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Jammin' out rail hard

The –20 degree weather couldn’t keep university students, parents and groms – the younger boarders, showing up the older folk – away from the UNB Ski and Snowboard Club’s second annual Keeping it Rail Jam.

“I always love seeing the younger generation getting out and ripping with the older guys,” said club president Matt Andrews.

Despite the freezing weather, Andrews was happy with turnout and is hoping the event will get more skiers and snowboarders around the community to come out.

“The cold kind of keeps people away, but they’re still here,” said Andrews. “It’s great – I’m impressed that people come out in the cold and watch us slide metal, really.”

The first event, in 2013, was to raise awareness for the Ski and Board Club. Andrews was also hoping to showcase his preferred style of boarding – riding rails in the park – and get others to come out and show their support for the sport.

It’s not just snowboarders who like to slide metal, but skiers as well.

Second-year mechanical engineering student André Aikens has come out to both Rail Jams at UNB and is happy to see more events like this on campus.

Growing up in a skiing family, he is hoping to see more skiers because he doesn’t know too many in the Fredericton area.

“It’s super fun, everyone is stoked out there, good music, good vibes,” he said. “It was pretty fun [last year], but this year, it’s a little better – better music and more participation.”

He, like Andrews, loves to see the groms come out and match his favourite tricks, like a switch 270, 270 out or a 450 on.

Both see the sport as a family-oriented, so everyone is excited for everyone else to go riding – and doesn’t consider it as competitive as team sports.

“Everyone gets excited and stoked when everyone else is riding,” said Andrews. “As a club, it’s not just for UNB students, we encourage everyone to join if they like.”

The Keeping it Rail Jam was the kickoff event for the 2014 FROSTival.

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