Skateboarding is more than just a sport; it's a culture, a lifestyle, and a form of self-expression. While there are numerous styles and disciplines within skateboarding, two of the most popular and distinct ones are street skateboarding and vert skateboarding. Each style has its own unique characteristics, challenges, and passionate communities. In this blog, we'll explore the key differences between street skateboarding and vert skateboarding and celebrate the diversity within the skateboarding world.
Understanding Street Skateboarding: The Urban Style
Street skateboarding is often what comes to mind when people think of skateboarding. It's characterised by skaters navigating the urban landscape, using streets, sidewalks, and various architectural features as their canvas. Street skaters are renowned for their creativity and adaptability, as they find new and innovative ways to interact with their surroundings. Here are some of the key aspects of street skateboarding:
- Obstacle Course: In street skateboarding, the city becomes an obstacle course. Skaters use curbs, ledges, stair sets, handrails, benches, and virtually anything they can find to perform tricks. This style encourages a strong connection between the skater and their environment.
- Creativity: Street skaters constantly push the boundaries of what's possible. They come up with unique lines, combining tricks in inventive ways. Creativity is at the heart of street skateboarding, as skaters are always on the lookout for new spots to explore and conquer.
- Tricks: Street skateboarding is all about mastering tricks like kickflips, grinds, ollies, and flips. The goal is to seamlessly incorporate these tricks into lines and make them look effortless.
- Community: Street skateboarding has a tight-knit community that shares a deep appreciation for the artistry and individuality of the sport. Skateboarders often film their tricks and share them with the world, creating a sense of camaraderie within the community.
Vert Skateboarding: Riding the Ramp
Vert skateboarding, on the other hand, is characterised by skaters taking on ramps, halfpipes, and other transition-based structures. It's an entirely different beast that focuses on aerial maneuvers and high-flying stunts. Here are some of the key aspects of vert skateboarding:
- Transition Riding: Vert skaters thrive in environments that allow for smooth transitions. Halfpipes and bowls are their playgrounds, and they rely on the natural curvature of these structures to gain air and perform tricks.
- Aerial Acrobatics: Vert skateboarding is known for its high-flying tricks, including grabs, spins, flips, and variations of the "ollie." The ability to generate speed and height is crucial for executing these stunts.
- Vert Ramps: The heart of vert skateboarding is the vert ramp—a U-shaped ramp with two transitioning sides. Skaters build incredible speed on the downhill side and use it to launch themselves into the air to perform tricks above the coping (the metal edge of the ramp).
- Competitions: Vert skateboarding has a strong presence in competitive skateboarding, with events like the X Games featuring vert competitions. Skaters are judged on their technical ability, style, and amplitude.
Choosing Your Style: Street or Vert
While street skateboarding and vert skateboarding are distinct styles, it's important to remember that skateboarding is all about self-expression and individuality. Many skateboarders dabble in both styles, and some have even managed to bridge the gap by incorporating elements of street skating into vert and vice versa. Ultimately, the choice between street and vert skateboarding comes down to personal preference and the type of terrain that inspires you.
In the end, skateboarding is about pushing boundaries, taking risks, and having fun. Whether you're grinding a handrail in the city or soaring above a vert ramp, the underlying spirit of skateboarding remains the same—a love for the board, a thirst for adventure, and a commitment to defying gravity in your own unique way.
So, whether you're cruising the streets of your neighbourhood or carving the vert ramp at your local skatepark, embrace the style that resonates with you and celebrate the incredible diversity within the skateboarding community. In the world of skateboarding, there's room for everyone to carve their own path and write their own tale of two styles.