How does vert skateboarding compare to street skating? What are the differences and the similarities, which one is harder, and which is best suited for your skateboarding style and experience?
What is Vert Skateboarding?
“Vert” is short for “vertical” and entails riding a skateboard on a vert ramp to gain as much air as possible. In the air, vert skaters can perform a variety of tricks. During vert skating competitions, they will be judged solely on these tricks and their ability to land them.
Vert skateboarding hails from the early days of riding swimming pools in the 1970s. Skateboarders would hop over fences and skate empty swimming pools in backyards. The bowl shape allowed them to generate high speeds and lots of air, and this is when many common tricks were invented.
Vert skateboarding was actually pulled from the X Games at one point, but after a backlash, including from the likes of Tony Hawk, it was reinstated.
What is Street Skateboarding?
As the name suggests, street skateboarding was born on the streets and this is where it continues to thrive. Skaters would grind curbs and handrails, jump concrete stairs and park benches, and generally use the environment to their advantage.
Modern skateparks are based on street skating and include obstacles like rails, slopes, stairs, and kickers.
Street skateboarding has also featured at the Olympic Games and other major skating competitions, where street skaters are judged based on their tricks and the smoothness and cohesiveness of their line.
Vert Skateboarding vs Street Skateboard
Now that we know what vert skating and street skateboarding are, it’s fairly clear how they differ from one another. But let’s look at some commonly asked to better understand these two skateboarding styles:
Is Vert Skating Harder than Street Skating?
Yes! You need to ride at speed and gain a lot of height while performing and landing tricks. On the street, you can find a kicker or a rail to suit your skill level. With vert skateboarding, you may feel like you’re a little out of your depth right from the start.
Is Vert More Dangerous than Street Skating?
It depends on what you’re doing on the street, but for the most part, vert skating is more dangerous.
However, if you’re constantly throwing caution to the wind, not wearing protective gear, and skating concrete steps and walls, street skating will be more dangerous.
Is Vert Skating Dead?
In this video, Tony Hawk talks about how he got into street skating during the early 1990s because he struggled to find vert ramps. If you Google “is vert skating dead?” you will also find forum posts from 2010 that complain about how vert skating is dead, and you’ll hear the same thing being said today.
In other words, it seems that vert skating has been “dead” for most of its life, which doesn’t make any sense.
The truth is that vert ramps are expensive. As a result, they are not as accessible or widely available. whereas street skaters can just grab their board and go to the local park or parking lot. There’s always somewhere for street skaters to practice their tricks but the same can’t be said for vert skaters, and that’s why it’s more of a niche skating experience.
That doesn’t mean it’s dead, though.
Is Tony Hawk a Vert or Street Skater?
Tony Hawk is a vert skater. That’s what he is best known for. In fact, he is arguably the sport’s biggest advocate and has helped to keep vert skating—and skateboarding in general—at the very top of the extreme sports landscape.
What are the Other Styles of Skateboarding?
In addition to street and vert skating, there is freestyle skateboarding, which is one of the oldest forms; downhill skateboarding, where riders attain high speeds on longboards; and park skateboarding, which takes place in skateparks.