Walter Pyramid faces snow storm

Snow arrived at Cal State Long Beach on Thursday, despite the 80-degree weather.

A couple hundred people gathered to watch 40 competitors snowboard and ski down the snowy steps of the Walter Pyramid’s north entrance from noon to 4 p.m.

CSULB’s ski and snowboarding team’s first annual Pyramid Rail Jam featured free music, food, giveaways and lots of snowboarding tricks.

“It’s nice to actually have an event like this for once at Cal State [Long Beach] because we don’t normally see something like this — so it’s pretty sweet,” senior interior design major Ileen Raposa said.

The set-up began around 7:30 a.m., and the snow started blowing around 9:30 a.m. Over the course of the day, the Pyramid steps were covered with 15 tons, or 30,000 pounds, of snow, courtesy of Iceman Ice Co. and funded by Associated Students Inc.

The snow spilled over the steps and onto the surrounding area, which included competition features of a corrugated tube, wall ride, 10-foot box and 60 feet worth of rails.

Exhibition riding took place from noon to 1 p.m., open-entry rail competition from 1 to 2 p.m., rail finals from 2 to 3 p.m. and free riding from 3 to 4 p.m.

All of the riders were experienced — currently members of the team, team alumni or riders the team competed against in the Southern California Collegiate Snowsports Conference.

Kyo Kaji, a senior recreation and leisure studies major, said he was stoked to compete in the event.

“A classmate referred me to the snowboarding team’s website to sign up to ride, so I did,” he said.

Kaji’s tricks impressed the three judges all the way up to the final round, but he did not make the top three. Kaji said, despite the results, he had a lot of fun.

The top three riders and winners of three other categories — best trick, crowd pleaser and best wipeout — were awarded a new snowboard, longboard or skate deck.

Team manager Eric Wong said the event was more successful than expected.

“A lot of people just got out of class and showed up,” he said. “We had about a few hundred people here, which was better than I expected.”


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