Bumping tunes and board slides
BEAVER CREEK ” Snowboarders and skiers, adults and youngins gather each Thursday afternoon to jib, slide and 50-50 on rails at the base of Beaver Creek.
Shouts of encouragement and music ring out in the small terrain park set up by instructors and jibbers every Thursday for the cost-free Kids Rail Jam Series. The jams, which promote safety in the park, are an opportunity for skiers and snowboarders to master skills in a comfortable, welcoming environment, instructors said.
Instructors walk participants through various maneuvers, teaching them how to perform tricks safely.
“We have some instructors that are really dedicated to it,” said Taylor Ogilvie, children’s snowboard product manager. “They’re really into it.”
The jam isn’t just for kids. Ellie Cumerford, 20, sat among other riders of various ages at the top of the park getting ready for her next run down.
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“You get lots of feedback coming back up,” Cumerford said, eyeing two rails. “They’re talking about (feet) alignment and where I should keep my weight.”
The dedication is apparent in instructor Sam Reichstein. He enthusiastically explained how he teaches newbies to 50-50 ” the term for sliding straight down the rail. When riders master the move, Reichstein moves them on to the more difficult board slide in which the snowboard or skis are perpendicular to the rail.
“We try to make it a friendly environment,” Reichstein said. “Sometimes you go into a park and it might be intimidating.”
The Thursday group is usually a mix of tourists and locals. The event takes place from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., just in time for tourists finishing up the day or kids getting off school.
“It’s good for local kids if they just want to practice,” Reichstein said.
Riders under the age of 18 need a signature release from their parents, who often stick around to catch their kids sticking a move.
“Parents stand here in tennis shoes watch their kids,” instructor Mike Markowitz said.
Holidays get busy for the folks at the rail jam, and the event is growing in its second year.
Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14622, or firstname.lastname@example.org.