After the success of the first Snowboard Jam Sessions in Davos in 1999, 2000 & 2001, many of the world’s best freestylers will travel again to the Swiss village in Graubünden to welcome in the New Year 2003. All the riders will anticipate another freestyle mega-fest.

The Ruler of the Night will get his Ticket to Ride for Terje Haakonsen’s Arctic Challenge at the end of the season where all winners of the best independent snowboard events will meet for the final show-down of the season (see press release Ticket to Ride Tour (TTR Tour) 2002-03). The total prize money adds up to ‚¬ 30.000.

The Jam is conceptualized, organized and presented by O’Neill pro, Swiss halfpipe ripper and big air meister Dani “Costi” Costandaché. The SB Jam provides a super-pipe, kickers, a corner and handrails for the likes of Daniel Franck, Switzerland’s Gian Simmen and Germany’s Xaver Hoffman.

The idea behind the Snowboard Jam Session is to provide the riders with an arena where they can ride hard and have fun – away from the pressures often associated with the international competitive circuit. The emphasis is on freedom of expression, without time pressure, a starting order or numbered bibs. The pros are not under any obligation to ride at particular times and the composition of their runs remains unrestricted by judging.

Two days before the main show, the pros are already sessioning and partying in true freestyle fashion. Highlights apart from the on-snow action include a costumed 70s party and autograph sessions. By the time the main event kicks off at 11:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, word has spread that an estimated 10.000 spectators show up to witness the snowboard spectacle.

New this year is an open qualification contest on 30th December. Everybody can inscribe, but the field will be limited to 100 riders. The invited pros are the judges. The top seven riders will be qualified for the big SB-Jam show on New Years Evening. Discipline is Superpipe/Slopestyle.

During the floodlit show, the pros are more than going for it. This is partly due to the increased size of the superpipe. A bigger pipe with bigger transitions means more speed and bigger air. Such big air, in fact, that this will be one of the best air shows in the snowboarding history again.

Germany’s Xaver Hoffmann thinks the jam format works for the riders: “The idea behind a jam session is to have a gathering of riders, of friends, and of friends-to-be, and just start riding together. From the first minute you ride together, it’s fun and you start pushing each other.

If I see Dani do a backside 720 I think, ‘I can’t do that better and I’ll try a fakie 900.’ Then he thinks ‘I’ll do a backside 900 with two grabs.’ That’s how everything develops in a jam session – you push each other. You can do a huge backside 360 and it might be better than a 900 with a sketchy landing. If you do an easy backside 360 with good style, people are going to look at it and go ‘Wow!’ That’s the jam session.”

The lack of judges means many riders try new tricks and inspire each other to go bigger and higher. Highlights at the show include the now-legendary Swiss tandem drop-in from Dani Costandaché and Gian Simmen.

Although the SB Jam is not a competition, the riders are asked to vote for the “Ruler of the Night” – the person who charges particularly hard at the show. The riders are extremely familiar with their colleagues’ style and tricks, so this means newly attempted or difficult tricks for a particular rider are taken into consideration. Style is extremely difficult to assess, but many peers are looking out for the rider who shows his versatility by going for it on every available take-off platform.

Gian Simmen has a definite criteria for the top spot: “I want to see the guy who rides everything – the jump into the pipe, the kicker into the pipe, the rails, just the kicker, just the pipe. The guy who will get my vote will be the guy who rides the most different line, does the bestt tricks and goes the biggest. For me, the most important thing is to ride everything because that’s what I think snowboarding is all about.”

After the show, the festivities continue with champagne, a sick party, fireworks and live DJ acts and bands. Despite riding and partying hard for three consecutive days before the show, the pro riders nevertheless manage to welcome 2003 in style – and the crowd loves it.

www.sb-jam.com: For more and everything about and around the O’Neill SB-Jam. Riders. Location. Program. News. Qualification. Idea, Concept & Formats. Press Section. Downloads. Gallery. Inscriptions. Party Tickets. Links. Ticket to Ride Tour. E-Mail Newsletter. Sound & Music. Online end of October.

ACCOMMODATION

Don’t miss the show and book your room with Fun Mountain Holidays. (Tel: +41.81.414.90.20, Fax:+41.81.414.90.21, E-mail: hotels@jakobshorn.chwww.fun-mountain.ch)

O’NEILL SILVESTER JAM PARTYThe best party in town. Reserve your tickets: Order on www.sb-jam.com or call the ticket hotline: +41.81.414.90.30, e-mail: events@jakobshorn.ch, entry fee: 17.- (CHF 25.-). –

QUALIFICATION CONTESTOpen contest for everybody. The pro’s are your judges. The field is limited to 100 riders. Discipline Superpipe/Slopestyle. The first 7 get a wildcard for the SB-Jam show with the pro’s and get a free room for 2 nights and free party tickets. Inscriptions only on www.sb-jam.com. Entry fee 30.- (CHF 44.-). The selected riders get their invitations before15th December 2002. Inscription deadline: 30th November 2002. Details on the www.sb-jam.com.PROGRAM

SUNDAY, 29-12-2002All day Arrival riders1200-1800 SB-Jam Village openBolgen/Jakobshorn

MONDAY, 30-12-20021000-1800SB-Jam Village openBolgen/Jakobshorn1100-1600Film & photo sessionsBolgen/Jakobshorn1400-1500Ride with the pro’s Bolgen/Jakobshorn1600-1700Training QualificationBolgen/Jakobshorn1700-1900Qualification contestBolgen/JakobshornSuperpipe/Slopestyle2100-2300Riders & VIP Party Bolgenschanze2300->> Open Party Bolgenschanze

TUESDAY, 31-12-2002

1000-0400SB-Jam Village openBolgen/Jakobshorn

1100-1600Film & photo sessionsBolgen/Jakobshorn

1600-1700Autograph session Bolgen/Jakobshorn

2200-2245Riders Warm-upBolgen/Jakobshorn

2300-2345O’Neill SB-Jam 2002-03 Bolgen/Jakobshorn

2355 Ruler of the Night Awards Bolgen/Jakobshorn

0000 Fireworks Bolgen/Jakobshorn

0000->> O’Neill Silvester Jam Party Bolgen/Jakobshorn

WEDNESDAY, 01-01-2003

1100-1600SB-Jam Village openBolgen/Jakobshorn

All day Freeriding & departure