Winter Jam NYC 2011

Last Saturday was cold with rainy, grey skies. But I couldn’t resist seeing snowboarding in Brooklyn, so I walked to Prospect Park for the 2011 Winter Jam NYC. The annual event has ski and snowboarding equipment for anyone to try out, including an area for cross-country skis, and snowshoes and other winter activities. But I was most interested in watching the snowboarding competitions.

I got there in time for the start of the women’s amateur finals (no participating for me. I don’t have a board here and…I’ve never tried rails or jumps, that could be a mistake. If there was a competition for most controlled S-turn down a slope, I would rock that.) After buying a Turkish coffee to keep my hands warm, I found a place to watch. All the ramps were really slick from the rain, making for some painful-looking falls, but everyone seemed to be having a good time.

I was expecting the place to be dead because of the weather,  and was surprised to find a pretty good size, enthusiastic crowd of watchers. The line to use the free equipment was kind of insane, too. There was a very slight hill, like a min-bunny slope, where kids were tumbling on little snowboards and people were flailing ski poles frantically in the air. All of this was taking place in the Nethermead of Prospect, a hidden meadow encircled by the oldest trees in the park.

After the women, the men’s amateur finals started, with a lot more contestants, including a kid who seemed to be no more than six-years-old and was already a way better rider than me. Darn those fearless kids and their flexible bones!

It did all make me miss snowboarding, something I haven’t done since I left France. It was so much easier when I was just hours from the Alps! I guess I live with fewer bruises now.

After the men’s amateur finals, there was a competitions for the professionals, which were actually a little less entertaining by being a little more controlled and less risky. Plus, the rain was starting to come down harder, so I decided to walk back home. Back to my apartment and a much needed hot chocolate, and maybe a quick glance at my poor, idle snowboard boots in the closet.

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