Saturday was the second annual Birmingham Am Jam, and end-of-summer event that brings some rail-riding skiers & snowboarders in to the streets of Birmingham Michigan to show off their skills.
The event coordinators from Otsego and Don Thomas did a great job with the location and coordinating vendors like Bern, Burton and K2, and there were some product giveaways and freebies (I saw a lot of kids carrying massive 686 die-cuts, and there were some hoodies being tossed to the crowd, too). The vendor booths had schwag like DVDs although these were mostly ski DVDs I did snag a copy of First Chair, Last Call, a Bern baseball cap and a K2 beanie and about a dozen mini ThirtyTwo keychains that god knows what I’m going to do with.
Crowd turnout was good, the event coincided with an art fair in the city so there was plenty of foot traffic and people driving by stopping to check it out. There was a good crowd, the skate bowl was full of groms all day long, and the overall vibe was pretty chill.
I put together a little video edit of some of the preliminary 16+ group. Due to technical difficulties (i.e., I’m an idiot) I did not record the finals round. Sorry for the kind of lame edit, but MovieMaker was giving me fits last night in ways I can’t begin to explain so this is unfortunately the best I’ve got for now.
The publicity and open forum lends well to the chill vibe – because basically anyone could sign up and ride (limit 50 riders, I think) there wasn’t a lot of pressure or anything. That said I was expecting maybe a little more talent in the comp, just based on what I see at the mountain every week in the winter, but it’s still a new event and it’s also really early in the season so I can understand why it wasn’t all tech rail riders.
This year’s turnout and event were a great improvement, and I think the O-Park crew and the folks from Don Thomas are probably pretty thrilled with how it went down. Look for an even bigger and better Am Jam next September!