Acid Ramp Attack – NZ’s First Invitational Jam Comp

by Marta
Roller Skater Rose airing in a concrete bowl

Acid Ramp Attack is an invitational jam competition that showcases some of the best skateboarders and roller skaters in New Zealand. In terms of roller skating it is the first event of its kind in the country and it is all-gender inclusive. CIB team rider Rose Crooks is the one responsible for the quad part of the competition. In this interview they talk about the idea and their thoughts on why this is possible in such a small community while we do not see many roller skate competitions in other countries so far. Acid Ramp Attack will take place on Sunday, August 1st, 11am-2.30pm NZ time. It will be streamed on the CIB Crew Instagram page.

Rose, you said this will be the first invitational roller-skating event of its kind in New Zealand. How did this come into existence as the comp was a skateboarding event prior and they are usually kind of exclusive.

I have organised some free entry events with intermediate categories in the past, however this is the first invitational event for roller skating. Invitations have been sent to NZ best skaters that were selected by their results previous events and content online. We recognise that some skaters don’t post online much, so non-selected skaters will have the opportunity to gain one of 3 wildcard entries in the open jam session pre-comp.

In terms of skateboarding exclusivity, I have generally felt supported by comp organisers and brands in NZ and have been approached to skate demos in comps such as Bowlzilla and the NZ Vert series. I think NZ is very grass roots by nature of its size and works to help each other. Ant from Acid Skate (the other main comp organisers) offered us the opportunity to collaborate and utilize the pop-up ramps constructed for the yearly Acid Skate Jam. Thus, the CIB X ACID ROLLER RAMP ATTACK was born.

How did you develop a community that works to include everyone?

I have been skating for 4-5 years now. When I started skating there were not many skaters in NZ. I learnt to skate with and from skateboarders of all ages. However, I often felt intimidated at the park being the only visible roller skater/ lgbtq+. I found that this was a barrier to me skating at times. I wanted to help people to feel comfortable and take up space. I started to hold regular meet-ups and organise competitions. My goal was to create a space where skaters not only exist but are comfortable and inspire each other! I am always looking for ways to do things better and have learnt a lot along the way. I look to encourage people to make connections and have fun.

acid ramp attack poster

Tell us a bit about the quad competition: How will  Acid Ramp Attack look like?

The competition will be set up in a jam format. A jam lasts 4 minutes and skaters take turns to do a run where they gain points for tricks, style, difficulty, originality, and flow. Skaters get about three runs per jam, depending on time. The skaters with the highest scoring runs progress to the next round. We also have a best trick competition to be determined by the crowd while the judges deliberate. We also have an open jam session pre and post comp where everyone is encouraged to skate.
All genders and age groups are invited to compete in the open division. However, I decided to add a juniors section so a wider range of young skaters could compete. All junior skaters will be given the option to enter the open category. My goal was to allow young skaters the freedom to choose for themselves where they felt most comfortable without excluding them.
I have invited 15 open skaters and 8 junior skaters to compete in the competition. I will be allowing for 3 wild card spots to be allocated in the pre-comp free skate jam. Spectators are free and we encourage skaters and non-skaters to come watch.
Thanks to our sponsors we have some awesome prizes! CIB is the main sponsor and has donated t-shirts, wheels, bags, hats, etc. for winners. To add to the prizes, we have had generous donations from Brunny Hardcore, Shred City, Chuffed Skates, and S1 Rollerskate. We also have a cash prize and Yeah Gnar skateboards have helped make some awesome trophies!

CIB buddies Lady Trample and Rose Crooks have been working towards growing the roller skate community for years. (Photo: @tonymckaystudios)

What makes you most excited about this event? What good will competitions do for the scene?

I’m really excited for this event as it is the first of its kind in NZ. I feel that showcasing the best skaters from all around NZ is a good opportunity to inspire each other and those watching. Roller skating is so awesome as it crosses so many genres from artistic, disco, derby, and aggressive! I think it’s important to showcase what is possible for other skaters. The Acid X CIB comp will also help bring skaters together. NZ is small but quite separated. Comps allow skaters the opportunity to connect, share tricks, and learn from each other. We will also be facilitating an open jam session before and after the comp where competitors and spectators alike are encouraged to skate and learn from one another in a casual setting.

NZ is a bit off the beaten track for us over here. Tell the rest of the world how the quad scene has developed over the past years? Maybe also compared to Australia where you lived for a while? 

The New Zealand Skate scene had definitely changed a lot since I first started skating! I never saw another quad skater at the park unless one of my friends finally gave into my nagging and joined me. Now I seem to see a new skater every time I’m at the park! I think we still have a while to go with building community. Because NZ is so small and therefore there are less skaters, I think it’s hard to keep the momentum going over time.
In comparison to Melbourne, NZ has far fewer skaters, events, and skateparks. NZ is also quite difficult to get around on public transport or bike so you need to have a car to get to most spots. This is why events like these are so important to help tie the community together and allow skaters to actually exist in the same space! Melbourne has a lot to offer in terms of skateparks and accessibility. Most parks are easy to cycle to or catch a tram to. This allows a level of accessibility that NZ does not have. Melbourne also is a much bigger city with a lot more skaters. There are so many initiatives happening from skate groups to businesses, such as Brunny Hardcore, that are just not quite viable in a small place like NZ.
In saying that, some pretty great things have happened here recently. Our skaters and supporters have worked to facilitate comps like the Valonia Skate Jam, The Mt Vert Jam, meetups, learn to skate programs and more. Small communities like ours work in NZ because we are willing to give each other a hand which is pretty sick!

Interview by Marta Popowska
Top image: Jean Pierre Guillotin

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