Hello Hello. Stephen @whataspoon here to talk about what a great success the recent Capital Rollas competition was. The LDN Jam, which took place at Baysixty6 Skatepark in London on the 26th of August 2023, is an annual event that brings many UK skaters and beyond to London to compete for a large prize pot. This year the prize money was bigger than ever with first place in the pro event winning £1000. This was open to men and women but in addition to this they even included a separate prize pot for the women's competition that took place before the pro event. It's really nice to see that the guys at Capital Rollas are really pushing for women to have more opportunities to win cash prizes at their events. They also had an open competition for anyone over 17 and a seperate under 17s competition for those who wished to battle it out for some prizes along with a small cash for tricks event on certain obstacles in the skatepark. Let's dive deep into who Capital Rollas are, what they get up to and what actually went down at the LDN Jam 2023.
Who are Capital Rollas?
Capital Rollas is not some huge company with lots of staff and funding. It is simply two London locals who wish to bring the community together to experience the best of skating in the area. Jamie Harris and Blake Bird have been in the London skating scene for many years and know exactly who to talk to if they want to get prizes or promotion for an event so they are definitely the best guys for the job. They do also have a team of skaters who promote what they do through wearing their signature clothing items with the iconic Capital Rollas x London Underground logo on there along with sharing video sections and instagram posts tagging Capital Rollas. I asked Jamie how the brand came about and he let me know that "Capital Rollas as a concept started in 2001 on the back of a napkin but me and Blake turned it into an events and community organisation in 2015". You can check them out on IG here.
Previous Events organised by Capital Rollas
I have attended a few of the events that the guys have organised, over the years, in the capital city of England. They have various types of competitions that have taken place which gives a variety of skaters interest to travel to London to take part. Not only do they hold skatepark jams at Baysixty6 but they have also held street events in the past as well as an event in a DIY skatepark in Hackney a few years back. At all of the events I have been to, Blake and Jamie have built obstacles specifically for the events that were taking place. And yes, that does mean that they had to drag a homemade grind ledge out into the streets of London. They both search vigorously for sponsors to support the events with prizes and cash to which they honour by thanking the brands throughout the day on the megaphone and also by spraying the brand logos on some of the obstacles that are created for the events. This goes a long way for the people taking part. They know that there is some serious gear and cash to be won, so the skating usually goes off!
Another really cool thing that Capital Rollaz does at all of their events is the raffle at the end. To generate more prize money for the winners, Jamie and Blake ask the sponsors to donate equipment, clothing and more so that they can be given out as part of a raffle after the winners have been announced. When you arrive at the competition as a spectator or rider you can purchase as many raffle tickets as you like for your chance to win some goodies.
The LDN Jam 2022 was absolutely huge. This competition was timed perfectly with a tour that THEM skates were on in Europe so practically the whole team was in attendance. Jon Julio himself along with huge names like Alex Broskow, David Sizemore, Sean Darst, Danny Beer and more. Other than the THEM team we also had CJ Wellsmore, Alex Burston and Bobi Spassov absolutely killing it on the street course. It was amazing to see such huge riders showing off their skills in a skatepark that is perfect for a street style skatepark event. Bats On Wheels who organise Quad skating competitions also collaborated with the event so that they could host a quad competition in the mini ramp section of the skatepark. It was so great to see the two sports coming together for this.
The LDN Jam 2023
The LDN Jam 2023 took place on August 26th 2023. The park was jam packed full of skaters from all around the UK with a few international riders appearing as well. Some of the bigger names that were in attendance would be the likes of Julian Cudot, Bobi Spassov, Javi Garrido, Sam Crofts, Tom Barrio and many more. Jamie kickstarted the Jam with the under 17 heats where groups of around 5 riders would skate for 5 mins in a jam format to try and land as many of their best tricks as they could. A panel of judges would then give them points based on skill, difficulty and style. This was also the format used for all of the heats that followed. Next up was the open competition which was stacked full of amateur skaters from all over who wished to compete for prizes. After the open we had the women's qualifiers followed by the pros. As the heats were underway in the street section Bats On Wheels also had their own quad competition going on in the mini ramp again where some serious tricks went down. The Bats On Wheels events look like loads of fun as, just like our inline events, from the outside it just looks like a huge group of friends all having a big session together rather than competing against each other.
Whilst the judges were calculating who would have access to the finals, Blake was handing out cash for tricks on certain obstacles in the park. This was absolute madness as 50+ skaters would battle it out for money on one obstacle. Everyone who took part in this cash for tricks section was having such a laugh avoiding close collisions with other riders. It's moments like this that you really get to witness the sportsmanship that skating has. All the competitors motivate each other to do better which is beautiful to watch unlike some other sports where the competitors get heated and wish for their opponents to fail.
The finals started with the under 17s, followed by the open, then women and finally pro. These finals consisted of 5 minute jam sessions followed by a final trick performed by each rider. They would get three attempts to land their best trick with the whole park to themselves which is incredibly exciting to watch.
You can see some tricks from the pro finals below:
The pro final was won by Bobi Spassov with Julian Cudot in close 2nd and Dan Robinson in 3rd place. All of the pro riders did extremely well, landing some absolutely crazy tricks but Bobi had the edge when it came to consistency by landing more impressive tricks than everyone else. Cudot came very close as some of the tricks he was trying were absolutely ridiculous. This does make them harder to execute but he managed to get the landing on most of the tricks in his run to secure 2nd. Once the time had run out the competitors continued to try the tricks they had not landed yet which was a real crowd pleaser.
We at Slick's had donated a £300 voucher for the best trick winner which was won by Julian Cudot for his flair transfer over the entrance to the skate park. It was absolutely insane and can be seen in the IG video I mentioned above.
Congratulations to all of the winners throughout the whole competition and to Blake and Jamie for another successful event. We very much look forward to the next one. Be sure to follow Capital Rollas on IG to keep upto date with upcoming events in London.