In its second year, the Sporthaus ski and snowboard shop of Tri-Cities threw a fun rail jam competition in downtown Kennewick, WA. This would be the second time I’ve done the jam, and I’m happy to say they continue to step their game up.
Thanks to a ride from my buddy Adam from Walla Walla, I arrived to the jam about an hour before we started our practice. After getting caught up with some buddies, it was time to get checked in for the event. This rail jam really impressed me, by how well they treated the riders. In our green room we had all sorts of flavored treats and drinks, as well as free massages by some very talented ladies to get us ready to compete. After getting loose from the massage and relaxed, it was time for our practice. With a good list of the some of the top skiers and boarders in the Pacific Northwest, it was bound to be a fun time. The setup they had for the jam was two down rails; One with a kink on the end of it, and the other was just a straight down. Practice went off smoothly as we just kept on getting more used to the features. Speed ended up being a bit of an issue, but thanks to the help of some of the riders we figured out a way to make it work. Following practice we had a quick break for the course to be maintenance along with a riders meeting. It was decided the snowboarders would go first, and this meant the skiers could go relax another 20 min.
While on our break thanks to Kevin Curran, we got a little mini yoga session going on. Post stretch time, it was time to ski. It had definitely been a while since I skied, and oh man did I miss it. After the qualifier jam they reduced the field to 5 skiers, Jamie Baril, Derek Roy, Tyler Tran, Jonah Elston, and me.
When finals started it felt like a non-stop sprint the whole time. With a narrowed field of riders we got to hit the setup a twice as much. All the skiers were throwing the best tricks they could on the setup and was a spectacle to watch. Some of the highlights was Tyler Tran one footing the entire donkey-dick rail to 180 out, Jamie Baril doing some 270’s and switch-ups , along with Derek Roy and Jonah Elston somehow finding enough speed to go switch onto the features. We all definitely took a lot of slams in the finals. For me the trick that was eluding me was a rightside 270 to pretzel 270 out (Spin one way, land on the rail, spin the other way). After many slams to the ribs, back, and leg I finally was able to get it thanks to some tow in help by Kevin Curran and another guy at the top of the setup. Thankfully the judges liked the trick as well and gave me Best Skier for the event, and my buddy Tyler Tran took home the best trick.
Super fun time skiing with some buddies, and made us all stoked for the upcoming winter more than ever. Very thankful to God I landed that trick and even more so was able to get up after slamming hard. Looking forward to the next TC Throwdown, just from the hospitality they treat us with is enough to make me want to keep on coming back year after year. Cannot wait till I get to put on my skis again, winter is coming.