When JACKALOPE Crew meets Kamloops skateboard community

July 25, 2022 / By admin

Did you know that Kamloops is the tournament capital of Canada? For the kickoff of the JACKALOPE BLOCK PARTY tour, it promised to unite neighbours giving the community a boost. With community at heart, families and skateboarding enthusiasts delighted in food tasting, pop-up shops, farmers’ markets, music, games, and more. The top female and male winners of the “Golden Ticket” won an all-expense-paid trip to Canada’s biggest action sports event, JACKALOPE FEST, in Montreal on August 19-21st.

The JACKALOPE Block Party is one of many events that Kamloops hosts each year that bring people together from all over. This skateboard qualifier is unique because it is intergenerational – young and old come together to enjoy watching and participating in skateboarding. Skateboarding is so inclusive, and there is lots of talent. It’s also a boost for tourism in the city, as people come from nearby to watch or compete in the tournament. We’re lucky to have such a vibrant and supportive community here in Kamloops!

Tricks for cash

It was the first time since the pandemic that the community had witnessed an event of this calibre. The best trick on Friday evening was epic, and you could feel the excitement from the crowd. The tiki lights, the pergolas, bean bags, and lawn chairs provided comfort as major fans huddled closely to watch their local skaters perform their best tricks. Everyone in town was hanging on their last breath to watch who would win. While MC, Tony the Trigger, skillfully called the best tricks, legendary Moses Itkonen, an OG and a Judge of the contest, gave cash out to anyone who landed their tricks. It was remarkable to see such an iconic figure take notice of the up-and-comers in Kamloops and use this platform to help foster their talents.

The Ultimate community gathering

The infrastructures improvements the City have made for the occasion added was the cherry on the cake! It also added to the spectacle and thrills of the event. All day, skaters bounced on the hot concrete landing tricks. Off the rails or down the stairs, there were a lot of oohs and aahs from the crowd. The Judges had their work cut out. While the skaters competed, the hustle and bustle of families lining up at the food trucks or playing games under the brand new installed lights were picturesque. The beer garden kept the juices flowing, and DJ VIRTUE LIFE INK scratched some sick beats accompanying the excitement to everyone’s delight.

Local talents you should know about

Skateparks can be intimidating for girls when experienced male skaters do high-caliber tricks and take up space. Beginners might feel awkward skating alone, which is why Jessica Hemenway, with two of her friends, started the Girls Skate Kamloops. She wanted to create a space for girls at any stage in their life to feel comfortable skating in front of their peers without feeling embarrassed. It’s why winning the Golden Ticket and standing on the podium meant so much to the Kamloops community. Jessica represents women’s empowerment and inclusivity. She’s a leader in the girls’ skateboarding movement, and her charismatic personality translates into her skateboarding.

She even had the chance to promote the cause with local press visiting the event. Read the article

Men’s First Place podium was earned by Ryan Lepore, who flew down to Kamloops with friend Stacy Gabriel, another OG Kamloops local skater for the event. When we say flew, we mean he flew his own single-engine plane. You would never believe this reserved skater could demonstrate flawless skills like a technician or pilot. The crowd was impressed by his skills and style.  He clearly had an edge.

Winners of the Golden Ticket get an all-expenses paid trip with flights, hotel, per diems, and registration to compete in Jackalopefest on August 19-21st. Will Ryan fly his plane? It’s a long trip, Ryan, relax, let JACKALOPE take care of you!

Who’s Next?

That’s a wrap for the JACKALOPE Block Party. What an amazing two days it was! We had so much fun meeting new people and catching up with old friends, and we can’t wait to do it again next year.

If you want us to come to your town, drop us a line on social media or tell Betty about it! We love hearing from you.

And be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook, so you don’t miss any of the action. Thanks for coming out, everyone!