Mastering Mountainous Thrills: How To Skate a Vert Ramp

Master vert ramp skating with our comprehensive guide. Learn essential tips, gear recommendations, plus how to avoid common pitfalls.

Skating a vert ramp is like taming a wild horse you’ve got to tame. The thrill, the air, the speed—it’s electric. But if you’re new to this, you’re probably asking, “How do you even skate a vert ramp without eating concrete?” Well, brace yourself. I’m coming in hot with a little secret: everyone had to start somewhere. Even Tony Hawk was rooky a few millennia ago. We’ll soon have you ripping like a pro. Ready to defy gravity?

What are vert ramps?

Vert Ramps, the unforgettable giants of skateparks, are towering structures loved for their steep inclines and adrenaline-pumping drops, offering a killer ride every time for the thrill-seekers among us. It’s a U-shaped ramp that’s designed with two steep sides (typically made of wood) that face each other. And let’s not forget that they are the big dogs when it comes to pulling off some of the most insane tricks.

Mastering mountainous thrills: how to skate a vert ramp | image of a skater doing a trick on a vert ramp | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Mastering mountainous thrills: how to skate a vert ramp | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

What should you know before attempting to skate a vert ramp?

If you’re excited to learn vert skating, there are some basics you need to know before rolling. First up, vert ain’t for the newbies. You have to have some solid skate skills before you even dream of dropping in on a vert ramp. Plus, vert can be gnarly. Doing flips and jumps on a half-pipe or quarter-pipe can be risky, so you have to learn the tricks of the trade and be safe before you shred.

Don’t forget, you gotta be all in and practice a ton if you want to rock at vert skating. Ready to hit the vert? First things first, you have to find a sick ramp that suits your level. There’s a whole bunch out there, so pick the right one for you. I say start small—pump back and forth on a mini ramp or small halfpipe to get the feel before you go big and hit those larger ramps.

Do you need special gear for vert skating?

When you’re venturing into conquering bigger ramps, protection is key. In addition to a sick board, you’ll need:

  • A solid, impact-resistant helmet
  • Skate shoes for that much-needed grip. Check out these killer skate shoes I’ve tested.
  • Knee and elbow pads.
  • Ankle guards…those are gold!

By the way, here’s a guide on executing a wicked Blunt Spine Transfer on a vert.

How do you safely fall on a vert ramp?

Now that you’re all geared up and ready to step foot on the vert ramp, let’s learn the art of falling. Falls are inevitable in vert skating, so it’s essential to fall safely. Wearing all your protective gear, leave your skateboard and choose an unoccupied spot on the ramp. Sprint up the ramp’s side, leap, and land on your knee pads. You’ll glide down the ramp’s curve, which is surprisingly enjoyable.

Practice this several times. If you fall while skating, this is the ideal way to do it. Yet, falls can be unpredictable. If you fall differently, remember not to break your fall with your hands unless you have wrist guards. Refrain from using your hands to break falls. Aim to land on your knees. Most importantly, stay calm and let gravity guide you.

How do you build momentum and ride the vert?

Time for real action. Start at the base of the ramp, ensuring no other skaters are around. Now, standing at the bottom, mount your skateboard and thrust yourself up the ramp’s side. As you ascend and feel the momentum decreasing, thrust your knees out, propelling the board upward.

As the skateboard descends, shift your weight and push downward as if you’re pressing your wheels through a soft ramp. This needs practice, but it’ll click with time. Use the speed gained to transition to the ramp’s other side, repeating the process. Don’t fret about immediate proficiency; with persistence, you’ll master vert ramp pumping.

As you gain confidence, experiment with pivots at the push’s peak. Some skaters pivot rather than revert to fakie. Both techniques are valuable, so relax and find your groove. Hey, before we plunge deeper, here are some best habits for new skaters.

How can you progress to bigger drops and ramps?

The idea of dropping into a vert ramp can be daunting. Don’t rush into it without proper preparation. Start small, practicing on minor ramps or at skate parks. Seek ramps with extended flat areas ahead, facilitating smooth roll-outs.

