Miles Silvas Pro Spotlight


Our certified 2015 Rookie Of The Year—the one who gets voted in for being the best new pro to get his name on a board—won’t have his name on a board any time soon. At least not literally. After shutting down the Lifted Research Laboratories with his steel-plated curtains in 1947, Miles joined Walker Ryan in a coordinated Instagram walkout from their longtime board sponsor, Organika. Treading a road previously traveled by Chris Cole, Shane O’Neill, and many others, Miles Silvas currently finds himself in that oh-so-2016 position of having enough big name/big paycheck clothing and shoe sponsors to not even need an actual board sponsor—once the most important sponsor of them all. With another big upcoming part, this time in adidas’ much publicized Away Days—sure to cook the books even further in his favor—here is a Pro Spotlight for one of the best new talents this side of Rodrigo TX in Menikmati.-Mackenzie Eisenhour
Portrait by Dave Chami


Frontside crooked grind, Barcelona, Spain. PHOTO / Rubio (click to enlarge)

What’s new, Miles?
Right now this adidas video is pretty much what I’ve been traveling a lot for. Since we wrapped up the LRG video it’s pretty much been mad trips and full steam on that.

Is it crazy to jump from one big video to the next one?
It wasn’t too bad actually. They sort of overlapped a little. Filming for both at the same time—that was a little bit harder. But now that the LRG one is done I can focus on certain tricks for the adidas one. So now it’s pretty easy.

Did it add any pressure for you getting last part in 1947?
Not really. I didn’t expect the last part in that at all. So I don’t feel any pressure for this either. I’m just skating trying to change it up a little. This video is going to be pretty crazy just with the people involved.


Switch heelflip. Los Angles, CA. PHOTO / O’Meally (click to enlarge)

I suppose the obvious question is, do you have a board sponsor yet?
No [laughs]. It’s still pretty up in the air. Everybody keeps asking me and going like, “You probably have a bunch of offers lined up and shit.” But I really don’t [laughs]. I’m just kind of chilling right now skating shop boards. I’m not really tripping on it right now.

Was leaving Organika coordinated with Walker Ryan? It was simultaneous on the Instagram posts.
Yeah. We had been talking about it for a while, and things weren’t really going the way we wanted them to go over there. Just for everyone. No one was really too happy with it. We just had it in our heads for a little while and then finally just talked to Karl [Watson]. Told him like, “We want to quit.” And then decided that we would do it together on our Instagram and try and show respect to Karl. But yeah, we ended up peacing out together.

That must have been tough. Was Karl pretty cool about it?
Yeah. He was super cool. He’s the homie. It was more internal shit that made it happen. It really didn’t have anything to do with Karl. He had our backs throughout.


It seemed like since you guys had left together you might be starting something new together. Nothing like that?
No. He [Walker]’s chilling. Doing his own thing. I don’t even know what he’s up to. I’m doing something else. I don’t really know exactly what yet. But I don’t think it will be together.

Is there something in the works where you have to wait a while and then announce it?
No. We just kind of quit. He wanted a clean slate for 2016 and so did I. But neither of us really had anything more than that planned. There’s nothing in the works. It wasn’t a master plan or anything. We’re just kind of freeballing it right now [laughs].

I guess it might be kind of liberating to just focus on shoes and clothes. Board sponsor isn’t that big of a paycheck nowadays.
Yeah. It’s crazy how the board sponsor used to be like the biggest thing. Now you can almost get by without one and be totally fine.


Nollie overcrook. Los Angles, CA. PHOTO / Muller (click to enlarge)

I read that you pretty much played every sport before settling on skating. What makes skateboarding the best?
Yeah. I played everything growing up. I played basketball and baseball when I was younger. Played soccer for a little bit. Then through eighth grade I played baseball and football pretty much. Then right before high school I decided that I couldn’t do the other sports anymore. I just wanted to only skate. I let my parents know, and my mom was kind of tripping, like, “You don’t want to play any high school sports? No team sports?” I was like, “No, I just want to skate.” So they were cool with that, and I dropped everything else.

