Much like Daniel Dhers and the absence of many BMX Park contests that we touched upon yesterday, those in the pro BMX Vert ranks have had a rather small year in terms of contests. There was X Games Los Angeles in the beginning of summer, and the Dew Tour Pantech Championships in mid-August.
And so far, that's it as far as pro vert comps go in the U.S. Of course, most riders in the pro vert ranks are not just vert riders -- Chad Kagy, Steve McCann, Zack Warden, Simon Tabron, Kevin Robinson, Vince Byron, Austin Coleman, Coco Zurita and Dennis McCoy all ride other disciplines on top of vert, including BMX Park, the MegaRamp series and the occasional Mini Mega contest.
So it's not as if they're sitting around at home, twiddling their thumbs until the first X Games BMX Vert comp of 2013. But there is more time for pursuits outside of hardcore vert practice. For Coco Zurita, originally from Santiago, Chile, that meant a chance to return home to Chile (he currently lives at Woodward West in Tehachapi, Calif.) and give back to the locals.
This past weekend, Zurita visited students at the Antartica Chilena school, and recounted his experiences as the first South American BMX pro to break through on the international BMX Vert circuit. The next day, with the help of Red Bull and a vert ramp, Zurita visited the Bike Park in Parque Araucano in Santiago for a BMX Vert School.
Aspiring riders were invited to the school, which was offered free of charge, and given hands-on instruction from Zurita about the basics of riding vert. A vert ramp can be intimidating to any beginner, but with Zurita's help, close to 20 riders in the Santiago area now possess the fundamental knowledge to carve a vert ramp, drop-in and learn to air.
Zurita returned home earlier today, and according to Twitter, headed straight for Cafe Rio in Manhattan Beach.