Vert skating for beginners

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Vert skating for beginners

Postby MikeyC » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:38 am

Hope this isn't too long winded but no one in my town skates vert...

Started skating 1 year ago almost exactly. My mission has always been to do some simple tricks on the vert ramp. Skated as a kid from about age 8-12 then stopped. I turn 41 this year.

Have been dropping in on the local 12ft vert ramp for a few months now. Skating it very irregularly, cant balance well enough after the drop in to really pump at all and have never managed get my front wheels above the coping on either side. Can drop in and backside kick turn and drop in and roll back fakie. Have mentally committed to focusing on vert this year.

What can I currently do? I can do a few tricks on a indoor 2.5 ft mellow mini ramp, rock n roll, feeble grind, blunt to 5050, 5-0 grind to tail (very slowly) and other more simple tricks. When ever I try to different ramp I cant even land a 5050 stall with out 12 tries and its like im learning all my tricks from scratch. Cant do anything front side other than a sketchy kick turn grind, cant ollie more than a couple inches no shovits or kick flips or any street tricks at all.

What am I riding? I have a 8.5 with 159's and 60mm STF's for the vert ramp, 8.0 139's 55mm spitfire 99a for everything else. I feel like the smaller board pumps faster and easier on the vert ramp than the bigger board. It has those expensive bones 6 ball bearings and the big board has plain reds that are 8 months old.

What do I want to be able to do on vert? I want to do a rock fake, tail stall, 5050 stall or just be able to drop in and hop off on the other side.

So the question is how to progress? I know I need to skate the vert ramp more regularly, like twice a week. Balance after the drop in is an issue but im hoping it will come with more regular practice?
Are there any exercises I should start doing to help with balance?
Should I be riding wider trucks?
Do I just need to practice practice practice?
Am I too old to be learning this?
Should I learn frontside kick turns to help my overall balance?
Are there any pumping on vert tricks to gain more speed?

After writing this I have come up with the idea of dropping in, roll back fakie then pump forward hopefully gaining enough speed to click my front wheels over. Cant see me gaining enough speed to be able to stand up on the other side.

Any advice would be appreciated, maybe I just need some bigger testicles :)
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby pete » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:30 am

never skated vert but it sounds like your doing it right and as you say, just more practice.

only thing i can offer about stability it how tight your trucks are but i'm sure you've thought that yourself already 8)
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby warwick » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:39 am

Board, trucks and wheels sound right for vert. Backside airs are a good one to learn on vert. Do a backside kickturn and learn to grab your board just in front of your front heel (towards the nose). You’ll be surprised at how much you have to crouch down to do that. Just keep doing it till it’s completely comfortable and normal. Then, at the peak of your turn, hold onto the board a little longer than you did before. Do that a few times. Then do it with the tiniest hop on the way down from the peak of your turn. Eventually you’ll be doing airs.


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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby MikeyC » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:01 am

warwick wrote:Board, trucks and wheels sound right for vert. Backside airs are a good one to learn on vert. Do a backside kickturn and learn to grab your board just in front of your front heel (towards the nose). You’ll be surprised at how much you have to crouch down to do that. Just keep doing it till it’s completely comfortable and normal. Then, at the peak of your turn, hold onto the board a little longer than you did before. Do that a few times. Then do it with the tiniest hop on the way down from the peak of your turn. Eventually you’ll be doing airs.


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Cool thanks for the replies I’ll practice the grab during my turns. Will be good to try something other than just dropping in and kick turns :)



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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby fftc » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:29 am

MikeyC wrote:Any advice would be appreciated, maybe I just need some bigger testicles :)


I can't offer up any advice but I'd say if you are dropping in on a vert ramp your testicles are just fine for size!! :lol:
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby MikeyC » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:05 am

fftc wrote:
MikeyC wrote:Any advice would be appreciated, maybe I just need some bigger testicles :)


I can't offer up any advice but I'd say if you are dropping in on a vert ramp your testicles are just fine for size!! :lol:


Haha watched a street comp in town in the weekend those guys are crazy. Big slams onto concrete with no pads. Split legs nuts onto rails, guys rolling on the ground for minutes in pain. Bleeding grazes to elbows and backs. Awsome skating but not for me I’m afraid of concrete !! give me a wooden slide to fall onto any day :)



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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby Nut » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:05 pm

I'd say that Warwick is your man for specific vert tips, he's done loads of how-tos (Youtube) that show effective techniques.

Remembering back to my limited time on the big stuff, we'd slide about on the vert (cess slides, maybe a slide to fakie) - getting comfortable in that 'almost weightless' pont where your plane changes. Maybe carve about a bit (a lot) both fs and bs, this should help with gaining speed and pumping out as you can concentrate on your flow rather than the 'trick' at the most crucial point.

After that, I'd be warmed up enough to go skate the bowl - which is where it's at :)
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby MikeyC » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:39 am

Nut wrote:getting comfortable in that 'almost weightless' pont where your plane changes. Maybe carve about a bit (a lot) both fs and bs, this should help with gaining speed and pumping out as you can concentrate on your flow rather than the 'trick' at the most crucial point.

After that, I'd be warmed up enough to go skate the bowl - which is where it's at :)


That weightless point is where the learning is happening as its unique to vert for me. Lots to learn :) no decent bowls close to me :(


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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby Jeroen » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:52 am

MikeyC wrote:... cant balance well enough after the drop in to really pump at all ...