I always thought skating was the hardest thing out of the bunch. What made you choose it?
I had just played the other sports for so long by then. Just going through the whole deal of having a coach and having to be at practice at this or that time. I was already skating while I played all those sports. So I would be skating after school before having the actual practice. The coaches were tripping on me skating. Once I realized I could do it all on my own time frame and just skate, it became obvious what the best choice was. As far as it being the hardest, my dad’s side of the family is super athletic, so all those other sports definitely came pretty easy. Then skating, some tricks come easy, but others you just have to really keep trying for a long time. It’s a lot harder than most sports for sure.

Are you still boys with Blue Turner and Miika Adamov through Folsom?
Those are the homies. I was just with them yesterday. I skate with Miika and Blue a lot. Our Sac posse is pretty sick right now.


Were you guys trying to move down to LA together?
We were thinking about it. It was up in the air for a while because I’m about getting to the point where I want to move out. Blue has lived on his own. We were talking about moving down to LA, but I think we might just try and get a little house up here in Sacramento for now.

Are you born and raised Sacto?
No. I was actually born in San Jose. I lived there until I was five, then moved to Vegas for a year for my dad’s job. Then I’ve pretty much been in Sac since first grade. So mostly I’ve been up here.

Did you start skating up there?
No. I lived with my aunt from ages one through five. My family lived with my mom’s sister, and she had an older son, my cousin, who skated. I got a little banana board and was cruising around San Jose when I was five. Then we went to Vegas, and I remember rollerblading and riding bikes but still skating too. Then by the time I was seven I had a little quarterpipe in my driveway. By the time I was hanging around with a group of people that skated I was probably in second grade.


Switch backside lipslide. Los Angles, CA. PHOTO / O’Meally (click to enlarge)

First video you memorized?
I didn’t start watching all of the older videos until recently. But growing up, a lot of the videos that were free at the skate shop were the Strange Notes videos with Sid Melvin and shit like that. I remember Grant Taylor had a “Moving On Up” or something. So those videos and then I think eventually somebody gave me Nothing But The Truth [’07], and I would just watch that nonstop.

First board graphic that you took notice of?
When I started getting Organika boxes, I remember getting Adelmo Jr’s stained-glass board and I was super hyped on that.

What’s Adelmo up to these days?
I’m pretty sure he’s been back in Brazil for a while. Doing his own thing. I think he has a little board project he does. I haven’t talked to him in a while. But I think he’s doing good.


You’ve mentioned that Karl Watson sort of “discovered” you skating a contest he was judging. Is that about right?
Yeah. I was skating in these shop contests around Sacramento and the Modesto area in the Central Valley. I was doing all these little random contests, and he happened to be the guest judge for one that I happened to win. So he talked to me after and was like, “Do you have any footage? Can I take down your info?” And that was pretty much the first sponsor I got. I also had a full part I had filmed for this little homie video, so he sponsored me as a skater and then hooked up my friend Alan Hannon as a filmer. Alan films for Supra now. We both got hooked up through Karl.

How have things changed since turning pro [May 2015]?
It kind of feels the same. Outside of having my name on a board—although I don’t have my name on a board right now [laughs]. But it feels like the same deal. Just traveling a lot and filming.

Your back noseblunt from the October 2013 cover still ended up as the last trick in the 1947 part. Did it seem like that was forever ago by the time you saw the part?
Oh, yeah. So many people were hitting me up for years [laughs]. Like, “What’s up with the footage of that?” That was funny. It felt like forever.


Switch heelflip frontside crooked grind. Los Angles, CA. PHOTO / Muller (click to enlarge)

Plans after Away Days?
That premiere is May 12, so I’m trying to wrap that up right now. After that, I don’t know, we’ll probably do some premiere trips around. Then it’s pretty much a blank canvas from there.

Three all-time best video parts?
Rodrigo TX, Menikmati [’00]; Gustav Tønnesen, The Sour Solution [’15]; anything Ishod.

All-time Sacto skaters?
FOFA and the PLAboys.

