Sasha La Rochelle


Strawberry Bowl Bash 2003
—The Girls Jam
By Sasha La Rochelle

You'd think at an altitude of about six thousand feet, people would be huffing and puffing just to walk up the hill. But no, here were dozens of skaters ripping this awesome pool to shreds with no signs of slowing down.

Kim Peterson                          photo Nicole La Rochelle

The Strawberry Bowl Bash just keeps growing in popularity year after year and Heckler Magazine once again threw a great one in the little town of Strawberry on Highway 50, about 30 miles east of South Lake Tahoe. I'm glad I got to actually make the contest this year. I tried last year, but had the flu and couldn't handle the flu + altitude to stay for the contest. This year I had a cold (what does my body do, plan these things?) but hung in there and had a great time watching everyone from 8 year old girls to super old schoolers like Duane Peters having a good ol time.

Friday being practice day was a free-for-all with plenty of sick lines being laid down by all. As I mentioned earlier Duane was just like the energizer battery bunny who just kept going and going and going pulling stuff no one else was and making it look easy. Some of the girls were able to get some practice in before it got too crowded later in the day and I was amazed by how good everyone is getting.

Heidi Fitzgerald                         photo Nicole La Rochelle

My fellow Gravity teammates Brad Edwards, Roger Milhalko, and Jessie Parker were there representing longboard pool skaters and flying all over the place. It's amazing what these guys can do. (Check out the Gravity video, FLOW).

EARLY Saturday morning, and I mean EARLY (as in before dawn) skaters were braving the freezing morning mountain air to get some seshing done before everyone got down to the pool. We left and went into South Lake for the morning and by the time we got back around 11 the place was packed. In a move of chivalry seldom seen these days, the ladies actually got to go first and MAJOR props to the announcer who made sure the guys actually let the ladies skate during their practice time. I almost fell over when I realized about 16 girls had showed for the contest. When does that ever happen? Major props to all the females who came out to skate.

Sasha La Rochelle                   photo Nicole La Rochelle

We were divided into two groups with each group having a 20 minute practice time and then an intro and exit run with a 30 minute jam in between. It turned out to be a bit of a snake session with some of the girls making their presence known every time they could, but for the most part was pretty cool.

The two little girls that had driven up from Folsom braved it out with the up-and-comers as well as the big name vert skaters. Some of the highlights were Kim Peterson destroying all over the coping and Heidi Fitzgerald making it look like she skates pools 24/7 with a big bag of tricks. Major props to Amber (who I've skated with at Novato) for making such big moves look so graceful and Rose Bernfeld who has gotten so much better since I first saw her skate last year, that I'm wondering what is next for this Gravity sponsored lady. The veteran pool queen Melissa Dafnos was obviously having a great time zooming around and one of the little girls I mentioned before did a little mini ramp run in the deep end.

Rose Bernfeld                               photo Nicole La Rochelle

All the girls skated so well, and there was such a big female presence, I was happy to be part of it. When all was said and done the results were:

Kim Peterson 1st, Jessica Starkweather 2nd, and Nicole Zuck 3rd. Major props to all the girls who showed and ripped. See ya next year!

Other Entrants:
Heidi Fitzgerald
Sasha La Rochelle
Sonja Caudill
Lexi Barclay
Amber Cangilose
Liz Brandenburg
Jessica Weese
Rose Bernfeld
Ginger McCabe
Maryjane Parrish
Caylen Dakin


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