Students who are sad the snow in Boulder has already melted have no need to fret. The Kings of Campus Rail Jam, with its four truckloads of snow equaling 1,500 cubic feet, is the perfect cure.
The CU Snowboard Team, Boulder Freeride and Winter Park Mountain Resort are teaming up for the rail-style competition at the Coors Events Center. The event will also include live music and booths and giveaways from companies like Zeal Optics and Rockstar Energy Drink.
The competition was created for college students by college students. CUST president Kelly MacFarlane says having sponsors put their faith in the event in its first year has really meant a lot.
There are about 60 skiers and snowboarders competing in hopes of being the King of Campus in their prospective men’s and women’s divisions. Three judges for each sport will sit in a tower to rate competitors on the difficulty, variety and style of their tricks.
First place finishers win a cash purse in addition to Never Summer boards for the riders and First Drop Outerwear for the skiers. Second and third place finishers will also win prize packages including gear.
MacFarlane says the event is a good way of bringing together snowboarders and skiers. Organizers have included the CU Freestyle Skiing Team in the creative process and many of their members, including slope style national champion Jeremy Brown, will be competing.
“Skiers and snowboarders on campus have been somewhat divided,” MacFarlane says. “We’re in it in the same reason … We feel bringing everyone together will create a positive, growing community.”
Brown says the separation dates back to the era of their parents, but at this point, is mostly just a myth held by people outside the sports.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Brown says. “Skiers versus snowboarders is over with. It makes sense for us to come together.”
While members from both teams will be competing in Rail Jam, MacFarlane hopes the event will also showcase the “unrecognized talents” of non-members and draw new students to the teams.
“I think a huge event like this brings positive attention to all of our organizations and gets people stoked about getting involved and finding out about our groups and who these sponsors are,” MacFarlane says. “I think we’ll see a significant increase in the number of members next year.”
Brown hopes the same for his team and says the event will bring positive publicity to the sports.
MacFarlane wants to create a great snow-sport community throughout CU and Boulder and estimates, based on previous rail jam events in Boulder, over 3,000 people to be in attendance throughout the night.
He says the atmosphere will be fun for everyone from avid riders to people who’ve never been to a rail jam because they will get the opportunity to see the school’s top riders and skiers.
“It’s entertaining seeing kids throwing themselves out there and wrecking themselves,” MacFarlane says. “That’s always exciting … All around it’s an exciting event, with lots of entertainment and new experiences for people who haven’t seen it before.”
By Marlee Horn for the Colorado Daily