INTERVIEW BY STUART GOMEZ
By all accounts, Alec Majerus is difficult to categorize. With his quiet, humble demeanor, the twenty-year-old Minnesotan is frequently mistaken for a European visitor with no concept of how young Americans are expected to behave: he is appreciative of every opportunity, taking nothing for granted; he doesn’t say much, choosing instead to chime in sparingly and sharply; and he is apparently oblivious to pain in a way that is alarming, routinely declining medical attention even in the most dire circumstances. Ah, yes—the strong, silent type.
Even when experiencing career-threatening injuries, Alec is prone to do anything but complain. On one early trip, shortly after turning Pro two years ago, Alec fractured his leg trying to grind a rail. He continued to skate throughout the trip on a broken leg. “Alec has one of the best attitudes, always optimistic,” says Flip TM, John Nicholson, adding, “and his pain threshold is insane!”
While speaking with Alec recently, the subject of working through the pain was broached. Why does he insist on pushing himself even when his body is shutting down from the effects of too much gnarlitude? His philosophy is telling: “If I’m at a spot and I’m kinda hurt, but I want something like that in my part. Like a kinked rail—you don’t come across good kinked rails that often—it’s too perfect to pass up! I gotta at least try.” Spoken like a consummate professional.
FRONTSIDE BOARDSLIDE. DENVER, CO | PHOTO: RODENT
What’s going on?
We’re on a Volcom trip right now. We’re out in S.F. finishing up the last few things before the deadline. This is the last trip before the video comes out. From here, we’re just going to work on stuff at home. We’re just kinda doing the last hitters.
Tell me about some of the most memorable parts of filming for Holy Stokes!
Fuck, it’s been sick! It’s all my friends that I skate with pretty much every day back home [in Minnesota] and in Long Beach. We’re all traveling together so it’s really cool.
Where did you go that really made an impression on you?
We went to Bali, that was cool. It was crazy. Everything was really cheap and it was a totally different culture. It was just crazy to be there and experience all of that through skateboarding. We were there for five days.
Did it take you a long time to acclimate to Bali life?
Yeah. Not too bad, though. We went to Malaysia first, so I was already acclimated to it in a way—they’re kinda similar, I guess. I think Bali was by far the sickest place I’ve been.
How do you feel about the stuff you have so far for the Volcom and adidas videos?
It’s been kinda hard filming for two parts, actually it’s three parts because I have a Real Street coming this year, too. So it’s just been trip after trip after trip—get home from a Volcom trip, go straight into an adidas trip, straight to a contest and then another trip—I haven’t been home for more than a week [at a time] in six months!
You’ve been dealing with some injuries, too.
I’ve been battling all these injuries: rolling my ankle; I got this gnarly shinner at Tampa the other weekend. My shin just split wide open. It’s pretty nasty looking now; I think it might be infected.
FRONTSIDE FEEBLE FRONT SHOVE OUT. CHICAGO, IL | PHOTO: KEPPENS
So do you keep skating even though you know that there’s something wrong with your leg?
Well, I guess. You know how you’re on a trip and you’re a little bit hurt, but you know that you can kinda skate? You wanna just try and skate because it’s almost the deadline and you’re like, “I need this and I need this.” You go to a perfect spot and you’re like, “Oh, I’m never gonna come back here. I better get it before the deadline.”
Do you feel that pressure, like it’s your job?
Kinda, but I try not to. It’s more like I’m at a spot but I’m kinda hurt and I really want something like that in my part. Like, if it’s a kinked rail—you don’t come across good kinked rails that often—it’s too perfect too pass up! I gotta at least try.
Tell me about the adidas video. You’ve been everywhere for that one.
The adidas video has been really sick. We’ve been going to a lot of crazy places for that one. We just went to Okinawa, that was pretty crazy—I never thought I’d go there! It’s so crazy that we’d just go to random places like that. Like, “What? Somehow because I started skating when I was little I ended up here?!” I probably would’ve never gone there in my life [if it wasn’t for skating].
Does Okinawa have spots?
Yeah! They had a lot of stuff and all the stuff was small. Like, the rails were all really low and small.
I pictured Okinawa as being more of an ancient city.
It was pretty modern. It’s crazy, it’s pretty Americanized, actually. There’s a lot of American Army bases there. And all the people were super nice. It was just a small crew that we were with. It was fun!
We went to some caves and stuff that were pretty cool. I guess that soldiers would kill themselves in the caves back in the day, when America was invading them. Their soldiers would hide in the caves and kill themselves.
We’ve been going to all of the main places: London, Paris, Barcelona; those places are all really fun. But Okinawa stood out to me a lot ‘cause it was so different.
You must be pretty sick of traveling at this point.
Yeah, I mean I was a little bit. I don’t know, I just feel like I’m getting super used to it now. Like, now if I were to be home for more than a week, I’d be like, “Whoa, crazy!” [laughs] When I’m home for a week, I’m ready for the next trip. Like, “Let’s get it. Another trip!”
What else has changed for you since turning Pro?
I don’t know. I’ve just been skating, going on all these trips… I just got a house. I’m super excited about that. I live in Long Beach now and there are so many skateboarders that live there now. That’s pretty cool. It’s easy to go skate. It’s like a dream come true, just living in California and being able to skate. All my friends in Minnesota right now—it just snowed there—they’re trying to shovel off a skatepark to skate.
Have you seen The Lair Video yet?
Dude, it’s so good! Everyone from 3rd Lair is crazy good. There are so many good kids from Minnesota coming out. Yeah, Jonathon Reese, Tanner Vanvark, Jack Olson. Fuck, they’re all so good!
What is the deal with 3rd Lair? That has got to be one of the tightest crews I’ve seen.
Everyone’s a family; everyone just likes each other. Everyone’s super cool. I think it’s the whole “Minnesota Nice” thing. I think everyone’s just nice to each other, everyone’s bros. And everyone is so fucking good from there because it's the best park!
What’s next for you?
I don’t even know. That’s crazy to think about; I’m just gonna be able to be, like, free! I’m not gonna have anything really planned. I don’t know, just keep filming with the bros and shit, I guess.
What’s the one thing that people need to know about you?
There’s nothing really to know about me. I just wanna have fun and skate! That’s about it. There’s not much else to know.
Alec Majerus, ProFile: The Skateboard Mag 148 (AVAILABLE IN THE STORE)
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