I’ve been telling folks about this Vermont past-time for years now and thought a blog post about it might clear up any lingering misunderstandings. There’s no snow around just yet, but it’s never too early to build a new one for the new season.
A Jack Jumper is one downhill ski with a seat on top of it, usually made out of second hand materials. Supposedly originating from New England, Jack Jumping is the fine art of balancing one’s self on said instrument and riding pell-mell down mountain sides, hills, or other vertical inclines. The tendency to be laughing like a maniac while doing this activity is also quite high – be warned.
In a word, it’s awesome and surprisingly easy…
If you’re looking for further coverage, please see Leith Tonino’s semi-historical account in Vermont Magazine (January/February 2011) – “The Smiles are Huge – Jack Jumping: A Personal History of an Old-Time Vermont Tradition” – or some basic coverage from the 2011 Mount Snow Jack Jump World Championship in the Charlotte News from me.
Mount Snow’s Jack Jump World Championship happens every year around March. If you’re interested, it’s a great wee community event. There’s also one in Europe somewhere, but they call it Skibock…
Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Jumping
Now you know a bit more about Vermont culture and what to do with all those old downhill skis you have…
2014 Jack Jump World Championship video from Sean Hirten