Everybody’s doing just what they’re told to.

mc-door-jump.jpg

Nobody wants to go to jail!

Skate Daily brought our attention to three Vert Death Knell stories today. The XGames is abandoning the vert ramp competition and the latest Vans park remodel will not include a vert ramp. Haw haw! That must be why I’ve been hearing so many “we should build a vert ramp” comments lately here in Oregon. Since big vert is no longer considered commercially viable, maybe it’s edgy now?


Is Oregon ahead of the curve or is California behind it? It’s not a question of whether doing a dexterous flip of the toe down a huge stair set is gnarly, it is. The X games is proposing to give us a Superpark so that “kids will be able to watch the X Games skateboarding competition for SuperPark and see pros on the same obstacles that they might be able to ride at their local park.” Yeah, well my local park has a twenty-foot diameter full pipe that ends in an eleven and a half-foot deep bowl with tile and pool coping. I still lose sleep thinking about how I will ever get over that mousehole.

It seems like mankind is in decline. Each new technology makes it easier for people to do their jobs and there is a commensurate loss of quality associated with reduced commitment. If it’s harder to master a skill, having that skill is more valuable. Not everyone will be willing to make the sacrifices required to get to that level. I occasionally enjoy sampled electronic music but no way is it as interesting as the music that’s being sampled that was originally created by people who actually know how to play musical instruments.

It may actually be a good thing that the spectacle is done with skateboarding. So a few talented jocks won’t be able to make a fabulous living from a childish diversion. That was always a perversion of skateboarding anyway. I’m betting the superpark is not going to draw any better ratings than big vert. Who wants to watch someone skate a miniramp unless it’s from across the deck?

Do we really want skateboarding to become like Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, where every superior ability is deliberately crippled in the name of “human equality?”

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I’m sure there will always be people like Red who, given the choice, will build
seventy five foot long bowl with ten-foot transitions topped with two to four feet of vert or a big scary snakerun.

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There will always be people ready to get out there and skate it. ESPN and Vans can suck it.

photos by MC and Kilwag

18 Comments

  1. What about the half-pipe in the Winter X-Games will it meet the same terrain reasoning demise. X Game Officials: We decided to have mediocre snow park event so kids can see pros riding the same crappy terrain as they do. That sure is some weak justification. How about: It’s not raking in enough money so lets ditch it for something more lucrative. Now that would be honesty.

    Oh well, skating will always be here for folks that just want to skate no matter the terrain. My guess is that vert skating will long outlive any hyped-up sports exploitation venture. How about this press release: Vert has cancelled the X Games.

  2. i haven’t watched the xgames for years its not skateboarding or bmx to me at all (they dropped bmx vert as well). It doesn’t matter the format, companies like red bull, put ideas, effort, money into our sports and it seems like it is more for the riders, and less about the paycheck and more about pushing the sport or bringing attention to it. hopefully people will stop caring that espn doesn’t support our sport and start caring and recognizing the companies/people that do.

  3. sleezyskates on April 4, 2008 - Reply

    sick article

  4. Nice post. You even reference one of my favorite Vonnegut stories. The Chance Meeting posters would be so impressed too! haha

    I’m out in the North East, and there aren’t any real big vert ramps around. There was one at Rex Plex in NJ but they shut down. Now the only one I know of in the NorthEast is at Rye Airfield in NH. It’s a shame – smaller terrain is easier to come by and easier to create if necessary, but the big stuff is not.

  5. They should introduce a bowl/pool contest instead….more people and kids skating transitions than vert. Like we don’t have one good vert ramp in Oregon but tons of bowls…
    But whatever, the Xgames suck anyway. I’d rather watch the Trifecta “live”.

  6. Perhaps, sampled music and mini ramp skateboarding have got to the level where they aren’t just substitutes for the ‘real’ thing anymore…

    Anyway, I think vert canceling the Xgames (as Rich put it) is a good thing and might help its image a bit. Although, last time I skated the Hood River vert ramp (a few weeks back) the only ones skating it were myself, my geezer friend Pat and some kids being ‘coached’ by their parents. I remember my mother dropping me off at the Morfa vert ramp (Swansea, Wales) at age 12 and telling me not to call her if I broke myself dropping in… there were no Xgames back then, you see.

  7. Vert’s “dead” again? Makes no difference to me so long as they don’t stop making wheels bigger than 50mm again. That was much more effective in “killing” vert than taking it off the xgaymes could ever be. Maybe without the xgaymes involved vert can lose its jocky rep.

  8. Hate Beak on April 4, 2008 - Reply

    I think we should eat Ryan S because he does not ride vert and thats what killed it.

  9. Chief Soarknee on April 4, 2008 - Reply

    Clearly they are trying to appeal to their fan base, as in the kids and their parent’s money?

    In my short time visiting some of the skate parks in this area the one thing I kept noticing was the only people I have seen skating the big bowls were older guys.
    I was at Pier Park a couple weeks ago when the weather was nice, I was there for probably two hours, the park was packed and in that time I only saw one guy even skate the big bowl and he was at least forty.

    It seems like every time I read something about trying to get a big vert ramp built or looking for a pool to skate it’s coming for older guys.
    I mean look at the pics above those don’t look like a bunch of kids to me.
    I am not saying that there aren’t kids into vert, I just don’t see a lot of them.

    As for me, I will tune into the X-games but the only thing I am interested in is the vert competition and I have no real desire to learn how to kick flip down a flight of stairs as cool as I think it is but to be able to get big air again would be amazing.
    In my opinion it’s those damb whipper snappers and there parents credit cards that are killing vert.

    Blah, blah, blah what do I know, I am forty and just bought my first board in twenty years so I am a little out of the loop.

  10. Fk ’em and all the Xgames sponsors. Sure I’ll watch, superpark sounds cool actually, but I won’t buy sponsors products, and I’ll be sure to write them and tell them why.

    The reason the athletes are “old” is because ya can’t pick up a board and learn a 540 in a year. Ya don’t get good at vert skatin’ yer “crappy driveway ramps.”

    Yep, they can suck it. Suck it indeed.

  11. Thank God for the Dew Tour!

  12. go watch the protec pool party then watch the Xgames vert live, you’ll know why they made the change.

  13. colin walsh rules on April 6, 2008 - Reply

    thats a cool pic, the sky on the right is trippyyyyyyyyyyy

  14. This just in… Bacon board sales on the rise after Benji Galloway enters the X Games.

    If I had to watch a contest on TV (or in real life actually) I’d much rather see something in connected concrete bowls than a vert ramp. Vert ramp contests are kind of boring actually. The head to head format is more entertaining too. I guess you could do that on a vert ramp if thry wanted, but they don’t. One thing, they might have a harder time filming it. It’s easy to predict where the action is on a vert ramp.

    Also, I feel compelled to mention that we already talked about this.

  15. enemy combatant on April 6, 2008 - Reply

    Kill your television.

  16. damienhialation on April 7, 2008 - Reply

    remember when they had the crazy bunjee jumps where dudes would tie themselves to random stuff (like kayaks) and jump(or get pushed) off a bridge?.. BOING!!! and then there was sky surfing with the dude on the snowboard doing sky ballet? My dream was killed when those were taken out of the x-games, so why not finish me off by taking the vert ramp too!

  17. damienhialation on April 7, 2008 - Reply

    p.s. superb article!

  18. […] the anguished cries of old men everywhere resonated in the halls of ESPN. EXPN reports: ESPN has decided to continue […]

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