For skiers and snowboarders, oh the anguish of soul October brings!

The sweet taste of cool brisk air causes an immediate longing to ride, but you look toward the mountains for snow and – nothing. You feel the urge to shred, but snow is yet to fall. It’s the skiing/boarding blues.

Photo © Jason Lugo

Blake Hansen sets up for a 360 boardslide on the "down flat down" rail.

Idaho Water Sports in Burley has a cure. It’s called the Rail Jam.

For four years, IWS has put on the Rail Jam, giving riders a chance to shred in their parking lot. A huge ramp made of scaffolding and wood is covered with carpet and snow. At the bottom of the ramp are multiple rails and boxes for the riders to play on, or in other words, to have a jam session to show their stuff. Idaho Water Sports caters to all levels of riders in the design of their set up.

This year’s event is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday October 23.

“We love putting on the event for the riders and in being able to bring the community together. That’s really what it’s all about for us,” said Carol Warr, manager of Idaho Water Sports.

What if you don’t ski or board? That’s okay. Spectators flock to the event to watch the incredible talent on display, with plenty of thrills and spills.

Photo © Jason Lugo

Declo resident KJ Redder slides the "down flat down" rail on skis.

“It’s fun and exciting to watch be able to watch the kids do what they love to do and the competition is a lot of fun,” said Joe Freiburger, a parent of one of the riders.

Helmets are required, and Pomerelle Ski Patrol is on site for safety. Waivers need to be signed (under 18 requires a parent’s signature). There are plenty of pads, carpet, and snow to soften the blow for less graceful moves.

Trent Pinther, who works for Idaho Water Sports and the Pomerelle Ski Patrol, said, “We like to make the Rail Jam as fun as possible, but safety is always our first concern.”

The first half of the Rail Jam is an open session for all to ride, followed by a competition for those interested. The entry fee is $10 and another $10 if you want to do the competition with a portion of the proceeds going to the Pomerelle Ski Patrol. There will also be a t-shirt given to each person who signs up for the Rail Jam. There are tons of great prizes from the raffles and competition. Participants can register before the event or whenever they show up.

For additional information, contact Idaho Water Sports at 678-5869 or visit them online at

NOTE: This story was published for the 2010 Rail Jam. We have updated the information below with the current 2011 event info/dates.

Planning to go?

At Burley’s Idaho Water Sports
In the parking lot – 2165 Overland Burley
Saturday, October 29, 2011 – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Helmets required, Pomerelle Ski Patrol on site for safety.
Waivers signed (under 18 requires parent’s signature)