All-time best video?
Baker 3 [’05].


Backside Smith grind. Barcelona, Spain. PHOTO / Rubio (click to enlarge)


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Alec Majerus Pro Spotlight


Alec Majerus sealed his destiny at age nine when he chose flipskater63 as one of his first email addresses. Having held on to it for some 12 years since, he initially never actually believed he would one day be riding for the company—until it happened. After his childhood dream became a reality, Alec also learned the harsh realities of skating for one of the heaviest stair-jumping outfits in the industry: cleanly breaking his leg in 2014—not from any specific trick, but simply from the buildup of stress placed on the leg through repeated impact. If that weren’t enough, immediately after surgery for the broken leg, he underwent a second emergency surgery when the metal pins inserted set off a staph infection. Back on his board since March of 2015, Alec breaks down the upcoming adidas full-length Away Days, chooses his Minnesota greats, and chronicles his path from Flip fan boy to Flip poster child.—Mackenzie Eisenhour
Photos By Sem Rubio


Switch backside Smith. Montreal, Canada. (click to enlarge)

We’re two months in right now. How’s the New Year been treating you?
It’s been good so far. Just a lot of trips. A lot of traveling.

How long have you guys been out in Miami?
Just since last Thursday.

Had you been out there before?
I was here for an adidas trip last year. But that was the only other time I had been here. I’m feeling it though. It’s nice.

How is Away Days looking?
Away Days is going good. We’ve done a lot of really good trips for it. 

How long has it been officially going? Like a year or so?
Maybe a little longer than that. People have been filming for maybe like two years or so. Even before it was announced.


Do you know how your part is looking?
I’m pretty hyped on what I have so far for it. I broke my leg back in 2014, so I was out for almost a whole year. So that was sort of a major setback.

How did you break it?
I broke it on King Of The Road actually. It was one of those things that had sort of built up over time I guess. But it was towards the end of King Of The Road and my knee was hurting me really bad. It was kind of giving out and stuff. I knew I shouldn’t be skating, but there was a challenge that I thought I could do. It was a kickflip front noseblunt down a nine [stair]. I went for it one try, warming up, just kind of kickflipped over the rail and landed completely normal, but my leg just snapped. I found out later that it was already cracked or fractured, but I didn’t know it. That was what the pain was from. It just snapped right where your shinbone connects to the knee.

Oh, man. That’s gnarly.
Yeah. I had to get flown from where I was on the road back to the hospital in my town. They did the surgery there and put metal pins in it and then I got a staph infection. So then they had to do another emergency surgery to take the metal out. And they’re not supposed to take the metal out for a year usually, but it ended up being okay after that.


Backside tailside. Stuttgrat, Germany. (click to enlarge)

Such a nightmare.
Yeah. When I first broke it, I went in and the nurse, it was a male nurse, and he was like, “Oh wow, this is impressive. You’re obviously never skating again.” I was just sitting there tripping like, “What the fuck, don’t tell me that.” I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

When did you finally get back on it?
I think I started skating again like March of this past year. Its pretty much 100 percent now. It still gets a little sore after I skate, but it’s pretty much back to normal now. 

Was that pretty much your first big injury?
For sure. I had never had anything like that ever, where I had to sit out for that long and everything.

Did it change your approach at all?
Not really. It was just a weird occurrence. I don’t know how my leg had gotten cracked originally. But it basically started from that. It had built up over time. I didn’t even know your body could do that really.


Four Minnesota greats?
Mine would probably be Chad Benson. I would see him at 3rd Lair [skatepark] all the time. Then also Cody Davis. When I was real little I would always see him there too. I know he’s maybe not viewed as a “legend” or anything, but he was so fucking good. Growing up, he was close to my age and I would just watch him skate and be like, “What the fuck?!” I knew he was sponsored and stuff too. Obviously Davis Torgerson too. Growing up he was always the older dude who was killing it and sponsored too. Then last, I’ll go with Clint Peterson. He’s beast.

