Girls on Shred skateboarding clinics set for Aug. 9-14
Last updated 7/30/2021 at 6:49am
Editor’s note: This version corrects the connection between Montana Pool Service and Evergreen Skateparks.
Girls on Shred, a division of The Montana Skatepark Association, will be hosting noncompetitive skateboarding clinics including in Havre and Big Sandy and on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation for girls and nonbinary people to learn to skate.
Clinics will be held at skateparks in Lincoln and Great Falls Aug. 9, Big Sandy Aug. 10, Box Elder Aug. 11, Havre and Malta Aug. 12, Shelby and Browning Aug. 13 and Whitefish Aug. 14.
Girls on Shred Executive Director Samantha Veysey Gibbons said in an email exact times for the clinics have not been announced.
Veysey Gibbons said all volunteers are vaccinated for COVID-19 and masks and hand sanitizer will be provided.
"We took 2020 off from skateboard events and decided to use our funding for the canceled clinics to buy folks in need of gear to continue their skateboard progression during the pandemic. It was a joyous occasion when we finally hosted our first skateboard clinic this summer. We really missed meeting new people and sharing our collective love for skateboarding," she added.
Veysey Gibbons said the clinics, which have always been free, are laid back, and organizers try to create an inviting and friendly space for all participants.
"We provide extra skateboards, padding, and helmets to those who don't have their own, so if you're planning on attending all you'll need are sole-toed shoes and some water to stay hydrated. We have volunteers to help give advice to those that want it, however most of our events end up feeling more like a skate jam than an official clinic," she continued.
After first holding snowboarding clinics for women in west central Montana in 2010, the MSA website says Girls on Shred began holding skateboarding clinics as well in 2015.
"We started in 2010 as a carefree non-competitive snowboard event that happened once a year at Montana Snowbowl. Over the years we added on more and more snowboard and skateboard clinics, mostly around Missoula and at Lost Trail Ski Area," Veysey Gibbons said.
"We became a non-profit under the Montana Skatepark Association in 2019 where we've been able to flourish into a more official organization and have access to more fundraising, allowing us to host events all around the state and the (Pacific Northwest). Our goal is to empower female and non-binary people through boardsports," she continued.
Veysey Gibbons said Girls on Shred is working with Montana Pool Service to make the first Girls on Shred skateboard decks, the designs which Veysey Gibbons said are being printed on skateboards this week.
Montana Pool Service works with Evergreen Skateparks to develope skateparks for communities across Montana.
Veysey Gibbons said Jeff Ament of the band Pearl Jam has helped Girls on Shred a ton over the last few years, especially with gear donations for Girls on Shred to use and give away at its events. Girls on Shred and Jeff Ament's Army are divisions of the Montana Skatepark Association.
Ament, who grew up in Big Sandy and now lives in Missoula, has been an avid skateboarder since his teenage years and has helped build multiple skateparks including in Big Sandy, Rocky Boy, Havre and Hays. Ament and Montana Pool Service recently came to Havre to clean graffiti off the Havre skatepark.
Starting in 2000, the Montana Skatepark Association has been providing support, consulting and funding for Montana communities looking to expand recreational opportunities. The association website says it is 100 percent volunteer-based and all the money it receives is spent on building skateparks and skateboarding communities.
Veysey Gibbons said the easiest way to stay connected with Girls on Shred is to follow @GIRLSONSHRED on Instagram. She said people not on social media can email [email protected] with any questions.