adidas originals track pants a legendary bro from our area code
Majerus, whose litany of video parts in skate films by Volcom, Adidas and Flip already vouch for his place atop the parthenon of shred, gets a chance to climb to even greater professional heights at this weekend’s X Games Minneapolis. He’ll compete in the skateboard street competition, which simulates conditions sought after by street skaters, who look for, in Majerus’ words, “a spot not built for skating but that looks really cool to skate on.”
Qualifying rounds happen on Friday, and the finals begin Saturday.
“Board to Death was the start of it all for me; the people there were supportive and gave me confidence. It was a sad day when it closed,” Majerus said.
That’s where Distad first encountered Majerus.
“I only remember him at that time because he always wore those, like gym, like sweatpants, with the buttons you can rip off, whatever that’s called,” Distad said.
Months after BTD closed in January 2006, Midwest Skate Shop opened. The shop’s first contest is where Distad and Majerus began hanging out. Both got second place Distad in intermediate, Majerus in advanced.
“From there he was like, ‘Oh, we killed it. Who are you?'” recalls Distad.
Majerus credits the shop as where he learned the basics and started entering contests, which would eventually land him on the radar of companies like Volcom, Spitfire and Flip.
He, Distad, and other skaters like Alex Richardson, Jade and Jace Torkelson, and Shalom Larson began a summer routine that laid the groundwork for his obsessive skill gathering in the years to come.
“One of our parents worked in town before we all had driver’s licenses, so we would literally go into work with our parents, get dropped off at Silver Lake, skate Silver Lake, then noon would come, Midwest would open, we’d skate down to Midwest, skate there all day, Midwest would close, we’d skate back to Silver Lake and keep skating until our parents got done working and then we had to go,” Distad said. then go to bed, wake up, and do it all again the next day. The whole time, they were chasing the skills of older skaters like James McGee, Sam Schafer and Zach Higgins.
“It was like an addiction, just constantly wanting to learn more,” Majerus said.
At the same time, he was unknowingly inspiring kids coming up behind him.
“At Bluff Valley, they had a lock in one day, and I think I was in fifth or sixth grade, but Alec was there. Some dude did a kickflip or a nollie flip down the planter gap. I’d just started learning ollies down the planter gap, and Alec’s like,
‘go, go, I’ll back you up!’ I ollied it, psyched as hell, and then Alec just tre flips it like it’s nothing. I was so hyped on that,” said Rochester skateboarder Cole Peterson, 16.
Majerus and his crew skated everywhere they could. That included Distad’s basement turned skatepark, and at a clandestine DIY (do it yourself) spot nicknamed Area 51.
“We didn’t even care what we were skating, we were like, ‘Oh, let’s just see what’s down this street,'” Distad said.
On weekends through middle and high school they invaded contests as a crew, pooling resources for a hotel room and rotating parental supervision duties between families (sometimes, duties extended to birthday cake shopping, like when Majerus’ mother nabbed a double chocolate one for Distad’s 15th).
From Minneapolis to La Crosse, Milwaukee to Chicago, and Kentucky to Faribault, no park was safe from the podium sweeping squad of young rippers.
“We’d always feed off each other’s energy, so if Alec’s doing sick, we gotta step our game up,” Distad said.
It’s a legacy still echoing into the present. Peterson, a 16 year old Rochester skateboarder, wore his Midwest shirt into Minneapolis skatepark 3rd Lair. “Kyle Henkler was like, ‘Oh you guys are from Roch?’ Hell yeah we are.”
The whole time, Majerus’ profile was rising, and his obvious talent was making waves. At one point, he 50 50ed down the massive handrail at Kellogg Middle School. He was clearly beginning to outgrow the city that birthed him.
Then, in 2012, he won the Tampa Am contest, skateboarding’s most prestigious amateur competition. The kind of thing that turns amateurs into professionals.
When he returned to Minnesota, it was time to celebrate. Majerus’ unheated garage had a mini ramp, and despite sub zero temperatures outside, people wanted to shred.
“We just invited every single bro, and we just skated the mini ramp. There were literally 30, 40 of us,” Distad said. “He pretty much solidified Rochester like, yeah, we have some type of skate scene and we can have more.”
After graduating high school In 2013, Majerus moved into a one bedroom studio apartment in Huntington Beach, Calif. Some of the Rochester crew followed him out, finding work at skate shops and pizza joints to supplement their skating. To the Minnesotan shredders, California was paradise.
“Rochester has a couple good spots to skate around town, but a lot of them you get kicked out because of Mayo security. California is more of a gold mine for skaters. with skateparks every 5 miles and legendary street spots that practically look like they were meant for skateboarding,” explains Majerus.
Distad went to visit in 2014. Majerus assured him there was plenty of room to crash.
“I get there, there’s seven bros from Rochester, and then there was one bro from Copenhagen,
Denmark and then another homie from Hollywood. Nine dudes as I walk in from a straight 32 hour dive.”