In a skateboarding world full of outsized personalities, Cory Juneau is a quieter type, but he’s been quietly killing it. Juneau won Dew Tour Long Beach back-to-back in 2017 and 2018, and took 2nd in 2019 behind Pedro Barros. Then he opened 2020 with a win at the Oi Stu Open in Rio de Janeiro, putting him at #3 in the World Skate rankings for Men’s Skateboard Park and #2 in the United States, behind Heimana Reynolds.
We caught up with him by phone from his home in San Diego for a rare interview to ask about repping for the first-ever USA Skateboarding team and to see how he’s been spending his time while the contest calendar is on pause.
Dew Tour last year was the first Olympic qualifier for Skateboard Park. After all the buildup around the Olympics, it must have been a huge relief to do so well right out of the gate.
I actually had to requalify again for Dew Tour for some reason, even though I’d skated it and won it the two years before. I don’t know how that all worked. Some guys got a pass straight to the Semifinal but I had to go through the Open Qualifier, Quarterfinal, and Semifinal, just to get to the Final. It was a little bit frustrating, to be honest, but I won the Open Qualifier and Quarterfinal and got a lot of time in the bowl because of it, so it’s all good. It’s always good vibes having Dew Tour down in Long Beach. It’s close to home, it’s near the water, the crowds are always amazing. I like how they shape the park more toward a pool-style transition, rather than an open park. It keeps it tighter and easier to find lines.
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Your win at the Oi Stu Open in January is the other score that’s counting toward your Olympic qualification right now, right?
Winning that contest meant a lot to me. That was a big step in making the Olympic team, for sure. Everything’s been postponed now, as you know, and I don’t know if any contests are in the cards for this year, but it set off my year with high expectations. I was looking forward to all of it this year. Dew Tour, the Olympics, everything. Too bad the world’s in the situation it’s in right now.
What are things like in San Diego now?
Some things are starting to open up but everyone still has to wear their masks, and then just as things were starting to relax now there have been a bunch of riots going on, around the protests. It’s not even the protesters. The protesters are out there chillin’ and these other people are out there going crazy. A bunch of stores downtown got broken into. It’s been pretty crazy. I’m mostly staying inside.
Are the skateparks starting to open up again?
Linda Vista’s been open–it’s my local park–but everything else is shut down. I’ve just been skating the park and hitting some street spots with the homies and stuff.
I was just looking at a recent clip on Instagram of you tre flipping some stairs. Have you always done a lot of street skating or is that something you’ve been focusing more on with the quarantine closures?
I’ve always skated everything. Growing up with my friends, it was never like ‘you’re a bowl skater’ and ‘you’re a vert skater’ and ‘you’re a street skater.’ We just have fun skating whatever.
Obviously having all the contests postponed or canceled has been a bummer, but I’m curious if there have been any positives. Has it been nice to get a bit of a break?
It has been, actually. I’ve just been trying to stay healthy, get a stable and consistent routine going, eat right, take care of myself. I’ve been skating a lot, and I’m working on a part for Creature for the end of this year. The contest calendar was really busy last year so I hadn’t really been out filming in a minute.
Is there anything you wish people asked you about in these kinds of interviews, anything about you that people really don’t know much about?
Nah. I keep personal stuff personal, let people focus on my skateboarding.
When you look back on last year–your World Skate ranking, your Vans Park Series Paris win, and everything else–what do you attribute all that success to? Was there anything specific that you did differently last year?
I just go out there and skate my best. It’s really up to someone else’s opinion to decide how the judging is going to go on the day of the contest, so you can’t really stress too much about it. I always skate my best, or try to at least. I just want to do the best for myself. I mean, I don’t want to go out and skate bad, no one wants to do that. Skate with everyone, have fun. That’s the main thing.
Yes, but you’re obviously a competitive guy. The Olympics are obviously on your mind.
Not many people will get this opportunity. I know it will be a life-changing experience for me just to go, and I believe I can win. So I want to go out there and do my best, maybe get the gold for the U.S.
This article originally appeared on DewTour.com and was reoublished with permission.
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