship. We are trying to come up with some fun prizes for a grand championship but I don’t know what it could be… someone suggested an old car spray painted and signed by everyone.. no matter what - its all in good spirit and for fun.

So, if you are over 30 years old and you want to participate, or you just want to support the OG, feel free to come to Skatelab this coming Sunday… Thanks to Heidi, Chris and Jeff.

4226 Valley Fair Street, Simi Valley, CA
(805) 578-0040 ‎ •

O.G. BOWL Series 2012</b>
June 3rd noon Skatelab $10 donation to museum per participant
June 30 5pm The Cove, Santa Monica fireworks to follow FREE
Aug 18 Etnies Lake Forest races at 4pm contest 5 pm FREE
Oct 13 noon Pedlow Championships

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