|ESPN.com: Skateboarding||[Print without images]|
|What Alec Majerus does warming up could be some pros' last trick in a video part. Nosegrind 180 in Utah.|
There is no denying that many unknown ams are better than a lot of well-known pros these days. I believe it's because mixing natural ability with being born into such a technological age allows them to compute and process how to do the hardest tricks very simply.
Once the kickflip was the must-have in everyone's bag of street tricks. Then we progressed to the tre-flip. Then the staple became the switch tre-flip. Now the switch 360 flip is a warm up trick on stairs for a lot of young kids. It is awe-inspiring.
One such gifted child is Flip Skateboards newest am, a quiet fellow from the suburban sprawl of Minnesota named Alec Majerus. Recently I had the pleasure of spending 10 days on the road with Majerus in the Midwest on a Vans demo tour and at every stop he blew me and the crowd away. There really was no trick the kid couldn't do picture perfect.
Being blond and blue-eyed and riding for Flip I assumed he must've been groomed by one of the greats -- Geoff Rowley -- in Southern California. But no, he grew up skating the same crappy park, day in and day out, in his tiny town in Minnesota, just shy of Canada.
Aside from skating I didn't get to know much else about the guy. He's very, very quiet. I don't think he spoke for the first half of the trip. When he did open his mouth we pulled the van over in shock that he'd finally said something. What he asked was: "Guys, what's anxiety?" A fair question coming from a high school kid who has never been plagued with the affliction. One guy on the trip had been crying about his "anxiety" nearly every day to the point where it actually made Majerus open up his mouth.
Us, being the elders of the tribe, did our duty to impart whatever knowledge we had to give him a better understanding of the disorder that so many people live with on a daily basis. In other words, we completely lied to him.
|Frontside Hurricane on the only non-skate-proofed rail at BYU in Provo, Utah.|
ESPN.com: Is it true that your dad is Alec Baldwin?
Majerus: Ha! No. Too bad. He's a pretty good actor.
Why didn't your parents just name you Alex and make it easy on everybody?
I wondered that myself. Everyone actually calls me Alex. They always get it messed up. I guess my mom wanted it to be unique. They didn't name me after anyone in the family or anything. It's just random.
You ride for Vans, Flip and Volcom. How did you get such good sponsors at such a young age living in the woods in the middle of nowhere?
I guess I just got lucky. I skated the Volcom Wild In The Park Contest in Minnesota and then I won a trip to Arizona for the finals. I won that and Remy [Stratton] asked me if he could flow me some clothes and I was like, "Hell, yeah!" I was super-hyped. Then I went on a trip with Volcom and from there I guess it just built up.
How did you get on Flip? Through the Volcom/Rowley connection?
No. I was at Maloof and [Flip team manager] Andrew Shusterman came up to me and asked if I wanted to ride for them. Then Geoff talked to me and I was super stoked.
Flip is pretty OG and Rowley is the sickest. Is it ever intimidating for you?
So intimidating! At first it was super bad because of Geoff. I mean, he's one of my heroes since I was little so I was so nervous. I was probably stuttering and stuff. But it ended up being mellow because he's so laid back and makes you feel comfortable. He's super nice.
|No anxiety here.|
Most guys coming out of Minnesota are from Minneapolis or St. Paul. Where are you from exactly? And what's your scene like?
I live in Rochester. It's like an hour and half south of Minneapolis and there's nothing happening here. It's a small town with no spots. There's a small skatepark that's pretty fun. I pretty much just skated that little park every single day. Like every day!
It got boring but thankfully it's a fun park. It's a little plaza. At first it was that Skate Wave stuff and then they added a little plaza with an 8-stair and a handrail and hubbas. But I'd always look up to the Minneapolis guys like Steve, Nesser, Chad Benson, Clint Petereson and Davis Torgerson.
Do you get anxiety?
Nope, no way.
I liked how you wouldn't stand anywhere near the one guy on the trip who kept complaining about it. Did you ever ask your mom about anxiety when you got home?
No, I haven't. She'd probably think everyone on the trip was crazy.
What was the highlight of that Vans tour?
Everything. Every day was so fun. We skated some sick spots. It was cool for me because it was the Midwest and so kids would come up to me that I knew or I'd seen before. My favorite place was Kansas City. It reminded me of Minnesota but it was bigger and more spread out.
You were pretty quiet in the back of the van. Is that your normal personality or were you just nervous?
I'm shy at first. It takes me a while to lighten up. But once I get to know people I open up.
You had to split early from the tour because your mom didn't want you to miss school. What grade are you in now?
I'm a senior. I was doing online school but since it's my last year I decided to go back to real school because you only get to do it once in your life. I plan on moving to California once I graduate. Louie [Lopez] wants to get an apartment. I just want to skate and film as much I can. Jamie [Hart, the Vans team manager] said he wanted me to film some stuff for the Vans video and I'm supposed to be filming this little Thunder Trucks edit soon.