MSU’s Freeride club traveled to Copper Mountain in Colorado this past weekend, April 18, to compete in Red Bull’s SlopeSoaker’s rail jam competition. The event was a twist on a more traditional rail jam event in that it included rails and features setup up in pools of water. MSU Freeride is in its inaugural year, and received funding from Red Bull to participate in this event.
Jay Brooks is a student brand manager for Red Bull, as well as a founding member of MSU Freeride. Brooks said that the new student group came together out of a desire to create something unique and different from the already existing Backcountry and Telemark Club. The organization includes 15 athletes who wanted something more than what what was offered by MSU’s outdoor-focused groups. “We’re just a bunch of people who wanted to get together and do something a little different than the Backcountry Club and form a freestyle oriented club,” Brooks said.
While this weekend’s event was the first for the club during its official tenure at MSU, the group was brought together by an unofficial trip to Lake Tahoe last year for the Red Bull Snow Wars slopestyle competition.
MSU Freeride did have some success in the competition, with athlete Ian Nagel-Brice making it to the final round out of 157 contestants. While he did not make the podium, Brice reflected on the event in a positive light, saying “It’s the wettest I’ve been in months.”
Athlete Andrew Eggert dislocated both of his shoulders in the event. Despite his injuries, Eggert enjoyed being able to compete in a large scale competition such as SlopeSoakers, calling the weekend “soaked with stoke.”
Going forward, MSU Freeride plans to continue to grow and compete in events during the coming years. Brooks said that the group is modeling itself off of successful collegiate freeride clubs at CU-Boulder and the University of Vermont.