The Third Annual U.S. Open Rail Jam

I’ve witnessed plenty of rail jams in my day. Let me tell you, this was the burliest one ever. It may have been a lil’ too heavy. The course had seven different rails and ledges to attack and nearly every one of them was five to seven feet tall. Ya’ heard? Overhead! On top of the daunting size of said obstacles, snow conditions were obscene. It wasn’t a particularly cold night on the East Coast, but the West Coast rarely experiences concrete conditions of even the warmest Vermont night. It was ridiculously firm out. I’ll lend an example here: Shaun White dropped in and fell on his first attempt, sprained his back and ultimately flew home the next morning. White’s no sissy-boy either, it was rock hard.

An hour-long jam format allowed riders to ease into the setup at hand. It was a game of survival, after all—really—except for Chris Rotax. This guy is mental and started chucking onto the highest ledge straight out the gates, eventually landing his backside 450-on and taking the SoBe Sick Trick Award and $2,500. Rotax is either very, very confident or supremely stupid—either way, very proud of him! While we’re on the topic of super-hero stunts, TJ Schneider pulled his amazing “gap all the obstacles diagonally to tail slap on the farthest rail trick. I’ve seen him perform a similar maneuver in the past … it’s still beyond me. The boy’s sure tough for an Emo kid.

Eddie Wall was the model of consistency—well, except for that one time he fell and the Ice Coast removed half of his face. Eddie’s win appeared fairly undramatic. He methodically picked off each obstacle with carefully chosen, well-executed maneuvers. Hey, the best make it look easy, and he crept right into first place, ten-thousand dollars richer! Runner up and Vermont local Yale Cousino threw mad combos and landed many tricks—he was amping for a well deserved second place. Third place went to little Jed Anderson of Calgary, Alberta. At just thirteen, he was schooling some serious players, and damn if that ledge didn’t look twice as tall with a mini-grom perched on it. Zach Leach did his usual smooth-ass Smithy, or “Leach slide things … he looked stylish but kept it low-tech. Danny Davis! Wow! This kid is out of hand. Remember the name. He blew up at the Open this year. Newcomer Lukas Magoon was so close to greatness, but couldn’t quite hold his tricks together—much talent. Danny Kass can’t win everything, I guess.

To willfully step toward these rails was pretty heavy. The women went for it and many got served. Susi Davis got broke off bad and kept seshin’. Alexis Waite won the SoBe Sick Trick Award and $2,500 with a sick five-0 down the ledge. Leanne Pelosi continued to win every rail jam she enters. Don’t hate, Leanne payed to play and got wrecked a couple of times—refusing to slow down. Hana Beaman was smooth. Spencer O’Brien and Marie-France Roy both got after it. Nobody went to the emergency room—it was awesome!

1. Eddie Wall
2. Yale Cousino
3. Jed Anderson
4. Sylvain Beauchesne
1. Leanne Pelosi
2. Hana Beaman
3. Spencer O’Brien
4. Marie-France Roy