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Snowboarders Take Manhattan
New York City's first competitive snowboarding event draws top athletes and a serious crowd.

Text by Josh Fulmer   Photographs by Austin Mann and Rachel Shaver

SUPER STOKED: Thousands gathered in Union Square to watch New York City's first major pro snowboarding rail jam competition.

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A series of ramps, rails, and six inches (15 centimeters) of perfectly packed man-made powder transformed New York City's flat and snowless Union Square into a snowboard park on Thursday, February 8.

Add two dozen professional snowboarders into the mix—grinding on rails over 16 stairs, landing grabs off a funbox, and launching spins off a rail attached to a Jeep Wrangler—and you get the Union Square Street Sessions, the first professional snowboarding event in Manhattan.

"Snowboarding in downtown New York City is awesome," pro-boarder Chris Rotax said. "You see the skyscrapers instead of mountains, then you just hop on the subway instead of the chairlift."

Eddie Wall asserted himself early on, drawing comments from the announcers that he seemed to be taking two runs to everyone else's one. His efforts paid off; at the end of the night Wall took home a $15,000 check for first place.

About 40,000 New Yorkers enthusiastically embraced this raucous slice of snowboarding culture, prompting Mayor Mike Bloomberg to declare Thursday, February 8, 2007 "Union Square Street Sessions Day." 

Apparently he, too, was stoked on the event.

See the event featured on NBC's Jeep World of Sports on Sunday, February 18, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

Cover: Adventure magazine

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