Alex Perelson: Finding Himself in the Spotlight

Ask anyone who has met him and you’ll hear the same thing: Alex Perelson is a bit shy. For awhile, he’d been able to stay slightly hidden on the sidelines. Everyone knew he had talent, but he’d kept a low profile: choosing to focus on what he loved, namely hitting the vert ramps of his native Southern California day in and day out.

Then, a little contest called Maloof Money Cup rolled around, and Alex did a little thing you can best describe as killing it. Huge airs, stacked list of technical tricks, and his first-ever 900 put him on top of the podium. To all reports, it was a shock to him. Humble as always, he still seems a bit bewildered that he won.

With his victory at the Maloof Money Cup this year, the younger generation of Vert skaters is finally coming into its own. The list of names in that generation is growing—Rob Lorifice, Adam Taylor, Elliot Sloan, Josh Stafford—and they’ve been pushing harder and harder each year. But this is the first time one of their class finally took not just a major, but one of the biggest possible wins in the Vert world. His talent, all of their talent, has been visible for awhile. But they’ve been faced with taking on a group of veterans who are still at the top of their game. So, it’s almost fitting that the victory came on a day when everyone across the board was destroying, from Bob to PLG.

He had less than two weeks to enjoy the victory before having to head onto the next test: the Dew Tour. On his way out to Boston, Alex took a minute to check in.

So, first, the obvious question everyone must be asking: you just won $75,000 dollars, which is crazy. What are you going to do with it?
Save it. Save it for later. I mean, I don’t really need to spend it on anything really big, like a car or something.

Smart choice. So let’s talk a bit about how your got that big of a check in the first place: your Maloof win. Really seems like everything just came together for you out there. Talk us through what you did that day.
It was really the couple days leading up to it, I was trying really hard all weekend. People were saying encouraging stuff to me, and it probably helped me a little bit. It was the biggest contest for the year for me, and I’m just glad it worked out.

Was the different format helpful?
It’s a little hard for me to do a bunch of good tricks and stay on for 45 second. Well, just because I’m not as good at it, but I like the jam format—if you fall it’s ok.

And the ramp itself? You were killing it on that mini-mega rail…
It was really good, it wasn’t done before like that, to go straight through the ramp. It made it more interesting to have a channel over it. It’s just good to have a different ramp. It keeps it fresh. You have to show up to the ramp and just skate it for the first time.

The level of skating was so high that day. What was it like to beat Bob and PLG on days when they were so on?
It was pretty crazy. I mean, those guys are legends, and they were all really like—they weren’t bummed that I won. They were kind of happy for me.

And what about the younger set? You skate with Rob, Adam, Josh all the time. Do you think your win was good for that group overall?
Maybe it’ll make it so they all want to do it too. It’s just cool to see someone else win, to have someone else besides the guys who have been on top for ten years do well. I told Rob before that contest he could have won, he just didn’t stay on.

How important is it that there are young kids in Vert right now?
It’s good. Having the young kids will make the older guys change the way they skate. It’s just good to have it be new. It’s cool to see people skating it differently not doing the same tricks and everything.

Now for the infamous 900. What made you go for a new trick in your run?
I tried it the day before and almost made it, so I figured I would try it. I like to use the contest to do it, because it helps when you’re there—it’s just better than going to the park on regular day.

Do you feel any pressure to keep progressing, keep throwing new tricks in after that win?
No, I don’t really think there’s an expectation for me—progression should happen naturally. But the only thing is, it was such a big deal for me, that day. For the past week, I’ve been trying to forget about it. It’s just one contest, it’s good to not let it go to my head.

And now you’re on the way to Boston for the Dew Tour. Any goals for this year’s Tour?
I always want to do well, I’m gonna try my best. I don’t feel like I can do as well as i did at Maloof, but I’m definitely going to try. I feel kind of rushed to come here right after Maloof, so the next stop I’ll be more ready. But, I’ll try to make the best of it.

What have you been up to since the last time Dew Tour fans saw you, besides skating day in and day out?
Normal stuff—I don’t really have a lot going on besides the skating.

Last question: we’ve heard you really don’t like interviews. Must be hard having everyone want to talk about your big win…
I don’t really care. I’m not going try to make up answers. There are some people, they want a specific image and they make up answers to form that image. I just try to be myself, and I don’t think I can go wrong doing that.