KETCHUM, Idaho, February 5, 2004 — On January 28th Smith Opticsco-sponsored the first annual High Roller Rail Jam at the Hard RockHotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The event brought out top rail riders whocompeted in a jam format for $5000 in cash, plus $500 in gaming chips.
Two days after the Men’s Superpipe event at the XGames in Aspen, theSmith athletes found themselves rollin’ dice in the parking lot of theHard Rock. For the first time ever, the venue was filled with shaved iceand a giant platform was erected complete with 19 stairs, ledges on bothsides and a rail in the middle. The judging panel consisted of some ofthe top names in snowboarding including Paavo Tikkanen, Mikey LeBlancand Joel Mahaffey to name a few. They watched as the 32 riders warmed upand the crowd grew to over 2000 spectators.
Within a few hours the field was cut in half and the riders drew from ahat and went head-to-head against one another to move into the nextround. Smith pros including Scotty Arnold, Eddie Wall, Travis Kennedyand Jimmy Tomer, among others, threw down multiple variations of tricksonto the ledges and rails. The field quickly thinned out as the riderswere eliminated after each round. The final match consisted of Smith’svery own Eddie Wall going up against Simon Chamberlain. The two battledit out for the next half hour getting their exercise running up and downthe stairs to get in as many runs as possible. Wall killed it on therail pulling tricks like backside 270 lipslides.
The heated battle made the final decision difficult for the judges. TheHigh Roller Rail Jam concluded with both Wall and Chamberlain deadlockedfor first place. The riders split the $5000 purse and each walked awaywith $500 in Hard Rock playing chips, as well as a stay in the hotel’spresidential suite, which comes complete with its own bowling alley.Both snowboarders will also be featured in their very own memorabilia”display box inside the Hard Rock. It will include their gear, picturesand continuous footage of the event so everyone will get a chance to geta glimpse of the action.
In addition to Smith, the High Roller Rail Jam was co-sponsored by DVS,Planet Earth, City Boardshop, The Park at Bear Mountain and the BudLight Beer Garden and was presented by Burton. Look for the event to gooff again next year.