All photos credited to Kyle Arcamano.
I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I grew up on the Jersey Shore and at the age of 39 I can count on one finger how many times that I have visited the beach during the winter months. I spend the entire summer there, however when Labor day rolls around my beach going days come to a very abrupt end. Similarly, as a long time skier, my visits to NJ based ski resort, Mountain Creek, have been equally limited. I almost always opt for the longer drive and larger mountains of Vermont. So much for Jersey pride. However, when Red Bull contacted me about taking part in their Switchboard event that was being held in NJ for the first time, I was immediately pumped up to attend. This one-of-a-kind event where athletes surf in the morning and snowboard or ski in the afternoon can only be held at a few places in the country and it was quite an honor that Red Bull chose New Jersey this year.
Beginning the day in Asbury Park was the perfect way to kick off Switchboard. The idyllic location that has experienced a renaissance over the past decade and served as a culturally unique backdrop for such a distinctive event. The history of this once great town shining through in the refurbished buildings of today. Even the ocean, lacking waves, couldn't threatened to compromise the start of Switchboard thanks to a relic from a bygone era. The building that had formerly housed the carousel from the previous height of this city had recently been converted into a skate park, giving the athletes another boarding option and saving them from the frigid, glass like ocean. Some warriors did suit up and jump in and one surfer almost (and that's a stretch) caught a wave, but for the most part the morning was reserved for the skating the bowl.
Mountain Creek, formerly Vernon Valley Great Gorge, has been through its own revitalization in the past 15 years and was equally impressive. Throughout its long history, Mountain Creek has experienced its ups and downs, however new amenities, including a beautiful base lodge and a luxury hotel have this four season resort at an all time high. Mountain Creek has come to be known as an east coast snowboarding hub and thanks to some sick new features in its terrain parks, blue skies and solid snow they were an ideal host for the second half of Switchboard.
Overall, Red Bull Switchboard was as advertised, a "bucket list" event that was enhanced by the locations of the day. Happy to have been a part of this in my home state we got to show up just how special New Jersey and it's extreme athletes can be. Revitalized and ready for the day, Asbury Park and Mountain Creek delivered on being the ideal settings, Each one, unique in its own way, went hand in hand with such a distinctive event.