Center City Rail Jam

The Center City rail jam took over a quaint city street in lovely Burlington, VT on November 11th, 2005, bringing kids in snowboard gear to downtown for the fourth year in a row. Now you may have noticed Burlington’s other major snowboard event, the Fall Down was also in its fourth year, or maybe you didn’t. But I think that’s interesting, apparently the snowboard scene in Burlington is only four years old.

Anyway, the night rail jam event brought all that one would expect from a Northern Vermont rail jam. The usual suspects were there--Chris Rotax, Yale Cousino, Scott Stevens and a bunch of French Canadians. There were also two white rappers who did their best to scare people away from the official after party by hyping up their appearance there between songs.

The set up was a little more tech than in years past, and included not only the sketchy van with a box and rail, but a C box as well. With two separate drop-ins the action was pretty much non stop from the time the contest got rolling around seven, until the police department decided the event was too loud and ended it around 9:30.

The competition was invite only, which caused a bit of organizational mayhem from the ten or so riders who were “invited but whose names had mysteriously disappeared from the list. That mayhem continued into the qualifiers of the event. With riders coming from two sides, not to mention a ten-foot tall van with the flattest landing, ever, the near-carnage factor was high. Occasional collisions were common, but it took Killington rider Peter Ianocci to actually land on a bystander. And the gnar level was raised by Rotax and Cousino, who decided that even though the runway was barely big enough for one person, they’d do a doubles routine on the van. On their first attempt, Yale landed directly on top of Chris.

After about an hour, fifteen coveted bandanas were handed out, which garnered not only style points, but the privilege to keep riding. Although this was called the “finals it turned out to be just one of many finals that would ensue in the coming hour. After twenty minutes, bandanas were pulled from the dudes bringing new meaning to the word sketchy, and every time the announcer would say, “Ok, we are going to start the finals now. Eventually, the final-final consisted of four riders: Chris Rotax, Yale Cousino, Pat Kagy and Michael Tooey. When Rotax and Yale again went for their double routine, this time stomping it, the competition was all over. They split the $1000, while Pat Kagy was awarded the Darkside Best Trick for his frontside 270 on, 270 off on the van box.

“The event was sick, Yale said. “The features were super big and super good. The van was a little intimidating at first, but after everyone got warmed up, everyone was killing it. Everybody was riding really good tonight.

Checkthe slideshow for more photos of the event