First Annual BellingJAM

Bellingham, WA (February 16, 2009) – Downtown Bellingham transformed into a block party on Sunday as hundreds of local shreds, curious citizens and the occasional Railroad St. vagabond were drawn by turntable kicks and halogen lights to the First Annual BellingJAM rail jam. Attracting riders from all corners of the Northwest, The Copper Hog’s parking lot was transformed by a 12-foot scaffolding ramp, straight and kinked rails, hay bails and roughly a dozen truckloads of recycled snow from the Sportsplex ice rink. Inside the Hog were art displays from Monument and Arbor Snowboards with live screen-printing from co-organizers Innate Snow and Skate.

The skiers climbed the ladder and dropped first warming up to the gunshots and Kidz Bop chorus of M.I.A.’s Paper Planes. After feeling out the rails and run-out skiers had a 45-minute winner take all jam. One-upmanship was the word of the day as local Zach Davidson and brothers Tim and Bret McChesney started out light and progressed to switch drops, 270s in and out and front flips until crowd participation became mandatory as hay bails failed to slow down stomping skiers.

A quick maintenance break for packed out landings and it was on to the snowboarders. Riders Yudo Kurita, Seth Kitzke and Bart Patitucci dropped to cheers and Bee Gees tracks, spinning the length of each rail, tip tapping through press combos. Austin Hironaka dropped an obligatory backflip, while Glacier’s own Sean Donnkie Mansfield pleased the crowd by buttering into the flat bar in a blur of flannel and denim. Finalists were decided and moved on to a mixed jam in which Tim McChesney was the best two-planker and SnoCon rider Yudo Kurita held it down for the snowboarders.

But the night didn’t end there. Seattle’s hip-hop prophet Common Market took the alleyway stage while the scaffolding came down. Cheers and beats reverberated off Bellingham’s dilapidated brick buildings.

Fueled by Taurine and Zamboni droppings, The First Annual BellingJAM was a long overdue event that brought together the Bellingham shred community. See you at the Hog next year.

Many thanks to everyone who made it happen: Dave Goto and the Red Bull crew, Casey and Jens for their planning efforts, Dylan, Corey and friends at Innate Snow and Skate, The Copper Hog, Chad at Monument Snowboards, Byron at Arbor Snowboards, Ally Video and Pyramid Brewery.

Photos: Joe Briggs/jvbriggs.com


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