The Independent Vert Series is held over several legs at some of the UK’s premier skateparks. Supported by companies such as Vans, Skullcandy and Santa Cruz as well as the UKSA and Sidewalk, the six-round 2013 edition visited Cornwall’s Mount Hawke, Blackpool’s Ramp City, North Berwick’s The Space, Adrenaline Alley in Corby, Creation Skatepark in Birmingham and Manchester’s new Beast Rampz park.
At each round there were two competitions – one for ‘A’ group (sponsored/pro skaters) and another for ‘B’ Group (unsponsored skaters). However, the actual format of the competition changed at each round and was also sometimes different between the two groups at the same round.
Among the highlights of the competition was the third round at The Space, where a host of the UK’s up-and-coming vert talent and the usual ‘A’ group pros thrashed the ramp to within an inch of its life. Oakley Liddle took overall first place in the ‘A’ comp by landing the only 540 of the day, with Colin Adam and Div Adam not far behind. Leon ‘Zippy’ Adams was the best placed of the ‘B’ Group skaters.
The following round in Corby continued to show that vert skating is alive and well in the UK. The ‘A’ group competition, based on the challenging ‘Dew Tour’ format of 30-second timed runs with only the best run counting, was won by 15-year-old Matty Carlisle from Merseyside. 14-year-old Jesse Thomas took first place in the ‘B’ Group in only his second year of vert comps.