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Rome Snowboards' Londonderry Pop Festival


and " Any Means" Snowboard Film Premiere Party

Ever go to a rail jam when the thermometer said 95 degrees?

by Lauren Traub Teton August, 2007

We did. That's me and the other 297 or so people who went to Rome Snowboards Londonderry Pop Festival August 25, 2007 at former ski slope and now occasional private party spot Timber Ridge, on the back side of Magic Mountain, close to Londonderry, in Windham, VT.

The snow did not arrive as planned. The hockey rinks nearby just weren't scraping. So fish ice cubes saved the day for the rail jammers. That's ice cubes, like the kind that come out of an ice machine in a hotel corridor. Small smooth ice cubes that you could put in a glass of soda. The run-in and run-out were spread with the cubes. After the jam started, we asked rider Will Bateman how the conditions were. "Icy" was his answer.

But this gnarly bunch of chomping-at-the-bit rail riders ate it up. The official jam lasted 60 or 90 minutes, but riders kept at the long straight blue rail and the box until dark. We might be onto something with those ice cubes because they held up for 4 hours in the heat. These Vermont riders have their pre-season jibs already in their bag of tricks, and it's not even September.

When all was said and done, Forest Bailey took top honors for the males, and Monique Hyman, for the females. Also notable and always stylish were Will Batemen, and brothers Zack and Ben Harmon. After the awards ceremony, the action on site moved to the beautiful smooth skate halfpipe from Waterville Valley, where Forest Bailey, dressed in a smashing forest green tie dye ensemble took his turns and ripped up the dry ramp too.

Musical accompaniment was provided by the Hostiles, a young but experienced 3-piece rock band who have studied their music history and who play originals flavored with Sex Pistols, Clash, Misfits, Ramones, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and more. This band got me dancing, and the lead singer/guitarist Joey Russo and bass player Steve Shanahan entertained with their stage antics. Ryan Rice was resplendent in his turquoise pegged jeans and held the songs together with his driving beats.

Their helpers and moms sold cool screen printed Hostilez t-shirts and the band's 4 song demo, as Joey urged people to buy from his spot on the stage. They played original songs like "Memory Loss," "Unity" and "Don't Make Me Go to School" which had its hooks in me so hard I was still singing it 3 days later. Remember you heard about the Hostiles here first. You will undoubtedly hear of them again. And did I mention these guys are all of 15 years old! Plenty of upside here!

Lightning flashed continously all over the sky as it got dark. Rome's snowboard movie "By
Any Means" started up on the big screen outdoors, drive-in style but without the cars, and the natural lightning, and fireworks from the Hayes Brothers tent competed for attention. Finally the lightning teamed up with gusty wind and a brief downpour, just to show who was boss. Brave souls sat it out and the movie continued as the rain cleared and the temperature became PERFECT nighttime t-shirt and shorts weather.

The movie "By Any Means" seemed much better than the average snowboard movie. I might have been influenced since I was seeing it at an epic party, but in reading about how the team got together and made the movie on the road without a lot of money, you can see there is real heart here. Can you say "flop house?"

I rarely utter "OMG!" while watching a snowboard movie. But LNP (Laurent-Nicolas Paquin) from Quebec rode the top of chain link fences, and then (OMG!) jumped from his board onto a picnic table seat, slid the seat, and then jumped back onto his board. LNP doesn't compete much so you probably haven't seen him except live or on film. When this guy rides handrails it's like he's got a high power magnet in his board, he is that solid. Transworld Snowboarding says in the September 2007 issue that "This movie might have arguably the best rail riding of any movie this year." I believe it.

After the movie, The Hayes Brothers band played, respelendent and Devo-like in their matching white rain sacks. Then after the formal entertainment, beer became the main event. Leave too many snowboarders for too long with nothing to do but drink beer on somewhat empty stomachs, and trouble can ensue (as our wise friend Kevin C. once said.) We cut out as people started to push each other around for fun. We heard some stuff went into the bonfire that shouldn't have, including a human or two. And by early morn the New Hampshire vs. Vermont faction wanted to fight. Camping was available on site.

The party site was littered with bottles and paper after the party, but by noon the next day the site was immaculate. Props to Tim and Chris Waker and the crew at Timber Ridge, for taking such good care. And the guys from Essex with the sauna. And Aaron and the crew from Drastic t-shirts. And Rome Snowboards for throwing a great party on a perfect night.

"Let's Ride!"






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