Tuesday, March 12 was a perfect, sunny 80-degree day, nothing out of the normal for a spring day in Azusa. Well, except for the piles of snow on the ground with snowboarders riding down it. This snow was brought down to Azusa for Red Bull’s event: Rail Jam.
The event was hosted by Red Bull and was the first rail jam to come to APU. The event featured some of APU’s best riders and was a way to showcase other talents at this school that not many get to see. Rail Jam was supposed to take place last Thursday, March 7, but due to the chance of rain, it was moved to March 12. Some students were worried about the event taking place on that day because of the 80 degree weather. Regardless, this event turned out to be an overall success.
Junior business administration major and student brand manager at Red Bull Chris Duke planned this event and made it happen. Because of his connections with Red Bull he was able to get them to sponsor this Rail Jam.
“Bringing Rail Jam to APU students has been a passion and dream of mine since I first saw it,” Duke said.
Duke first saw the event done at other campuses on the East Coast and at Cal State Long Beach. Duke said that Rail Jam has always been a popular event from the Red Bull company, but it hadn’t been done in a while so he wanted to bring it back.
Duke, himself a rider, knew the crowd at school that would be interested in participating in the Rail Jam. He sent out an email to these people and most responded with a resounding “yes.” One of those individuals was economics professor Stuart Strother.
The event ran from 7 to 9 p.m. The initial setup started at 9 a.m. and took all day to put together. Instead of using APU facilities for this event it was put together and done in a lot behind the store Ross, across the street from APU. Chris Duke and his staff were able to put together a ramp provided by Red Bull and covered it with snow. The snow was brought in at around 5 p.m. and stayed pretty compact despite the 80 degree weather.
“I was very happy with the turnout. I expected people to stay about half an hour then bounce,” Duke said. “And due to the fact it was a Tuesday night and people have homework, I thought it was a great response.”
One of the riders was freshman communications studies major Jeremiah Davis. He found out about the event when Duke asked him to participate in it.
“Even though the snow was soft, it was super fun to ride and was a cool experience,” Davis said. “I mean, how often is it that there is snow in a parking lot in southern California?”
Duke said it was fun to bring one of his passions to the students at APU and hopes the event can be done again in the future.
All Pictures Courtesy: SGV Tribune