By Kyle Kittredge, Contributing Writer
On Friday, skiers and snowboarders flooded the Fish Bowl by Congreve Hall for the UNH Recreation Society’s Rail Jam.
Music blasted, a large crowd of watched the athletes, and several skiers and snowboarders lined up to take a chance at winning prizes.
The UNH Recreation Society advertised the event using the slogan, “With all this snow on campus, let’s put it to use!”
And they did just that.
“I’ve been to plenty of rail jams and wondered ‘why don’t we do this?’” said Rachel Bogart of the Recreation Society. “People want it to happen, so why don’t we just take it ahead with the Rec Society and make it a thing.’
But this event wasn’t so easy to put together. For weeks, the Recreation Society has been planning for it.
“The liability is really high, and risk of getting hurt is not low,” said Bogart. “We have to watch out for that.”
Bogart did have help though, including assistance from Emma Underwood, her “second in command,” of the UNH Ski and Board Club, and the rest of the Recreation Society membership.
“I’ve had a great amount of people to help,” Bogart said. “Everyone is making volunteer time and want to do it cause everyone wants to be in Rec Society. But if anything does go wrong, we’ve thought about the plan for it and everything.”
Along with a large amount of competitors, there were many spectators. A lot of them heard about it from friends involved in the Recreation Society.
“My friend from work is on the Rec Society committee that helped put it up,” said Emma Scarito, a student spectator.
“It’s really entertaining,” Scarito said. “I’m impressed that they put it all up with the snow up there. I was watching them put it up last night, it looked like a lot of manual labor.”
With all the snow on campus, it is perfect for people interested in urban skiing. However they are usually hitting the stairs behind the Whitt among other areas around campus
“So the whole purpose of the Rail Jam is to eventually make enough money to have the Rec Society buy our own rail setup and so that we can permit out areas with the university knowledge and permission,” Bogart said. “With all the proper equipment, urban kids can freely hit jumps that are well made, and have everyone be happy.”
About 30 skiers and snowboarders showed up to compete. All of them were entered in a raffle to win prizes. Some of the sponsors for the event included Fire on the Mountain, Be Easy Boards, Gnarbear, East Coast Casual, Durham Bike Shop, American Red Cross Club, and Putnam’s Ski and Snowboard of Portsmouth.
A brand new snowboard from Alpine East, associated with Philbricks Sports in Dover
was given to the first-place snowboarder.
A variety of prizes from the raffles included free lift tickets to Mount Sunapee and Gore Mountain, as well as ski and snowboard accessories and apparel.
“We are raffling off the donations that we get, whether it be a sweatshirt of a t-shirt or ski straps or smaller stuff,” Bogart said. “We’re just going to pick competitor numbers out of a hat because it’s not about skill up to that point.”
Connor Wishart had already spent the morning on the slopes up in Gilford, but wanted to make his back to Durham to ride with other students.
“I don’t think I’ve done too well because I’ve been snowboarding all day since I was at Gunstock earlier so I’m exhausted,” said Wishart, a competitive snowboarder sponsored by East Coast Casual.
“Snowboarding,” he added, “is the best vibe in the world. There’s nothing like it.”