Once you’ve honed your skills on smaller ramps, challenge yourself with bigger ones. Remember, everyone progresses at their own pace, so don’t pressure yourself. Focus on enjoyment and confidence-building.

How to drop in on a vert ramp?

While dropping in appears intimidating, with conviction, it’s achievable. Approach the vert ramp’s top and position your skateboard’s tail.

Ensure the path ahead is clear, take a deep breath, and remain calm. Position your front foot over the front trucks and, with conviction, press down until the front wheels touch the ramp. Ensure you lean forward and are committed; hesitation can lead to accidents. Trust yourself and descend the ramp.

Image of a skater practicing on a vert ramp. Source: pexels
Mastering mountainous thrills: how to skate a vert ramp | image of a skater practicing on a vert ramp pexels 2 | skateboard salad

Skateboarding, to a significant extent, is about mindset. Trusting oneself is paramount. As you gather speed, adjust your weight as you did while pumping. Keep your weight on your front foot, transitioning your weight to the back foot as you reach the peak of your momentum, and ride down the opposite side. If you wish to maintain momentum, pump as you learned earlier.

Do’s and dont’s of skating a vert ramp

Taking on a vert ramp can be an invigorating adventure, a true test of your skating agility. As you step in, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here’s my quick cheat sheet on the dos and don’ts of skating a vert ramp.

Do start small with mini rampsDon’t skip protective gear
Do chalk out a game planDon’t rush the process
Do work on your balanceDon’t undermine safety steps
Do watch expert skaters in actionDon’t ignore the basics
Reference table for beginners venturing into the art of vert skating.

Skating a vert ramp also means learning about various aspects like the material, coating, and transitions. And it won’t be complete without some factual assimilation. Here’s a quick data table to get you started.

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

There’s always more to learn about vert ramps, isn’t there? From their designs to the thrill they bring, every question you shoot at me just fuels my passion for skating. Let’s dive into the unexplored and address some of your burning queries.

Can I build my own vert ramp?

Oh, the beauty of a DIY! Yes, you can build your own vert ramp, but be warned, it’s not a walk in the park. It’s a big project that requires careful planning, the right materials, and thorough knowledge of skate ramp design. You’ll need to consider the kind of wood you want to use and factor in the transitions, coping, layers, and, of course, safety measures. Need more info on how to fix mistakes? Here’s a guide on how to fix delamination on a ramp.

Where can I find vert ramps?

Most skate parks feature at least one vert ramp. You can also find them in private indoor parks and skate camps. If there’s a local skate demo happening, there’s a high chance you’ll have a shot at vert ramp skating.

Do I need a special type of skateboard for vert skating?

A standard skateboard can work quite well. However, keep in mind that vert skating often involves high speeds and extreme body movements, so the length and concave of the board can play a vital role in your stability and control. Lightness is always a pretty neat thing to consider. You can enjoy my review of the lightest skateboard trucks.

How do I master vert ramps faster?

First off, no one becomes Tony Hawk overnight (bitter pill, I know). But hey, practice makes perfect. Initially, focus on your footing, balance, and body movements rather than pushing for stunts. And above all, patience is golden. Happy Shredding!

Final thoughts

Riding a vert ramp is like unlocking a new level in your skating adventure. It is never easy initially, but with time and dedication, you’ll be ripping it up in no time. A vert ramp is truly the epitome of epic in the skating world. These bad boys are tailor-made for adrenaline junkies. You’ll feel the thrill of skating at its finest with every steep drop you take.

Did you find this guide handy? Or do you have some tricks up your sleeve that you want to share with me? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this piece valuable, don’t hesitate to share it with your buddies and explore my full blog for more nuggets on skating. Keep rolling!

Key takeaways

On our journey to explore the world of vert ramp skating, we’ve covered some pretty exciting ground. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Start small with mini ramps before stepping onto full-sized vert ramps.
  • Protective gear like helmets, knee and elbow pads, and ankle guards are crucial.
  • Best practices on a vert ramp revolve around balance, speed, leaning, and commitment.
  • DIY vert ramps are possible but require a significant amount of effort and knowledge.
  • The right skateboard can immensely enhance your vert skating experience.
  • Patience and practice are the keys to mastering vert ramp skating.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

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Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

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