The vert contest at the FISE has never really been the best ever. When it was indoors (Zenith) and the ramp was good (Vertical) it made for a better contest but lately it has been the less than perfect FISE ramp in windy conditions. The ramp this year was not layered in skatelite as promised but in 5 mm plywood. With the World Cup Skateboard contest scheduled for after the BMX vert comp, the skaters were fearing every crash the BMX-ers would make. A peg would go straight through the ramp and it happened three times. Rolling over a hole with a 20" wheel is less dangerous than with a skatewheel so the BMX vert contest could go on.
With prize money on the line for 7 people the vert class did see some not so regular faces. Place 5 - 8 was filled with riders who usually take it to the street but with some pocket money available for some 4 foot airs and some grinds, they went ahead and entered the comp.
Joe Riley would have thought twice if he knew what was ahead of him on the vert ramp. After some grinds and 4 feet airs the Premium rider tried a 540, landed it but crossed up his bars and fell on his face wearing a skate helmet. He chipped a tooth, dislocated his cheek and missed out on any vert prize money as he finished 8th.
Ryan Mills on the other hand was stoked on the extra beer money that he got for 7th place. John Heaton actually showed some good stuff with barspin manuals on vert and airs in the 4 foot range. Max Vincent had a few crashes but he tried hard and deserved the top spot of the street posse.
Peter Geys didn't have his day. He did not get along with the ramp and hated the feel of the beams getting up and down the ramp. The layer was so thin you could feel every crossbeam with your bike. Peter still did 540-s, tailwhips, a flair, no-handers, inverts at decent height, no-footers, x-ups and a few lookbacks. It was actually a pretty close call between Peter and Ricky Roich. Ricky's style was more expressive with big alley oop 540-s, alley oop airs, turndowns, inverts, x-ups and he also pulled a flair.
It was also close between Eduardo Terreros and Matt Fairbairn for first place. Eduardo had the style for first but Matt had the tricks for first. It's a tough call to make but with 540 barspins, x-ups to double barspins, slow tailwhips and staying on his bike during tons of variations, the Australian grabbed first place away from Eduardo who tried hard with 540-s, tailwhips, his rad one-handed tables, flairs, no-handers, one-foot-x-ups and an opposite air or two.
Let's hope that RedBull will be legal in France next year so a good vert ramp can be set up at a good location. For the 10th year FISE aniversary it would be a shame to have to work with the same ramp again.
1. Matt Fairbairn, Australia - Volume Bikes
2. Eduardo Terreros, Spain - FlyBikes
3. Ricky Roich, Argentina - Snafu
4. Peter Geys, Belgium - HARO Bikes
5. Max Vincent, Canada - Federal
6. John Heaton, Canada - MacNeil
7. Ryan Mills, USA - Premium Products
8. Joe Riley, USA - Premium Products