All Words: T-Bird
The last US Open Rail jam took place in 2005, and half a decade later, Burton decided to bring it back for an all-time night session with a twist. That twist came in the form of SPT Parks’ custom setup. The course was composed of tranny and lexan mashed together to create a plethora of options for all of this evening’s contestants. For years, it seems as if the organizers of the Open have been struggling to make this contest different, but that’s not to throw blame in any certain direction. When you host a contest at the same mountain for over a quarter of a decade, it gets hard to switch things up, and with the resurrection of the legendary US Open Rail Jam, it seems as if Burton and the entire events crew have succeeded by bringing back a crowd favorite that was won by Eddie Wall and Leanne Pelosi a half a decade ago.
With beautiful weather gracing the East Coast this weekend, the crowd turnout was remarkable, and fortunately, the riding was there to keep the spectators stoked. With a stacked field and a prime setup, the Rail Jam participants went to town. Riley Nickerson, Johnny Lazzareschi, Forest Bailey, Chanelle Sladics, Charles Reid, Chas Guldemond, Luke Haddock, Kael Hill, Sam Hulbert, Brandon Reis, Tim Humphreys, Jamie Anderson, Kade Madsen, Sarka Pancochova, Chris Rotax, Frank April Shaun Murphy and a handful of others went off on SPT Parks’ insane setup. It was a Rail Jam, sure, but it looked more like a mini park packed with transition, boxes, wallrides and rails. It truly was a playground, and the riding complimented one of the best setups the US Open has ever seen.
The days of “the rail kid” are over. These days, kids can ride it all. There are hardly designations labeling different riders. Simply put, they can all ride it all. Jumps, transition, rails, whatever, they can take it to it. The mayhem was underway around 7:15 and ended around 8:45 and it was absolute madness. Johnny Lazz started off strong with some odd transfers and hardway rail tricks while Forest Bailey immediately flexed his technical rail prowess and unexplainable Northwest skate style (he’s from Vermont). Jamie Anderson was hands-down the winner from the get-go and Shaun Murphy and Tim Humphreys battled it out for one of the top five spots in the jam session. Meanwhile, Chas Guldemond and Charles Reid took to a huckfest of sorts on the quarterpipe. Brandon Reis and Sam Hulbert followed each other around the setup with some BFF boardslides (seriously, they’re attached at the hip, but at least they don’t roll their pants up over their boots anymore). Sarka Pancochova and Chanelle Sladics lapped and hiked until they slowed down a bit as Jamie pulled away into the lead. I must say that the hardest charging award goes to hairball Kael Hill, who, every time the cameras turned in his direction, he was hopping around the course like a horny rabbit. All in all, it was simply nuts, and recapping the action almost seems futile.
In the end, it was Charles Reid’s amplitude and Jamie Anderson’s consistency that put them atop the rest of their peers, and at 9:25, it was said and done. Nearly half-a-decade later, the US Open Rail Jam was entered into the equation yet again, and if it stays in the cards for next year, it’s sure to be bigger and badder than ever before. The full results are posted below. Stay tuned to snowboardermag.com for all of the men’s and women’s halfpipe results tomorrow.
Rail Jam Results:
AMP Energy Drink Best Trick Award: Sarka Pancochova, backside 540 over the quarterpipe/lift tower feature
AMP Energy Drink Best Trick Award: Luke Haddock, fastplant on the lexan quarterpipe