Though Wednesday’s forecast didn’t call for any precipitation, passers-by near the Bell Tower were treated to an uncommon sight.
Tons of ice shavings from local ice skating rinks were piled onto the ground to construct a snowboarding course for the “Bell Tower Rail Jam,” an event sponsored by the Temple University Snowboarding Club.
More than 15 companies from the snowboard industry supported the event, including Jack Frost Big Boulder, which covered all the costs. G-Spot and Spectrum board shops also brought their snowboarding team’s to the event.
Kyle Arcomano, a junior advertising major and member of TUSC, helped prepare the event, along with approximately 30 other members.
“I’ve been out here since 6 a.m. shoveling snow and just helping out,” he said.
Rome Snowboards provided a ramp, a 20-foot long flatbox for slides and grinds, used by riders to drop on and gain speed. The course ended with the wallride obstacle, which was provided by JFBB and sponsored by Red Bull.
The event attracted videographers, photographers and students, as 30 riders sponsored by board shops performed in practice runs for the final competition.
Matt Busedu, a rider for the G-Spot and Spectrum team, was awarded the first-place winner for the competition. Senior communications major and TUSC president Guido Martelli, along with TUSC founder Andrew Mullen, judged the riders.
After the contest, TUSC raffled off a snowboard, jackets and goggles from Burton Snowboards.
Originally, TUSC wanted the competition to be held during the last Spring Fling. The organization had to first get the event approved by both the university and sponsors. A proposal was sent to Student Activities and Campus Recreation in May. The group had to meet with the park manager of JFBB, G-Spot and Spectrum, Steve Young, director of Campus Recreation, and Chris Carey, associate director of Student Activities.
After the programming for the event was approved, JFBB and G-Spot and Spectrum board shops began spreading the word.
Sean Khathavong, snow manager for G-Spot and Spectrum board shops, sent proposals to companies, asking for $300 in cash or $500 in donated products.
Martelli was determined to make students aware of what would be going on at the Bell Tower.
“People check their Facebook more than e-mails, and we encouraged TUSC members to use up their printing quota in the TECH Center,” Martelli said.
More than 1,000 4-by-6 inch handbills and posters were distributed to promote the rail jam. TUSC sent a press release to local media outlets, which got attention from phawker.com and two.one.five magazine.
TUSC was formed in 2005 by Temple alumnus Andy Mullen. Mullen, a 2007 graduate, designed the group like other snowboarding clubs from area colleges. TUSC currently has 134 paid members who meet weekly.
Ian Oliver, director of freestyle terrain at JFBB, said he was pleased to see the event finally taking place.
“We wanted to support Philadelphia because everyone riding Boulder is from Philly anyway.”
Greg Adomaitis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.