As we rounded the corner of 14th and Broadway in blisteringly cold downtown Manhattan, we heard the Dingo’s familiar Aussie accent echoing off the surrounding high rises. Then came the floodlights, then the scaffolding the snow and an all-star lineup of snowboarding’s elite rail sliders, all out for that number one spot, and mostly that $15,000 oversized check. We, along with a crowd so big it could only be provided by the Big Apple itself, had arrived at the first ever Union Square Street Session Rail Jam. The setup consisted of a death defying flat down ledge affixed to and well above a Jeep Wrangler; a steep down rail with a Hubba ledge on one side and a regular down ledge on the other, the stair features also funneled into a gateway box in the flats. It seemed that the setup was maybe a bit “fat to flat for serious tech hammers, but riders were not deterred. The contest was underway by six and everyone got right to work, as DJ Steve Aoke pumped tunes into the hungry crowd.
The initial line-up of twenty-four contenders was whittled down to twelve, and then to the final six—Lucas Magoon, Pat Moore, Yale Cousino, Eddie Wall, Jeremy Cloutie, and Charles Reid. Charles came out of the blue with heavy moves like hardway 270s and a frontside 360 to 50-50 down the rail—what? New Hampshire’s son Pat Moore had front 180-180 off on the rail, backside 180s on the ledge, and a slew of other moves all squared up and sick PM style. Yale Cousino was not taking the easy way out (pun intended) with a hardway backside 270 to board, switch frontside 270 to front board, and frontside hardway 270 to switch front board.
The scene on-snow was comparable to a frenzied school of piranha feeding on some helpless animal that fell into the Amazon river, as riders were feeding off one another, getting nastier and nastier, figuratively tearing the stage to bits. Rail Jam aficionado, Lucas Magoon Son was far from an exception and came out swinging, with buttery front blunt 270s, nollie 5-0s, backside 180 nosepress on the ledge, a best trick contending nollie hardway back 180 to switch nosepress to regular down the rail, and a huge back tail 450 gap out over the Jeep. Eddie Wall was riding with sunrise like consistency, stomping everything bolts and 270ing on and off of everything in sight—namely back 270s on and off the rail, and on and off the Jeep. The finals were neck and neck to say the least, but in the end was Wall who took home the loot cakes. During the awards it was even announced that Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City, had officially pronounced February 8th “Street Sessions Day. Definitely one for the books, Its amazing to see dudes come through, adapt to any situation and step up the level of riding time and time again.
1. Eddie Wall
2. Lucas Magoon
3. Yale Cousino
4. Pat Moore
5. Jeremy Cloutie
6. Charles Reid
Best Trick: Lucas Magoon
MVP Hardest Charger Award: Charles Reid