Maybe too simple of a suggestion, but tighten your trucks a little?
Did you try your 55mm wheels on vert?
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby MikeyC » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:21 am

Hi Jeroen, I am running my trucks very tight. I don't feel confident to try and pump during the drop in, my whole focus is just maintaining my balance. I don't get speed wobbles or fall off during the drop in. I think in standing up a bit much when im going down the drop so at the pumping point at the bottom of the transition I don't havre much of a push left. I need to keep really low all the way down then get the confidence to stand and pump. No I haven't tried the 55's on the vert, thats a good suggestion and Ill give them a run tomorrow :)
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby MikeyC » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:55 am

Tried the 55's 99a today. They are noticeable slower and feel almost sticky against the skatelite compared to the 60mm SPF's. Im about half a board length lower on the other side compared to the bigger wheels. Not saying thats a bad thing tho. I don't know if Im feeling more comfortable with those or not. Will give them another run later in the week.

Still have to get used to the speed on the drop. Sometimes im so focusing on the actual drop I hit the bottom with so much speed it a blur. Think I just need to stand half way up as I go through the transition rather than try to do a proper pump. Will tighten my truck a bit more too.
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby MikeyC » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:47 am

Back on the 60’s they feel better. Getting more comfortable, practice practice practice...


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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby MikeyC » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:24 am

Had a go on a 9” with 169’s it was much more stable so got one for myself :)


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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby MikeyC » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:52 am

Finding the wider board much more stable. Have been able to pump on the drop in finally. The extra height gets me right to the coping but kick turning while weightless up on the vert is a new learning curve... making progress tho :)


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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby MikeyC » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:19 am

Still progressing slowly, lots of rain here at the moment that is limiting my skating time. Need to stay relaxed dropping in and slower wider kick turns and need to focus on the timing of pumping to get the most speed.
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby Toon » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:39 pm

Hi Mikey, I used to skate vert for a few year back in the 80's, all I could do was backside airs.

If there was a vert near me i'd be trying to 5050 stall, rock n roll, front and back slash grinds.

oh and fakie ollies just bonking off the coping.

fakie rock - no, too scared haha

fakie disaster yes, once you got em tight with no clipping on smaller ramps.

GL, post us some vids! :D

ALso tighter trucks for me on vert

edit: and 10" board and 169's or i'm not playing out.

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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby MikeyC » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:55 am

Made it to the other side finally !! I have been working on pump on the drop in for the last few months and kick turning, haven't tried to get to the other side for ages. Tried again today with a couple of big pump and made it after quite a few attempts of landing with no board or my board making it and not me. Had a few tumbles backwards into the ramp from the coping too... next time I’ll try 50 and 5050 grinds. I think my pure lack of hours on a board was the biggest hurdle in getting to this stage. Im loving the big ramp, thanks for the support team :)
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby MikeyC » Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:02 am

Dropped in, massive pump then started pumping going up, board shot forward as weight was a little over the back. Left Fibula broke into 4 pieces. Not ideal but good to see the G forces and energy transferred into my leg had so much power :) Have a plate and screws fitted in my leg no more vert skating...
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby HarryR » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:24 am

MikeyC wrote:Dropped in, massive pump then started pumping going up, board shot forward as weight was a little over the back. Left Fibula broke into 4 pieces. Not ideal but good to see the G forces and energy transferred into my leg had so much power :) Have a plate and screws fitted in my leg no more vert skating...

Ouch!

What a bummer. Take it easy, focus on getting fit again and then think about how you feel about how it affects skating. Your leg will be stronger with metal in, no?
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby Corey » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:51 am

MikeyC wrote:Dropped in, massive pump then started pumping going up, board shot forward as weight was a little over the back. Left Fibula broke into 4 pieces. Not ideal but good to see the G forces and energy transferred into my leg had so much power :) Have a plate and screws fitted in my leg no more vert skating...


Sorry to hear that dude.

Good luck with the recovery!
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby vato kat » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:08 am

MikeyC wrote:Dropped in, massive pump then started pumping going up, board shot forward as weight was a little over the back. Left Fibula broke into 4 pieces. Not ideal but good to see the G forces and energy transferred into my leg had so much power :) Have a plate and screws fitted in my leg no more vert skating...


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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby Jeroen » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:43 pm

damn... that s#cks...!
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby fftc » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:42 pm

MikeyC wrote:Dropped in, massive pump then started pumping going up, board shot forward as weight was a little over the back. Left Fibula broke into 4 pieces. Not ideal but good to see the G forces and energy transferred into my leg had so much power :) Have a plate and screws fitted in my leg no more vert skating...


Fuuuuuccckkkkkk! :%
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby JimBin » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:52 pm

MikeyC wrote:Dropped in, massive pump then started pumping going up, board shot forward as weight was a little over the back. Left Fibula broke into 4 pieces. Not ideal but good to see the G forces and energy transferred into my leg had so much power :) Have a plate and screws fitted in my leg no more vert skating...


Ah shit, MikeyC.
I hope you have the best of recoveries.
Take care.
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby Skatalite » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:32 pm

Crap dude, that sucks, all the best in your recovery
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby Plan9Customs » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:19 am

Sorry to hear it. Hope it heals fast and no major issues.
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby undertime » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:34 am

Aw shit... only just seen this. Nightmare. Hope the recovery is fast and full.
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Re: Vert skating for beginners

Postby Dayglowfrog » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:16 am

Sorry about your leg I smashed mine up on a motorbike once so I know what you are going through.
at least the plate means they have put the bits in the right place first time they had to keep moving my bones every two weeks by hammering wedges into the cast for about two months.

I was really enjoying reading about your progress though and thinking I wander what happens when you fall at that height, now I know.
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