Snowboarding in August: Women compete in Supergirl Jam at Venice Beach
The weather on Venice Beach was typical for a Sunday afternoon in August: The sun was out, there was a slight breeze, the thermometer registered 74 degrees. So, naturally, it was the perfect day for snowboarding.
In a patch on the boardwalk amid wandering tourists and crispy beach bums, a snow-capped mountain had been erected out of scaffolding, plywood and massive bricks of ice chipped into a wintry powder. It was built just for the day for the Supergirl Jam, a women’s competition in snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing.
Athletes came from throughout Southern California and as far away as the Czech Republic for the fifth annual event, which is designed to help close the gender gap in action sports long dominated by men.
"The girls were always peripheral to the overall experience," said Rick Bratman, chief executive of ASA Entertainment, the company that produces the contests.
"It was time to have a platform for the girls that was all about them."
Most of the two dozen who took part were actually women in their 20s, not girls.
They flew down the two-story-high slope (which didn’t take long to resemble a Slurpee). On the skateboard course, they ollied, they grinded, they did moves that could make a mother cringe. This was their chance to show off what they could do, and perhaps inspire some of the younger girls in the audience.
-- Rick Rojas