In some places around the world, the change of seasons is particularly pronounced. However, in perpetually sunny Southern California, summer has a tendency to last all year. UC Irvine students were given a rare treat: Snow.
As the sun shone brightly at UCI on Nov. 17, snowboarders anxiously awaited the arrival of the rarest of coastal Californian commodities.
The UCI Board Club hosted ‘Rail Jam,’ a snowboarding demonstration in which snowboarding companies showcased their sponsored riders, with KROQ providing the music. The biggest draw however, was the arrival of several tons of snow, transforming the Student Center lawn into a mountain slope.
‘[They] blew 10 tons of snow,’ said fifth-year economics major and Board Club Head of Staff Katie Renninger. ‘Then we packed it down, put carpet down and then salt, then one layer of snow and then more salt so it stays and doesn’t melt because, as you can tell, it’s really hot out here.’
Though the event was free to all who were interested, the slope was reserved exclusively for professionals.
‘We got all pro riders,’ Renninger said. ‘These aren’t just anybody. They’re pro riders and they’re sponsored by some of these companies [who sponsored the event].’
The Skatanic Rednecks played a mix of punk rock and country music as homage to their idol, John Wayne.
‘We’ve combined country, death metal, blues, punk rock and stake rock to form a kind of music that’s fun for kids and everybody,’ said Hank Reulr, the band’s frontman, who later joined the fun on the slope. ‘We’re trying to save the world by making country music fun again. We came all the way from the backwoods of Huntington Beach by mule train and plastic horse and we’re glad to be here at the UCI campus playing for the kids.’
With professional riders shredding down an icy slope to the sounds of a live band, even spectators who had never snowboarded before wanted to try their hand at the sport.
Booths from several of the snowboarding industry’s top companies lined the edges of the event. Companies like Active Ride Shop, Burton, Clive, Expendable Youth, Mountain High, Mammoth Mountain and HV Snowboards had booths to support their riders. All proceeds from the merchandise sold in the booths went directly to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Although other similar events had previously been held in Orange County, the riders were excited to be at UCI.
‘Last week I was out in Anaheim riding in a ‘Rail Jam,” said Active-sponsored snowboarder, Seth Cazier. ‘Now I’m here in Irvine riding in one. They just told me I needed to get out here, come out and ride to show people a good time, show them what snowboarding’s all about.’
Other professional snowboarders that participated also agreed that the event was a success.
‘[I’m out here], it’s sunny and there’s snow and there’s something to do,’ said Erin Pod, also a snowboarder. ‘I follow the snow. Hopefully this will become my job because it’s the only thing I really like doing.’
Many UCI students enjoyed the event by watching from the lawn
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