TBT: ALEC MAJERUS'S "NEW JACK"
The Skateboard Mag Issue 115
TEXT: PAUL ZITZER, PHOTOGRAPHY: BART JONES
Based on what I’d seen of Alec Majerus, which more often than not was near-flawless displays of trick skating on simulated street environs in an effort to impress judges and score points, I think I could be forgiven for assuming he might be a little, well, lacking in the personality department. Contest robot comes to mind. Sorry. Call it prejudice, bias, or just plain ignorance.
But whatever, we skaters are judgmental—and good for us. But preconceptions are made to be re-concepted, and here we go again. Now I know, Alec kills it just as hard off the board as he does on it. In fact, he rules it. You’ll see. And I guess now that I’m thinking about it, I should have trusted Flip on this one, and Vans, and Volcom, and "757 TMS"…
Alec is not your typical gang member. While he does have the affiliated tattoo, he’s never tried to kill anyone but himself, and only with the highest caliber of moves, like this switch tre. Ch Ch Blaughwww!
How come you dumped a bucket of ice on Louie when he was sleeping?
[Laughing] It was payback for something. We always have wars—it gets annoying sometimes. It just escalates so fast.
I was told you’re a total maniac.
I’m not a maniac.
You’re a gang member, though; are you guys affiliated with the Bloods or the Crips?
No. We’re not that hardcore yet [laughing].
What’s the name of your gang?
757 TMS. It’s not a gang; it’s just me and my friends from when we were little.
Where did the name come from?
TMS stands for Torkelson, Majerus, and Scheopner—our last names. And then they got it tattooed and were like, “you gotta get it.” And I was like, “Fuck it, let’s do it.” So we all have it under our collarbones.
Have you guys killed anyone?
Um, you don’t need to know about that. I’m just kidding—no we haven’t.
What’s the 757?
Those were our favorite numbers [laughing].
Do you really have to drive into town to talk on your phone?
Yeah, I live in Rochester [Minnesota]. It’s in the boonies, like two hours south of Minneapolis. There aren’t too many spots at all.
I’ve seen your footage; it looks like all the handrails you skate have two feet of landing and then go into grass.
Yeah, yup, that’s Rochester for you.
How’s the skate scene, though?
It’s not bad. I’ve got a lot of friends who I skate with every day. There’s probably a group of like fifteen of us.
Once Alec moves out to California, he’ll have plenty of rails like this to skate, so hopefully he won’t have to wade into the river near the skatepark to fish out some lousy flatbar ever again. Triple-kink boardslide.
You won Tampa Am.
I got lucky. That was pure luck.
How do you figure?
I didn’t even think I was going to make it to the finals and then all of a sudden I did and I’m like, “What?” And I wasn’t really landing anything in practice, and then all of a sudden I just did it.
But you’re a contest veteran; I feel like you were skating the Dew Tour when you were twelve.
Yeah, something like that.
Are you still?
No. I didn’t do it last year. I’m going to try to focus on street skating.
You were originally a Free Flow Tour champ, right?
Yeah, when I was little I thought it was the coolest shit, so we’d go out and do all the Free Flow contests and stuff. And I won one and they flew me out to Salt Lake City. I won that and then they let me in the Dew Tour.
Louie was saying you guys have different opinions about whether it’s a good idea to skate in a pro contest like that when you’re an unknown am.
He always gave me shit about it. I always thought it was cool. I knew it was kind of gay too, but I thought it would be fun. It was fun.
I hear you’ve been trying to lose your license.
[Laughing] I’ve almost lost it a few times, but I’ve gotten away with it every time. The judge loves skateboarders. He’s like, “My son is a skateboarder; he’d love to talk to you.” So he lets me off, I guess.
Do you know his kid?
I don’t even know his kid at all, no.
You haven’t had to go skate with him for the day to make up for it?
Nuh uh, no.
What’s the fastest you’ve gotten pulled over doing?
One time I was going 120, but when I saw the cop, I slammed my brakes so hard that I was sliding on the highway. By the time he clocked me, he said I was only going 85.
Are you staying in Rochester?
No, I’m actually coming to Cali this Thursday to look at apartments. I’m going to try to move in by August.
You trying to live with anyone?
I think I’m just going to get my own place in Costa Mesa, like a little single-bedroom apartment. But I told all my friends like, “We can fit fifteen people in my apartment. I want all of you guys to come out there with me.” They’re all down, they want to, but it’s hard to find a job and all that, you know? I think a bunch of them are going to try to come out.
Bart said you guys shot a crazy portrait for this—what’s the story behind it?
Oh yeah, I was trying this trick forever. And I was just getting bloodied, and my insides hurt super bad after, and I was pissing blood. And I puked. It was not cool.
You want a super easy way to find out if you’re any good at a trick? Try it at Rincon. Oh, and by super easy we mean crazy hard. Kickflip crooked grind.
Did you go to the hospital?
No, I didn’t.
Did you call your mom and tell her you might be dying?
[Laughing] Yeah, I told her I ate shit super hard and was pissing blood, and she’s like, “Oh, you probably just hit your kidney; you’ll be all right.” I was kind of scared to go to bed, though. I was like, “I’m going to wake up dead.”
Any rivalries back home?
Rivalries, no, everybody here is cool. Except the scooterers at the skatepark. We have this flatbar we brought to the skatepark. And they threw it in the river right next to the skatepark, and then we go get it out, and they throw it right back in the river.
You guys are in a gang—how come you don’t smash them?
Because we’re lovers, not haters.
Scooterers don’t ride flatbars?
I see the scooterers riding the flatbar, but then they throw it in the river. Because they do this train around the skatepark. The bikers, too, they just follow each other around the skatepark; they do circles. And then we set up the flatbar and we land in their way, so we’re always messing up their train. So they get mad, I guess.
Louie said you send him crazy videos of yourself snowboarding.
I snowboard a little bit.
Are those snowboard sponsor-me tapes?
No, not at all. It’s just like in my friend’s backyard. We make huge jumps out of snow. We get so much snow here that it’s easy to just make huge jumps. And we don’t have an indoor skatepark. The closest one is 3rd Lair, and that’s like two hours away.
What’s your best move?
I learned backflips this year. But I’m not that good at snowboarding; I just do it every now and then.
What can’t you do on a skateboard?
I can’t do heelflips at all. No way. When I was little I could do them, but I haven’t done them in forever. And now I can’t do them, and I can’t nollie heel either. Because I tried to do a nollie heel and I missed the flick, and it went right up my butt. It’s happened to me like three times now.
The old oil check.
Yup, I hate that shit. And then I was just trying to do a switch heelflip the other day and rolled my ankle super bad. I always get fucked up on heelflips.
What’s the worst you’ve been hurt?
I had to get double ankle surgery last winter.
Were you in a wheelchair?
No, and it wasn’t mandatory that I get surgery, but I had bone chunks in both ankles. So I did one, and then like two months later I did the other one. I wanted to get them both done at the same time so I could skate sooner, but they wouldn’t let me.
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