The 2010 Louie Vito Rail Jam-December 26, 2010
Recap Courtesy of Mad River Mountain

Fresh off back-to-back half pipe first place victories on snowboarding’s world stage, Ohio’s own Louie Vito returned to his hometown of Bellefontaine this past weekend for his annual for-charity rail jam. With the Christmas holiday falling on Saturday this year and the upcoming events on Louie’s stacked competition schedule, event promoters had no choice but to hold the event on a Sunday, after a major Holiday. The major questions arose… Will the crowds show on a Sunday? The Day After Christmas? Once again the popularity of Central Ohio’s Snowboarder turned Hero shined through as the event drew a record crowd of over 700 loyal fans and 350 event participants.

Autograph Signing
Louie’s kind personality and generous nature are showcased at his autograph sessions. With the autograph signing scheduled to run from 2pm-3pm, the shear number of dedicated fans on-hand presented an issue. Louie enjoys taking time to talk to each fan one-on-one, pose for pictures, and wish each fan and rider the best of luck. We asked him how to handle the timing with the size of the crowd. He stated I want to stay right here until each of my fans has a chance to visit with me and receive and autograph. And that’s what he did. Not only did everyone leave with an autograph, but they all left with a smile on their face. A personality like this is why his popularity, events, and fan base have grown to level they are at now.

Rail Jam
Thanks to Ohio’s finicky weather, through the years, the event has seen all extremes in temperature, weather, and precipitation. This season was no different.  Snow fell for much of the morning and the wind whipped directly up the course the entire day. As the event began, the wind settled down and the snow let up, making for soft, fast snow… Optimum snow conditions for a rail contest.

Louie’s popularity truly transcends all ages. Of the 350 rail jam participants, half were under the age of 16. The park crew recognized the age gap and offered a rail and box line for the youngsters and at Louie’s request two round rails (3″ round 30′ down at 15 degrees,  3″ round 32′ down flat down at 12 degrees)  designed to separate the field for the judges and bring a definitive winner to the podium. After each age group competed in their respective 40 minute jam and 20 minute final jam sessions, the podium placement ended as follows

Boys Snowboard 10-13
1st- Eli Spears
2nd- Brandon Bishoff
3rd- AJ Acuri

Boys Snowboard 14-17
1st- Hayden Dillon
2nd- Andrew Tassel
3rd-Aaron Raines

Men Snowboard 18+
1st- Sam Collins
2nd- Ethan Weatherby
3rd- Kevin Sayler

Womens Snowboard
1st- Jen Cusick

Awards Ceremony
Following the Rail Jam, competitors headed for the warmth of the Lodge, the promise of free swag from Louie’s generous sponsors, and to see who would be crowned Winner of the 2010 LVRJ.  Upon entering Mad River Mountain’s “The Loft”, competitor’s walked into a party in progress as local rockers PDWK were on-stage, welcoming them in from the cold with covers of their favorite songs. The live show gave ample time for judges to tally their scores and the Vito family time to prepare the onslaught of awards, prizes, and freebies they were about to present to the eager crowd. Following the show, The Vito family and their supporting cast began showering the local snowboard community with more gifts than Santa brought the night before.  Louie’s sponsors provided over $25,000 in snowboards, skate decks, sunglasses, electronics, video game components, and many more quality products not normally seen at an event like this. Throughout the awards ceremony, the event ready Skratchmatik Crew added beats to keep the hype going until… the Man himself took the stage. The crowd roared to life, with outstretched arms, hoping to get anything, even a sticker from their favorite rider. Louie began showering the crowd with everything from stickers to goggles. He personally congratulated each and every contestant who was given a gift after their bib was drawn randomly from the box that would ultimately decide the Grand Prize winner of an all expenses paid trip to Windell’s Ski and Snowboard Camp at Mount Hood this upcoming Summer. Due to the number of gifts presented to the 350 contestants, a segway was in-order. Local Hip Hop MC Many Styles took to the Podium and Freestyled about his experiences that evening on the slopes and at the Rail Jam. This was new to the event and took the capacity crowd of over 500 by surprise.  When the crowd realized the snowboard specific lyrical combination was being performed live, they erupted with cameras and cell phones raised to catch a  recording of the Live Entertainment. After the catchy two song medley, attention was returned to the stage and ultimately the winner of the coveted Summer snowboarding trip and season pass to Mad River Mountain. This years event was full of changes and a start to many LVRJ event firsts that will live on in photos, videos, memories, and ultimately the schedule of next years highly anticipated LOUIE VITO RAIL JAM.

Thanks: Everyone Who Attended the Event, Everyone Who Helped With the Event, Monster Energy, Kicker, Vestal, Grenade, 686 Outerwear, Spy, Capix, Windell’s, 686, Nike 6.0, LV Snowboards, Rob Knight, Ryan Andreas Photography, Lost Nation, Skratchmatik, PDWK, Many Styles, The Park Crew and Most of All Louie and The Vito Family