It’s cold out for skateboarding. This week, Reno skate parks have snow sitting in the bottom of the bowls and ramps—but you can bet there are still some skaters out there dialing in their tricks. They’re getting ready for Skate Jam 6, an annual skate competition held at Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, the large showroom space will be converted into something looking like a fantasy level from the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video games. Skate Jam is a skateboarding competition mixed with a music festival. And it’s open to all ages. Contenders skate in the middle, relegating the crowds to standing against the back railing. Punk rock bands play on the main stage. The event goes from noon until midnight.
Dave Masud, manager at Jub Jub’s, has organized Skate Jam for the last six years—but the vision began for him back in 1997 when he was 12 years old. He says he went to a skate and music event at the Reno Livestock Events Center, and it changed his life.
“Murphy’s Law was headlining, and they let me come up and play drums with them,” Masud said. “I was so stoked on it.”
Since then, he’s Venn Diagrammed himself within the skate and punk rock scenes here in Reno. He and his friends began building their own skate ramps, including a half-pipe they’ve been bringing to Black Rock City for their theme camp called Voted Best Camp.
Now, every winter, Masud and friends bring a bunch of lumber to the back of Jubs Jub’s and cobble together a temporary skate park for their own event.
“We have a six-foot quarter pipe, two smaller quarter pipes and a wedge ramp,” said Masud. “The middle feature has been a curved rail [in the past], but we’ve been talking about doing something a little more interesting for the middle this year.”
The event features competitive age brackets for those 6 years old and up. The main event is later in the afternoon. Winners take home prizes from Suffix Skateboarding, a Nevada skate apparel company, and Carson City Wheelhouse, a skate shop in Carson City.
Headlining are punk rock groups M.D.C., Verbal Abuse and The Elected Officials. Thirteen bands total are playing back-to-back on the main stage. Music will continue late into the night in the front room for those who are 21 and older.
“I think skateboarding and punk rock have kind of been going hand in hand for a long time,” said Zach Ryan, guitarist and singer for the Reno band Donkey Jaw, which will perform at the event for the third time. “It’s really cool for everybody. It’s more of a family event than a typical night club type of show.”
Ryan said Donkey Jaw has always had an interest in punk music and skateboarding. At this event, the bandmates look forward to sharing their music with kids who might not get into it otherwise.
“I think personally think that’s the best part—seeing the little rippers get out of their comfort zone with the loud music and people watching them laugh and pump each other up,” said Jossue Molina, a past competitor and representative from Suffix Skateboarding. “It gets the older guys pumped up, too.”