Covid scares and closed borders couldn’t stop the 10th annual running of the Mangawhai Bowl Jam from exceeding all expectations. A beyond-capacity crowd jostled for coveted spots to watch as 62 skaters, aged from seven to 52-years-old, vyed for their piece of concrete cred at Mangawhai’s famed Activity Zone skate bowl on a hot and sticky Saturday, February 6.
As always, the vibe was infectious as skaters brought the crowd to the edge of their seats, laying down all they had with sweat, grit and tears.
“Ten years was a surreal milestone for us to hit,” said event organiser Jesse Peters. “What started with just a handful of mates having a jam became New Zealand’s largest skateboarding event with completely packed crowds. It’s unreal.”
Skateboarding New Zealand president, Chris Curran, had nothing but praise for the event.
“The preparation that went into this event was massive. We are so proud of the community. Making it to 10 years is no small feat. With the event being live-streamed on Sky Sports Next, a wider audience could experience the high level of skateboarding the event showcased. We are one of the only countries with the ability to run skateboarding competitions in the current climate, especially with a capacity crowd. This year’s event really put New Zealand on the map.”
Mangawhai Activity Zone volunteers also deserved praise for their provision and preparation of the facilities.
Veteran event organiser, Jesse Peters, was overwhelmed by the milestone.
“We wanted the Bowl Jam to celebrate skateboarding and our community, and this year delivered that in spades. It made us proud of New Zealand and our local skateboarding scene. We’re thankful that we got to hold this year’s event, being in a Covid-free country, when everyone else is battling the virus.”
The event provides a number of competitive classes, with top of the tree being the open class. Thanks to a combination of hair-raising tricks, Taranaki-based 14-year-old Niwa Shewry made a big statement to clinch the top step of the podium.
n Check out more of the action at facebook.com/themangawhaibowljam
A capacity crowd watched as 62 radical skaters fought for the podium in their hotly contested classes.