By Melina Paris Arts and Culture Reporter
Skateboarding will be an Olympic sport starting at the Tokyo Games in 2020 and will include both men’s and women’s skateboard street and park competitions. And the competitive skateboarding culture purveyor known as the Dew Tour is making sure everyone knows it at their convention which is taking place this week at the Long Beach Convention Center and Rainbow Lagoon Park through June 16.
At Dew Tour more than 80 of the world’s top pro male and female skateboarders will compete in team and pro and amateur individual competitions in team challenge and individual park and street events.
One of those people is Alec Majerus who is originally from Rochester Minnesota, but he moved to Long Beach to become a professional skater. At 24 years old Majerus has been called the “definition of a savage” by his peers and they mean that in the best of ways as they give him high praise and respect.
They have watched him grow from a 14-year-old boy, when he first skated down a 14-stair rail, into an eminent adult competitor. Majerus won the Silver Medal in the Men’s Skateboard Street X-Games in Minneapolis in 2017. Prior to that he has racked up almost two dozen other awards from as far back as 2010, at 14 years old.
Right after he moved to California Majerus broke his leg. He had to undergo surgery and had metal put in his leg. Because of that metal he was told he could not skate for one year. In a strange coincidence after surgery, Majerus came down with a staph infection and had to have another emergency surgery.
“It was a blessing I got the staph infection and had to take the metal out because now I’m good, back to normal,” Majerus said in his video. “Then it was on.”
All he wanted to do was skate and at that point, he had one year to film three “video parts” Skaters make video parts to showcase their skills and they are important, showing creativity, their character and they also document things that may never get recreated.
One look at Majerus’ skate video’s and you’ll have to keep watching him as he handles treacherous street skating courses of pavement, stairs and rails—Majerus’ specialty. It’s an extremely physical sport. When it puts you down it’s extremely hard to get back up. Majerus keeps getting up.
RLn spoke to Majerus through email recently about his mad skills and what keeps him motivated.
MP: I see that you’re not wearing any padding which I guess is standard for street skating. But what you do to stay in shape in order to take the beating that you do?
AM: I do a lot of low impact exercises when I’m too sore for skating like biking and hiking to keep my muscles strong and ready for impact. I also do physical therapy a few times a week to help prevent any injuries.
MP: Your persistence comes across clearly in your videos. Beyond persistence, how do you challenge yourself to get to the next level, or maybe more appropriately, to the level you want to reach?
AM: I do have a lot of persistence when learning a new trick. Sometimes I’ll get so close and I’ll try it for hours and not land it. But then the next day, I’ll be a little bit better at trying it from trying it all day the day before, so I just keep pushing until I learn it or unlock how to do it in my brain.
MP: How did you pull off filming three video parts one years’ time? What did that take for you to complete?
AM: I was traveling so much with adidas and Volcom … it kind of just came easy and natural because we were going to such cool places like Barcelona with so much to skate.
MP: How many years do you plan to — or can you keep skating professionally?
AM: Well I’d like to skate forever! Ha ha, but I guess we will see how long my sponsors will put up with me and help support my dream. I have no plans of slowing down and I’m going to continue to push myself in contests and in the streets.
MP: What’s coming next for you after the Long Beach Dew Tour events?
AM: I am heading to New York the day after dew tour for a Volcom skate trip with the Volcom team. I’m excited we are going to skate and film in New York for a couple weeks.
Majerus is humble. In his videos his contemporaries explain that filming three video parts in one year is hard. Street skating is harsh, skaters get beat up. If you look at a video part, one trick lasts almost one second. There are 300 tricks or more in five minutes of video. Do the math to fill up a five-minute video part and it becomes clear how demanding it is. But the challenge is one that Majerus clearly, is up for.
Dew Tour has announced the top athletes scheduled to compete at the summer event. It is the first-ever U.S.-based Olympic qualifying event for men’s and women’s skateboard park and street competitions. More than 300 of the world’s best skateboarders will compete in individual park and street events for a chance to win the Dew Tour title, while earning valuable points toward their country’s Olympic skateboarding team.
Skateboarders like Majerus are now earning points by competing in World Skate sanctioned events during the Olympic qualifying period which started January 1 of this year and will end May 31, 2020. Dew Tour also serves as the last global qualifying event in the U.S. in 2020. This year’s Dew Tour will host open qualifiers, quarter final, semi- final and final rounds of competition, offering fans the chance to see both favorite and new skaters from across the globe. Competitions will start June 13 and will conclude June 16.
Details: www.DewTour.com for the complete competition schedule.