By: Karolyn Castaldo

Sometimes, summer just gets too hot, with blazing heat waves and incessant sun and it seems like there is no way to enjoy the weather. So, you crank up the AC and watch ski videos, dreaming of shredding, but more importantly, cooling down. What if there were a way for you to have fun in the sun, getting to ski and spending virtually no money? We’ve got the answer for you! Rail jams are a great way for you to practice those steezy park moves in the summer months, while spending some time outside with your friends and they are relatively simple to get up and running.

Obviously, there are many places you can get the supplies you need for the rail jam. First, you will need to get some lumber to build set ups. If you are not looking to spend anything, you can check the discard areas and dumpsters of local job and construction sites for unused lumber, but and easier, more expensive solution might be to take a trip to your local hardware store and ask what they suggest. You can essentially make a park element out of anything you can find, so be creative! Whatever you think would be fun to jump over, grind on, or slide down, throw into your car and take it for your rail jam!

The next supply item you will need to find is carpet. The carpet helps get the snow off of your lawn after the rail jam is done in a more quick and efficient manner. To find carpet for less, check if any of your neighbors are remodeling their houses and have just replaced their carpets and if they have extra, ask if they would mind if you took some. This way, you’re saving money again! You can also check secondhand stores or thrift shops for cheaper rugs that you could use.

Now, the most crucial element: Where do you find the snow? Behind most skating rinks, Zambonis dump tons and tons of ice and snow after their rounds on the rink which is left to melt. Line your car with a tarp, grab and shovel, and start digging! If the rink does not pile the snow in the back, you can go in and ask the Zamboni driver if he will dump the load out back for you to use!

You’re almost ready to shred. Once you have all of your elements set up, your carpets laid out, and your snow on top of them, pour some table salt on the snow so that it ices over and stays a little longer so that you have more time to ski or ride. Then, invite all of your friends, because even non-skiers and boarders can enjoy a bonfire, awesome tricks, and hilarious falls. We hope you get out and try this new way to cool off this summer!

If you are feeling a little more adventurous and think that you can handle it, you can always make the trip down to Southern Latitudes for the Real Thing.

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