How was it coming up there?
It was great. I mean, for a long time I never really saw other really good skateboarders. Before I got my license at 16, I never really went to the Minneapolis area. I always stayed in the Rochester area where I lived. Once we got old enough, we would drive up to the cities. But I moved to California when I turned 18, so there was really only a two-year window where I was doing that.

Best memories from the Tampa Am win [2012]?
I was so surprised that I even made it into the finals. And then, I don’t know, I guess I just got lucky and landed my whole run. I think, honestly, it was because I was so happy being in there—having such a good time with all the bros—that I got lucky. You know how it seems like when you’re hyped, you seem to get luckier.

Kickflip Crooked Grind

Kickflip crooked grind. Barcelona, Spain. Photo / Chami (click to enlarge)

Yeah, fully. Like if you’re bummed, it almost attracts the bad shit.
Yeah, exactly. I was just so hyped to be there. I think it all worked from there.

How did you wind up on Flip?
When I first started coming out to Cali I would stay with Louie [Lopez] through us both riding for Volcom. So I skated and lived with him for weeks at a time when Volcom would fly me out to Cali, and we were both doing online school together too. Finally Flip approached me like, “Hey, you’re always skating with Louie anyways, might as well ride for us.”

Were you a big Flip fan coming up?
It’s crazy, when I was really young, like eight or nine, I made my email address flipskater63. I kept that address forever. I still have it. Even when I was getting flow for Alien [Workshop] before I got on Flip they would say stuff like, “You need to change your email.” But I never did. Then I ended up actually getting on Flip and still had that email, and I was just thinking like, “Whoa, that kind of worked out.” My first board I ever had was a Flip board.


Hardflip. Barcelona, Spain. (click to enlarge)

I saw your email and was wondering, it looks like a little kid’s email.
[Laughs] Yeah, well, that’s why. At first when I got on it tripped me out. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be on the team.

Thoughts on Geoff Rowley leaving?
I don’t really know too much about it. He told me recently he’s happier than he’s been in a long time, so I guess he did what he had to do. He’s just trying to skate and have fun. Obviously though it’s a bummer not to have him as a teammate.

How was your experience with Street League?
Not bad. I’m not in it right now, but I got to skate it a few years back as an alternate. Last year I got to skate some of them too. I was at the Chicago one and had a broken foot, but I wanted to skate so bad that I ended up skating anyways. I couldn’t even practice, but I waited for the contest to start and got my adrenaline going and tried some tricks.


Do you feel relaxed in there?
It’s cool. It’s nerve-racking at first. But once you’re out there skating with everyone, it’s actually pretty mellow after you shake off the jitters. It’s actually a very mellow contest format, because everybody goes in turns and you’re all talking between tries.

How many Cheech and Chong Tom Penny boards have you ridden?
Oh, the thing is I love that graphic and I love to ride them too, but they only make them on P2 boards now, so I don’t really ride those. I do have one hung up over my couch at home though. That graphic is legendary.

Most-used app on your phone?
I’ll say Maps, because I don’t know where shit is in California. I have to use my Maps to go everywhere.


Frontside five-0. Montreal, Canada. (click to enlarge)

First video you memorized?
Almost, Round 3 [’04]. I played that shit every single day. I didn’t really know about skate videos for a long time. I loved skating, but one day my homey asked me like, “Hey, do you like videos?” I was like, “What do you mean?” And he handed me Round 3 and was like, “Here, I got you this for Christmas.” I watched it and loved it. I was a huge [Ryan] Sheckler fan after that.

First board graphic you fell in love with?
Like I said, the first one I ever had was the classic Flip logo board with the red and black. It was right when they had the grooves in the board that were supposed to make you slide better or something.

The “New Wave” boards or something?
Yeah. That was my first board. I had that shit for at least a year. I loved it.

What is the meaning of life?
Meaning of life: Don’t stress. Have fun. Nothing really matters.

Skateboarders who are doing it right in 2016?
Miles Silvas, Louie Lopez, and Mason Silva. I think that those guys are fucking on it right now.


360 flip 50-50. Stanford, CA. Photo / Camarillo (click to enlarge)


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