Avalanche Risk City Jam @ SPENS, Novi Sad, Serbia

Words: Miljan Milekić

For the third year in a row, Novi Sad is a host to an urban snowboard and ski contest Avalanche Risk City Jam. Organized by the Avalanche Risk crew, and supported by the City of Novi Sad, this annual event is started as a promotion of extreme and winter sports. The first day of the two-day event featured the opening of the “Winter Market,” and the contest itself, while the second day was reserved for kids, as well as the promotion of other action sports, including the indoor bike race.

More than a few hundred visitors gathered outside SPENS, the biggest sports arena in Novi Sad, to see more than 30 riders from Serbia, Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Macedonia. This year, the stake was even bigger, as Avalanche Risk City Jam teamed up with Carnival Snowboard Session in Rijeka, and there will be a special prize for an overall winner. The best rider and winner of the 500€ prize was Botond Fritz from Hungary, while second and third places and 300€ and 150€ prizes went to Slovenians Nejc Ferjan and Rok Podgorelec. The Young Gun Award went to another Slovenian rider – Anej Herzenjak. Over the course of two qualification groups, and finals, the crowd could see some sick moves, big tricks, and quite a few falls, with great music support from Zupany behind the decks.

However, not everything was positive. The timetable was pretty much useless, as everything was starting an hour or two later than announced. In combination with long breaks, it kinda took the momentum away. As a result, qualifications had more spectators than finals, which is a bit of a paradox. Also, the announcer could provide a bit more information about the riders themselves, and the stuff they were doing on the course. There were snowboarders, skiers, and winter sports enthusiasts in the crowd, but the majority of the audience doesn’t come from that world and could use a little more introduction to what they were watching. That being said, Avalanche Risk City Jam is a great event, and being the only one of its kind in Novi Sad, it is important to the city. As a relatively new event, it still has enough room to grow and time to fix its faults. Until next year!

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