10 Minutes With: Pro Skateboarder Theotis Beasley

The up-and-coming skater talks about his difficult upbringing in Inglewood, California

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Ask a randomer to name a single skateboarder, and they'll struggle.

They might be able to muster a few names from 1999's Tony Hawks Pro Skater on the PlayStation – the last time that skateboarding could legitimately consider itself mainstream. But since then, not a single household name has emerged from the sport.

That might be set to change with Theotis Beasley – a charming, up-and-coming skater who's attracting attention from all corners of the internet.

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We caught up with him at the Dew Tour AM series in Amsterdam to track the journey he's made so far…

So you grew up in Inglewood California. Bit rough there, isn't it?

Inglewood is dangerous. It's known. Not nobody can go there. You have to know somebody to go to Inglewood. If you're not from there, you might get robbed, or asked what's in your pockets. It's not as bad as it used to be, but it's still a crazy little area.

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How did you get into skating in a place like that?

I always used to have holes in my shoes. And my mum, she gave me $100 to replace them, but I went and bought a skateboard. Then one day I found this skate park, and just met kids and started asking questions. "How do you do this trick? And that trick?" It was just the right time at the right time.

What route would you have taken if you didn't pick up skating?

Who knows? Skating definitely saved me. I got a lot of homeboys that gang-bang, some of them are dead. My friend got stabbed four days ago, and he's in hospital. He can't text, so I don't know how he is. Some other guy I know got killed the other day. Skateboarding saved my life.

Any advice for aspiring skateboarders?

Grab a board, practice, put in time. Get out there every other day. However good you get, be yourself and stay humble. Life's too short for anything else.

What kind of reception do you get back home? A hero's welcome?

Going back home, kids are spoilt. They already seen me, so they don't care anymore. But the kids here are excited, they want a photo and to talk. Couple of kids from back home are super cool, but nobody really cares. But when you go international, that's when you get the respect.

So outside of the sport, describe your fashion sense.

When I'm not skating, I'm in Jordans. I bought a pair today! I'll always have a couple of chains on, a fresh haircut, and you gotta have the right cologne. The girls love cologne. If you smell good, they attracted.

Angling for a Jordan collab?

That would be tight! You can skate in Jordans too. Maybe one day. Watch this space.

Returning for the third year, the Mountain Dew, Dew Tour AM Series took place in Amsterdam this August.