On Friday, March 6, 2009 the University of Tennessee's wakeboard team hosted the Big Orange Rail Jam inside UT's Aquatic Center, America's first indoor wakeboard competition.
"I think it's really cool that we are doing this because it's a new thing. I've never seen a rail jam inside. I hope other colleges will see it and start to do it and open up a whole new window," said Austin Brown, UT sophomore wakeboarder.
The wakeboard team and local sponsors, American Boat Center and The Board Room, built a wakeboard rail course inside UT's old Aquatic Center.
The course will consisted of a 48-foot-long wooden rail and five-foot-high kicker ramp the riders choose during their run.
UT wakeboard team president Haden Fullam said there was a lot a red tape to cut through because this event is the first of its kind. The team had to not only pitch the idea to UT's RecSports, but also had to sanction the event nationally through USA Water Ski but he said it was well worth after it was all over.
"If we have 100 people out, I will be pumped," said Fullam before then event kicked off.
With the cooperation and support of local sponsors, the wakeboard team brought more than 175 people to the Big Orange Rail Jam and hopes that future UT hosted rails jams become the mecca for Knoxville's growing wakeboard scene.
The buzz around campus is booming and spirits are high for the riders participating in the competition. "It should be a lot of fun for all the riders," said Brown.