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Plymouth Paradise: Rail Jam 2019

By Brianna Sinclair
On March 1, 2019

Students and participants slid their way down campus on Friday, February 15th for the 5th annual (and weather-permitted) Rail Jam event hosted by Plymouth State University’s Marketing Association, MAPS.

Rail Jam is an event created to laude our distinct snowboarding and skiing culture here on campus. Many students come from all over the country to enjoy PSU’s splendid spot at the foot of the White Mountains. Home to a variety of ski resorts such as Canon, Waterville Valley, or the nationally popular Loon, we have multiple options to please riders of all skills and interests.

These events which support this ski and snowboard culture of ours are getting bigger and better each year. So, it comes as no surprise that this year’s Rail Jam came along with a new expansion to perpetuate that growth. Hosted at the historic Biederman’s Cellar Pub, MAPS coined a pre-party event called Tickets to Paradise.

The pre-party, aptly named for the event's tropical theme, took place on the night before the competition. Including raffles for merchandise from local sports shops and craft breweries, such as Lahout’s Ski Shop in Lincoln, NH and Founders Brewing Company of Vermont, there was plenty to go around. One lucky contestant even got to walk home with a Founder’s branded snowboard.

Though the real fun didn’t begin until the next morning.

Located in its typical spot of the west bowl at the ALLWell Welcome Center and Ice Arena, the Plymouth Boarding and Free Ski club began setting up the course early that morning with various rails and jibs, provided this year by Waterville Valley Ski Resort.

Featuring a rainbow rail, mushroom-jib, flat bar, box, corrugated cannon-to-rail, and a roughly 6-foot tall kicker—which was a popular choice by many of the riders—there was plenty of opportunity for participants to showcase their skills to the judges with this year’s course.

As the morning went on and the crowds and riders trickled in and the energy began to rise. Many, complying with the tropical theme of the year, were well suited for the occasion by being dressed in some hysterical tropical regalia.

Starting at 12 p.m. with the women’s combined heat, the snowboarders and skiers began to bring the rowdiness of Plymouth State that we all know so well—the Monster Energy pop-up tent probably played its part in that as well.

The event went off with a blast, and almost literally. Many riders took to the popular kicker throwing tricks sky high that didn’t seem possible from a jump of its caliber. There were lots corks and spins being hucked that day as the crowds cheered the contestants on.

The judges seemed to take much interest in the most airtime held. Yet, those who really made an impression were the ones who took to be the most technical. They kept shouting for more and more technical lines in exchange for points.

In the end, we were fortunate to see no injuries of any contestants. Everyone in the crowd got to cheer their friends and enjoy the diverse riding talent of many PSU riders for yet another year.

The judge’s final scores placed Kenzie Hoover of the women’s combined heat, David Baird of the men’s ski heat, and Cole Mitchie of the men’s snowboard heat as the first-place participants.

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