By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
From freestyle to downhill skateboarding and all in between, skateboarding’s versatility has a spot and appeal for all tastes that accommodate to each person’s preference. Skaters develop a certain discipline depending on their skills and skateboarding background and today we will take a deep dive into two of the most important ones.
The main difference between VERT and PARK skateboarding is how far you as a skateboarder want to go into each discipline but they are both widely related, lets check it out!
Photo: Mikael Cho (Unsplash)
Short for vertical skateboarding, is the act of riding a skateboard on a ramp in order to perform tricks that involve high air time, and overall control on your body and skateboard while on the air.
It started in the beginnings of “pool riding” in the 60s and 70s which is basically skating in empty pools and it evolved to become one of the most extreme forms of skateboarding due to its level of difficulty and danger, one of the biggest differences from park skateboarding is that you will not find obstacles such as rails or stairs, its main focus being gaining air time and flipping your body and board at the same time while performing flips to the board, another big difference is the set up of the skate gear, pro vert riders usually set up their boards with 55 mm or even larger wheels and wider decks for more stability on the drop.
Controversy on the X Games
It became one of the main disciplines featured in events such as the X Games and the Maloof Money Cup up until 2008 when ESPN and X Games organizers announced that vert skateboarding would be removed from X Games events to provide more space to free-movement skate-park-style since by the time was gaining plenty of popularity among spectators.
The main opposer of this decision was no other than Tony Hawk, that put on a great fight to have the event reinstated, which actually happened after media and skateboarding community backlash.
Photo: Mikael Cho (Unsplash)
California's first skatepark, the Carlsbad Skatepark opened on March 3, 1976, The World Skateboard Championships were held here on April 10, 1977, from then on Skateparks have become the most beneficial resource for skateboarders around the globe when it comes to the practice of the sport.
The main focus of this particular style and the main difference between the 2 styles is the flat ground tricks, grinds and slides that evolved from the early stages of the freestyle skateboarding wich took distance from pool skateboarding influence that gave the name to what we now know as vert skateboarding.
The park structures were determined to create a street like environment, with features such as handrails, stairs, walls, park benches, and other streets like furniture that then evolved to what we know now as banks, flat rails, handrails, and Manualpads just to name a few. Park skateboarding also included and shaped some of the vert obstacles like bowls, pools, jump ramps, mini ramps, quarterpipes, halfpipe, and others but in reduced proportions, for the comfort of skateboarders to be able to mix flat ground tricks on the ramps without the risk of falling from a high altitude.
Designed For Safe Skating
It is also a means to provide a safe environment to practice this sport, although some and most of the pros prefer the actual street skateboarding which consists of skating in public places and finding unusual spots that were NOT designed to grind, slide and jump from with a skateboard, which is illegal in most places and could get you fined or even a couple of days in jail, but let’s face it, skateboarding its a countercultural and rebellious movement that defies all boundaries so its a risk that most are willing to take in the name of their lifestyle and expression!
There you have it my dudes and dudettes, there not one better style than the other and it just depends on your preference and skills, and as we learned today all styles and especially these two are widely related to one another, think of them as skating styles bros, no matter which style you choose, your friends at SHIT® will always be there when you fall! #AllSkateIsAwesome.