Rowan Skateboarding Club’s Spring Skate Jam: A fusion of music, skating, & community

"The park is now evolving into a skate community larger than what it started as, with skaters coming all the way down from New York just to skate at Rowan." - Arts & Entertainment Editor / Al Harmon.

As the Rowan Skateboarding Club continues to grow, its events become more successful. The Rowan Skatepark welcomes more additions of ramps as each skate jam comes to the courts. The club held its first outdoor event of the year, titled “Spring Skate Jam,” which took place at the Rowan skate courts from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. with multiple bands lined up for the event, including Kimmie, Shark Earrings, LVNA, Fair Game, and DJ Cheesecake. For skaters who wanted a challenge, they could enter in the trick contest that commenced at 3 p.m. 

The event’s purpose was to continue the club’s mission of giving space to skaters who have any sort of experience with skateboarding, it is an inclusive area for all of Rowan’s neighboring communities. The Garden Skate Project returned for the third time to cosponsor the skate jam, and this time they created a fundraiser to raise $150 for the skateboarding club that could keep two of the company’s obstacles. Micheal Kuzma and Donald Hunt who are the co-owners of the company, were able to give away these obstacles because they see a skating community that can grow even larger than what it has become. 

“Essentially, they brought a mini ramp, which was cool, but it was a mini ramp in bad shape. No one had the heart to throw it out so they brought it to Rowan,” Hunt said. “And obviously, if no one’s got the money or the time or to know how to keep up on it, it starts, you know, looking bad.” 

The park is now evolving into a skate community larger than what it started as, with skaters coming all the way down from New York just to skate at Rowan. The Spring Skate Jam also has an impact on bands as well, as they take time off their schedule to perform at these events. One of them is Kimmie, a new band started by four music industry majors for their senior capstone project. 

“I had to record, produce, and market us and will most likely continue to do so as we grow. We have two singles on Spotify and one more coming out on April 19 at midnight,” said Carly Hulse, the bass player of the band. “We were proud of our first performance and surprised at the amount of support we got from the community. All of our stickers and shirts sold out!” 

An artist that goes by the name “DJ Cheesecake,” also known as Tyler Froio, performed at the Spring Skate Jam event, hoping to help Matthew Millroy, the president of the Rowan Skateboarding Club, fill the band lineup. 

“There was an empty spot on the lineup and Matt was looking for one more person to fill it so I hit him up right away,” said Froio. “I loved the turnout. It was so sick, there were skaters from all over Jersey, the Rowan courts don’t usually get a lot of recognition in the local skate scene, so it was nice to see so many people coming out to have a good time.”

The Garden Skate Project also had reached out to another possible sponsor, Community Skateboards, which was created to bring its quality products to South Jersey. They helped sponsor the last skate jam event back in the winter. The group hopes to continue being involved with the Rowan Skateboarding Club and is in talks to sponsor the next skate jam in the fall. For Matthew Millroy, this event will only continue to grow in the size of the community and the different obstacles that could be possibly donated to the skate courts. 

“With this skate jam, we had much more support from local businesses and bands as our last event got the word out about the club being back up. It was super successful! Lots of people showed up and we got two new pieces in the skate park,” said Millroy. 

Kuzma stated that a family who had never even been to Rowan came by to skate, and it showed the inclusivity at the courts when more expert skaters moved out of the way for little kids to join. Plans for the next skate jam are already underway, according to the sponsors and the Rowan Skateboarding Club. 

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