By ALEXANDREA BAILEY
In celebration of Go Skateboarding Day, a trio of Rio Grande Valley resident skaters, Ruby Gamez, Michael De La Fuente and Sergio Martinez, will be bringing back the Beach Bash Skate Jam for the second year in a row. The Jam will be at the end of June with the help of the City of South Padre Island and loads of sponsors. Once again, it will take place at Tompkins Park on South Padre Island. Coming back this time with a two-day event, it will be happening June 21 & 22, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Spectators and competitors can expect the unexpected, as this year’s jam, with big goals and last year’s experience, will be bigger and better.
“I am definitely excited because of the changes we are making for this year’s event. I definitely want to see how those turn out. I am of course nervous a little bit, right?” said Fuente. “There’s a lot going on – a lot of moving parts.”
An aspect of the Jam’s extension Martinez, owner of the clothing brand, Haf Cab, looks forward to is giving the kids more fun time outside, which is what Go Skateboarding Day is all about. Go Skateboarding Day is Wednesday, June 21, and is an annual promotional event organized by the International Association of Skateboard Companies, to encourage skateboarding accessibility.
“Skateboarding is a crazy but unique thing because it brings people together. Go Skate Day is a day where everybody who does this thing, comes together and just goes hard, you know what I mean?” said Martinez. “No matter if you’re beginner, intermediate or advanced, everybody’s there to have fun and just enjoy each other’s presence.”
Gamez, says she is so excited to be working with the Island again, and describes it as an honor to have close relations with the City. Martinez said the City welcomed them “with open arms.”
Gamez describes it as nerve-wracking, striving to “live up to the hype.” However, she has confidence in her team, and all the planning that has gone into the Jam. She said that 77 Surf & Skate has been a huge help and described Hopper Haus Bar and Grill as being a “godsend”. She also shouted out Rodeo Dental and SPI Sessions for being huge supporters.
“Our main goal when we first started the beach bash, was to just throw a fun event, but then we saw how much South Padre Island backed us up and we thought maybe we should do something bigger and focus on a bigger goal,” explained Gamez.
The trio has big dreams. Planning on expanding the Beach Bash Skate Jam each year, Gamez, Fuente and Martinez are aiming to establish a staple X-Games style skating competition in South Texas. Gamez envisions a future where people will one-day train long and hard for the Jam, be able to win huge cash prizes, and claim respected titles.
In fact, according to Gamez, one of the reasons the team decided to expand the Jam to a two-day event is to introduce more of a competitive aspect.
Fuente backs this vision, clearly and passionately, and believes the City of South Padre Island’s support is the key to making that possible.
“That is one of the main things I mentioned to the City – the fact that it’s a city funded/sponsored event – that’s pretty huge because a lot of the skate comp’s that happen around the area are put on by local businesses, but aren’t really sponsored and helped by the city. So, the fact that SPI is doing this – being one of the pioneers – I think that is huge,” explained Fuente.
Last year’s hyped mini-games will be returning, full blast, with even more chances to win quick cash. The games will be spread out throughout the two-day competition.
“No matter if you’re a beginner, intermediate or pro, it does not matter…We have games for everybody. Anybody can win a prize, as long as you come try,” said Martinez.
Martinez says some of the mini-games may be highest ollie, farthest ollie, best trick on the rail, best ramp tricks and more.
Prizes this year will also be bigger and better, according to the trio. A sponsor of the games, Plugged by Geo, a Houston-Texas based celebrity jeweler with nearly 90 thousand Instagram followers, will be donating custom chains as prizes. Plugged by Geo has done custom work for huge names like The Migos and King Von. These chains, with gold and diamonds, are luxurious, according to the trio. To get an idea of just how “blinged-out” these chains are, reference the Instagram, plug_geo.
Gamez says it feels “surreal” to have the opportunity to give back to the local skating community in this way.
“Coming from nothing and being able to provide this for the community is crazy,” expressed Gamez.
Full credits to the owner of this article and photo.