Vert skateboarding, short for vertical skateboarding, is the act of riding a skateboard on a skate ramp or other incline and involves the skateboarder transitioning from the horizontal plane to the vertical plane in order to perform skateboarding tricks.
Vert skateboarding has its genesis in "pool riding" - the riding of skateboards in an emptied backyard swimming pool - during the 1970s. As riders moved from general street skateboarding and occasional "pool riding" into purpose-built skate parks, vert skateboarding became more popular. Skateboarders began to develop, and then practice, tricks and techniques specifically for vert skateboarding. Vert skateboarding became a common style of skateboarding and was introduced into many competitions and events including the X Games and the Maloof Money Cup. In 2008 ESPN and X Games organisers announced that vert skateboarding would be removed from X Games competitions in favour of free-movement skate-park-style courses where participants would still be able to perform vert skateboarding tricks but would need to do so in combination with other street skateboarding elements. After public condemnation from professional skateboarders Bob Burnquist, Tony Hawk and others, organisers re-instated vert skateboarding. However, in 2011 ESPN announced that the X Games would no longer feature a Women's Vert Skateboarding event, citing a lack of, "a growing participant base, an established annual competition schedule" and, "myriad other factors". Professional skateboarder Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins said the decision would, "end the growth for women's vert skating as we know it". Despite waning support for standalone competition vert skateboarding, vert ramps (often in the form of half-pipes, quarter-pipes or bowls) are present in most modern skateparks.
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References and sources
- Jeff Savage (2005). Vert Skating: Mastering the Ramp. Capstone. ISBN 978-0-7368-2705-8.
- The Science and Art of Skateboard Design: How Boards Have Changed Over Time (Exploratorium)
- Loveletters To Skateboarding: Style by Blair Alley (Transworld Skateboarding, 31 August 2012) [video]
- Maloof Announces Vert Skaters For South Africa by Blair Alley (Transworld Skateboarding, 20 September 2012)
- X Games Re-Instates Vert Competition After Heat from Pro Skaterboarders + BMX Riders[permanent dead link] by Ryley Bane (Label Networks, 2008)
- X Games cancels women's Skate Vert by Matt Higginsn(ESPN.com, 31 May 2011)
- Skateboard Guide and Skate Size Chart (Evo.com)