Steve Taylor and Brad Domke travel to Bama Jam

By Steve Taylor

On Saturday, November 13th, Exile Skimboards and Blonde John’s Surf Shop in Gulf Shores, Alabama put on the first annual Bama Jam. Blonde John’s shop owner Johnny McElroy organized the contest and hyped up the local crew of Bama boys, and Steve Taylor of Exile Skimboards lined up top pro Brad Domke to come out to the event to showcase some of Exile’s most raw talent. A big thanks to Foreverskim’s Derek Makekau and Elliot Stone who made the two hour drive from Ft. Walton Beach to support the event and pile up some video footage. Competitors traveled from Texas, Georgia, Florida, California, and all over Alabama to compete for Jam, Glass Mugs, Exile and Blonde John’s gear, but most of all, pride. This was my first trip to Alabama, and it won’t be the last. The people there won me over immediately. Brad and I were greeted by mullets, mustaches and open arms at the airport and the hospitality and graciousness never ceased. We were overwhelmed with smiles, good vibes, and great spirits. The folks from Alabama will treat you like family and you’ll wish you never had to leave.

We arrived at the beach Saturday morning and were instantly stoked to see knee to thigh high liners gracing the shores. Winds were light, and the mood on the beach was pure stoke. Johnny did a killer job setting up the contest area with the help of his wife, shop employees and riders, and then went on to run the entire event as well as announcing most of it. Johnny had everything locked in, running the youngest division first before the tide push, and filling in time between divisions with some Professional demo time using the Grinch Winch. The level of riding in Alabama is second to none. The locals know their break very well, and their technical riding is on par with top amateur riders and many professionals worldwide. Johnny ran a double elimination format where everyone would be guaranteed to skim at least twice. I love this format, it takes the pressure off of the competitors that are possibly just starting to compete in contests, and makes the entire day more enjoyable for everyone.

The Day finished up with the 17 and up division semi-finals and final heat. Both semi-finals could have easily been a final at any contest around the world. Every rider showed the ability to be able to win the thing, but in the end it was local hero Zac Belmonte taking the win, and making Bama proud. Zac battled against friend, local rider and Blonde John’s employee Colton Wallace, who earned himself a sponsorship from Exile Skimboards through his solid riding, and extreme devotion to skimboarding in the area and the level of support he puts into his local shop and skimboarding in general. It was an emotional award ceremony, an emotional evening, and what seemed to be tears of pride were seen on a few faces. Chris Brown and Andrew Hollingsworth rounded up the final with solid technical riding, but Zac’s Korrupt flip was unbeatable during those last 10 minutes of the day. The miles of coastline in Alabama are low, but the amount of heart, soul and love for skimboarding that flow from the area amount to as much if not more love for the sport than just about anywhere. A huge thanks to Exile and Blonde John’s Surf Shop, all of the Alabama skim scene, and all those that traveled to the contest. It was an unbelievable trip, and we’ll be back again to do it even bigger!

Full Results:

8 & UNDER
1ST COLE PORTER
2ND SEAN TURNER

9-12
1ST JOHN PAUL HUGHES
2ND SHLEDON SMITH
3RD BRODIE WILIKINSON
4TH CHASE PORTER

13-16
1ST TYLER HARRISON
2ND HADEN HOPKINS
3RD RANDON MOORE
4TH HARRISON BUTLER

17 & UP
1ST ZAC BELMONTE
2ND COLTON WALLACE
3RD CHRIS BROWN
4TH ANDREW HOLLINGSWORTH

Photos by Sam Sumlin and Marissa Rabalais Turner

Comments

comments

4 Comments

  1. Kerrupt flip* ūüėČ

    Posted by Alan Harris on 21 November 10 at 9:44pm [Reply]
    • i freakin spell that wrong every time

      Posted by steve taylor on 21 November 10 at 11:29pm [Reply]
  2. SICK ARTICLE, THANKS FOR THE LOVE! BIGGER AND BETTER. FLORIDAS GOT THE ORANGES BUT BAMA’S GOT THE JUICE!

    Posted by johnny on 22 November 10 at 10:52am [Reply]
  3. We can’t wait for the next one! Johnny and Lori put on a great show. We drove over from Louisiana so our 7-year-old could be a part of this. Colton and all the riders got him stoked about skimming over the summer and he’s totally hooked now. What a great bunch of people! If you haven’t been to Gulf Shores to meet the Blonde John’s family, you’re missing out!

    Posted by Marissa on 22 November 10 at 7:16pm [Reply]

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