High Roller Rail Jam, Las Vegas

The eve of Tuesday, the twenty fourth of January, 2006 saw the third annual Las Vegas High Roller Rail Jam come and go. The event was held in the parking lot of the prestigious Hard Rock Casino, deep in the black heart of Sin City. All the necessary rail jam ingredients were present and accounted for--snowboarders, scrillas, and the Dingo. It was cold enough outside to keep the sleet from turning to slush, but not cold enough to penetrate the warm alcohol blankets worn by many of the snow industry’s finest.

Riders were pitted against one another on the jib setup: two ledges and a down rail. All were built atop scaffolding, wooden steps, and broken dreams. A down-flat-down kinked rail was also thrown in the mix for the ’06. *The steps added an element of danger and legitimacy, normally only found in “the streets.

Forty riders were split into two heats of twenty, and four riders graduated from each heat, widdling the contenders down to eight--Simon Chamberlain, Cory Cronk, Jake Devine, Aaron Shapiro, Yale Cousino, Dean Barbier, Logan Short, and Lucas Magoon.

Some highlights of the event--Mike Casanova, switch 50 50, switch 360 out on the down rail. Chris Rotax went for the 450 on the down box, slid out and femur checked into the down rail. Aaron Shapiro’s gap 270s on the kink rail. Cory Cronk was riding real smooth--switch back 270 the hard way, 270 out on the ledge. Jake Devine, 360 nosepress, 180 out. In the end it was rail jam heavyweight, Yale Cousino, who took home the thirteen thousand dollar first place finish, and a new mini bike for best trick a la a hardway Cab 270 to front board on the down rail. Other smooth moves by Yale included a switch backside 450, 270 out on the down, and a front 450, 270 out.

Until next year, bottoms up.