Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Colorado Springs skateboarder more worried about teaching locals than his big trick

By Joe Paisley Updated: May 31, 2013 at 7:12 pm 0

Jonathan "Jono" Schwan doesn't sound like a young man who reached a milestone in skateboarding.

The humble Cheyenne Mountain High School senior became only the second to do a 1,080 trick (three complete rotations in the horizontal plane) off a megaramp April 29.

Schwan realizes that this landmark will soon become commonplace.

"In five years everyone will be doing it," he said. "I just gave it a go and landed it."

The first 1,080 was by then-12-year-old Tom Schaar of Malibu on March 26, 2012 at the same Woodward West Skate Park in Tehachapi, Calif. Schaar has done it twice since in competition.

A third, American Mitchie Brusco, landed the trick - as skateboard stunts are called - on May 17 in Barcelona, Spain.

That doesn't make Schwan's accomplishment any less impressive to one of the young area skaters he has helped.

"It is amazing," North Middle School seventh-grader Sam Reed said. "It's nearly impossible to do."

The subsequent YouTube notoriety may help Schwan, 16, get noticed by sponsors when he enters the Mountain Dew Tour this July as a part-time professional. He missed several spring events to finish his schoolwork.

"Really it's about developing the strength and stamina for a strong routine," he said. "One trick won't win anything by itself."

He tested out of his junior year and will be a senior this fall. He will take advantage of the extra year to focus on skateboarding before entering college.

"I am really looking forward to that," the 2010 X Games amateur bronze medalist said.

He led the area's skating community in building the only public, free skate park with all four disciplines (bowl, street, super park and vert) in the United States.

He learned to pay it forward in Australia, where he was taught by some top professionals while his father, Aric, served as a diplomatic liaison for the U.S.

"They didn't tell me who they were, they just showed me what to do," he said.

He does that himself now at the wooden vert ramps by Sertich Ice Center in Memorial Park. He founded the nonprofit Sk8-Strong, which helped raise the $125,000 needed to build the city-owned facility.

It opened last summer and been swarmed by skaters ever since. The second annual pro Rocky Mountain Rampage is Aug. 8-10. An amateur competition in the Rocky Mountain State Games July 19-21 is also scheduled.

Not surprisingly, he is more excited about those events than the 1,080.

"A lot of locals have had a year to develop their skills on the vert so the amateur (events) should bigger and better," he said. "The sport is really growing here."

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