The first annual Hood River Slider Jam has officially commenced. While there have yet to be any heats, today’s activity included a build day, an essential part of this unique grassroots event.

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From the beginning, this day has been included in the loosely formatted schedule of events. Riders were warned, if you plan to participate, plan to build. Since the action has been kept on hold for the past couple days due to funky Gorge wind, organizers opted to call all participants to get to work constructing a few new additions to the park.

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As with most slider projects, they always prove to be somewhat more difficult than originally thought. However, when all of the invited riders packed up Monday evening, they left “The Spit” with a few empty cases of ‘Reindeer’ beer, half a dozen dead drill batteries, an empty portable generator and 3 new features ready to be put into place for the upcoming days. What they created was one large corrugated ‘flat bar’ whose location is yet to be determined. Whether this feature be stand-alone or paired with an existing feature, everyone is excited to see this bad boy in the water. The crew also resurrected an existing up-tube that has long been known in the park as ‘Joby’s Pole’. In addition to this up-pole styled featured, with a few new screws and replacement pieces, they brought new life back to a set of monster tubes that could take on many different arrangements when placed in the water.

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While everyone is keen to get riding these new features, Tuesday’s contest will see park riding using only the existing Slider Project Park. In a true ‘jam’ style format, riders will kite together in groups of 4-5, taking 3 hits on each feature in the park (Kicker, North Rail, and Cheese Wedge). Proceeding from there will be the ‘Line Segment’ of the event, which will require riders to hit multiple features in the park in one uninterrupted ‘line’ much like a slopestyle format of a ski/snowboard contest. Following the first day of completion, the park will be completely turned over, with each feature taking on a whole new form.

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Check out the Slider Project Facebook for live updates and announcements.

Words by Colleen Carroll
Photos by Toby Bromwich