Brooklyn, Vermont: Killington’s Urban Snowboard Festival

This was my kind of event. Although it began Friday night at eight with a rap show, the actual snowboarding portion of this year’s Urban/Ghetto Snowboard festival only took about an hour on Saturday. There’s really nothing better than being able to roll in around noon, leave at one, and not miss anything. But rewind for a second to the rap show.

Here’s something you don’t see everyday: a Wu Tang Clan member in Vermont. The GZA, or “what’s-his-name” as he was more commonly referred to, took the stage in Killington’s Snowshed base lodge. He, along with Xhibit, three white guys, and some other rap dudes were there to play for the audience of some of the state’s more ghetto inhabitants. Either that or the crowd was a bunch of yo-boy snowboarders in sideways visor beanies and Special Blend puffy coats.

The crowd’s general persuasion aside, at no point in time did any of the audience know who was on stage. This, and a rather lenient policy towards carding, made the bar upstairs the place to be. Here one could enjoy a DJ and a quality four year old snowboard video, as well as entertainment from the likes of Rahm Klampert, who’s table dancing antics were far more enjoyable than the kill-whitey dissonance downstairs.

As I said before, I’m not sure who was on the stage at any point in time, so after they cleared out the bar, I think I might have caught the GZA, but probably not. It seemed like the show was over, and anyway, I was in the mood for some ghetto snowboarding, so I figured if I went home and went to sleep, it would come faster. You might ask, what precisely makes snowboarding ghetto? Is it gold chains, sideways hats, the overuse of the word yo? Or is it the desire to ride to music provided by Brooklyn’s finest DJs? If Brooklyn, VT was any indication, it’s all of these things.

Even though the event didn’t carry a huge cash purse, the glory of being televised or even judges, its ghetto fabulous concept still attracted most of the east’s finest. Indeed, Brooklyn, Vermont was a virtual who’s who of East Coast snowboarding. By listening to Joel Muzzy announce, one could learn that Ross Powers, Adam Petraska, Rahm Klampert, Danny Kass, Ali Berntstein, Jaime Macleod and many others were in the mix. Although it was rumored that members of the elite Forum eight would be in attendance, the only rider on a Forum board was Zach Leach. Trevor Andrew was also rumored to show up, but instead there were four or so of his clones. Since some of them, such as Midwesterner Chris Runge proved to be pretty good, it’s okay to overlook their apparent lack of individual style. If snowboarding wasn’t your thing, DJ’s provided a soundtrack of beats, which were only slightly hindered when one of the speakers caught on fire. There were also models in skimpy clothing falling all over themselves trying to hike up the pipe.

Saturday morning was spent as a jam session including anyone who wanted to ride, from the top pros, to the jib kid with the 26-inch stance. Once the afternoon hit, and the sun was warm, it was announced that the “pro jam session” would begin.

Muzzy proclaimed, “If you’re not going above the fence, it’s time to come down and take a rest.” Of course, this caused no one to leave, and the pro session was very similar to the rest of the day. Still, those who were going off were doing it with style. Ross Powers consistently linked 12 foot airs and Rahm Klampert awed the crowd with his Michaelchuks, Jeremy Baye was no stranger to the jib box, but the real star of the day was Chris Runge, the only rider to attempt and stomp, a double back flip.

Since the event wasn’t judged, and no one won any prizes, I feel it’s my duty to decide the honors. If there were winners, it would look something like this:

1. Chris Runge
2. Ross Powers
3. Seth Wescott
4. Trevor Dunnett
5. Rahm Klampert