The Lithuanian skate scene is definitely unheard of, although it has so much to offer. As a Lithuanian girl skater myself, who has migrated from home almost a decade ago, going back to see such an immense difference to the UK makes me want to bring more awareness to it. I go back every year to see new skaters growing into amazing little shredders. Constantly out in the streets and rough wooden parks, where transition is pretty much non-existent. The last few years has seen a lot more improvement, with a new park opening up in the capital city Vilnius by the name of Core Indoor, being managed by the most passionate and lovely guys from 14 Skateshop and Commune DIY, as well as more concrete parks!
The first concrete park opened up last year in the sea resort of Klaipeda, followed by one in the small town of Moletai, and now the long waited plans for Vilnius plaza too! Lithuania is waking up, allowing skateboarding to grow and catch up with the rest of the Baltic States and Europe!
Helena Long | Frontside Ollie
As a woman myself, going back home for a skate trip three years ago and still being a beginner was extremely hard. Wooden parks that have been built by non-skaters, being the only girl, which was still very intimidating at the time, and amazing yet sketchy street spots that I wasn’t good enough to skate. It made me realise how much the UK has to offer for skateboarding and it definitely made me appreciate this community and lifestyle more. In the whole of Lithuania, I knew only myself and Akvile Magicdust from Vilnius as the only Lithuanian girl skaters, whereas the UK girl scene was growing so rapidly! Constantly going back a few times a year to skate and see if the girl scene is at all growing, I have been noticing more girls appear at parks or chilling at skate spots. This is where the idea to host the first girl skate jam in Lithuanian History came about.
Audrone Bruckute | 5050
Akvile Magicdust | Axle Stall
The absolute legend Einius Ziukas, the official organiser of the whole jam at Kablys Skatepark, Vilnius, told me about the idea and I thought, inviting women from the UK to fly out with me could inspire and show how well we can support each other in skateboarding. Gathering Helena Long, Georgie Violet, Sylvia Witter, Holly Bloomfield and Jessica Winter for this trip into the deep cold winter of Lithuania came out to be unbelievably fun. Helena grabbing the first place, a fellow Lithuanian living in Spain, Dominika Sudziute taking second and Julija Vinciunaite in third! Julija especially hasn’t even been skating for a year and was being taught by the guys at Core Indoor and she did amazingly at the jam and tried her absolute hardest!
Julija Vinciunaite | Axle Stall
How did you enjoy the first girl jam in Lithuanian History?
“Everything was great, hopefully that keeps carrying on and that more skate events in Lithuania involve women. As there were only 3 Lithuanian girls and a lot more from the UK, it really shows that women skateboarding in Lithuania is extremely small! The whole vibe and the hype of the event was definitely amazing; it was fun to support other women during the jam and realise that the support was definitely stronger than between men, maybe because it wasn’t as competitive. It was a lot of fun to just to be able to ride with other women. Can’t wait until I can do this all over again, just this time with more girls and warmer weather!”
Dominika Sudziute | Kickflip
How do you think organising the first Girl Skate Jam in Lithuanian History is going to improve and inspire women's skateboarding to grow?
“Lithuania’s first girl Skate jam just happened and I’m super excited about it! Girls from all around Lithuania, UK and Spain showed support for the Girlscanskatejam. Five years ago we started organising annual Skate jams for kids and today we can proudly say that the whole idea really worked out. It is time to grow the girls skate community too! A lot of people in Lithuania still think that skateboarding isn’t for girls and we really want to break such a stereotype. It’s not about competing of course, the main idea was to bring as many girl skaters as possible to one place, have a little skate demo and an overall fun weekend! Let the first event be the right start for the future growth of Lithuania’s girl skate community!”
Bringing girls over from the UK to Lithuania for the Girlscanskate jam definitely gave more of an idea to Lithuanian woman of how supportive they can be of each other. Helena Long especially, being sponsored by Vans Europe, Santa Cruz and Route One, showed that women can skate and do it well if they keep at it - Helena even showed the boys how it’s done!
The future looks bright for Lithuania, with more girl jams being organised this coming Spring/ Summer when the new plaza opens up in Vilnius. Hopefully even more skaters abroad will decide to head here for their skate trips. Daryl Dominguez visited in September 2018 and is planning to visit again. He hyped up the locals to a massive level and showed that the spots that have never been seen outside of Lithuania are definitely worth skating, and hopefully there will be more of this seen in the future for skaters abroad. The whole skate community in Lithuania, especially crews such as Fully Ghetto Crew definitely show how supportive, friendly and welcoming they are for anyone visiting, and especially for the growth of girls wanting to take up skateboarding themselves. Let this be a big year of improvement and growth for Lithuania’s skateboard community!
Fully Ghetto's A Needle in the Heist Video