Rail Jam Takes New York City
On Sunday, February 5, Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell was packed with New Yorkers and extreme winter sports enthusiasts as the first-ever New York City Rail Jam kicked off with gnarly ollies, slays, and airails—and, of course, a few bails.
Nearly 100 300-pound blocks of ice were shaved to make snow for the 107 snowboarders who pre-registered for the event. After a welcome by Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, the snowboarders took to the 16-foot ramp and attacked two rails with jaw-dropping stunts. One rail was a 20-foot long, four-foot-high Burton boxrail; the other was a 20-foot up-and-down metal Olympic Regional Development Authority rail. A nearby 25-foot rock wall allowed picture-perfect views for those willing to brave the steep climb.
"We are thrilled to be adding yet another exciting athletic event to our long list of sports to be enjoyed in City parks," said Commissioner Benepe. "Even as we enjoy this springtime weather, the NYC Rail Jam reminds us that there is much to look forward to in the winter months."
Due to recent warm temperatures, Parks & Recreation was forced to cancel this year’s Winter Festival. Fortunately, the event’s main attraction, the Rail Jam, could still be created with ice shavings brought in from Central Park’s Lasker Rink.
The event, which was free and open to all, was supported by Burton, the world’s leading snowboard company, which recently opened its first New York City store at the corner of Spring and Mercer Streets in SoHo. Whiteface and Gore Mountains also supported the event through the Olympic Regional Development Authority. Spectators watched the athletes perform rail tricks while enjoying hot apple cider, apples, cheddar cheese, and Adirondack ice cream and maple syrup provided by the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets. A winter farmers’ market was also set up, and hot cocoa was served throughout the day.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship; and pass
the rosy wine."