Charlie Wilkins – Juice Magazine State of Skate Interview

Name: Charlie Wilkins
Hometown: Boston, MA/Portland, Oregon
Age: 40
Sponsors: Lifeblood Skateboards, Matix Clothing, Ace Trucks, Bones Wheels, Lakai Shoes bro-flow.

What set-up are you riding right now?
Lifeblood Kevin Kowalski “Big Fish” board, Ace 44’s, Bones “Kowalski Parks” SPF 54mm, Bones Swiss and Lifeblood Plasmatic Pieces 1”.

What’s the most fun DIY, skater-built or renegade spot that you’ve skated lately?
The Bird’s Nest bowl inside Orchard Skateshop in Boston, MA. Nice job on that one, Dougy Death!

Have you ever built something to skate?
Pretty much all I ever do is build shit to skate. Ever since I was 11, I’ve been building minis in my backyard or a friend’s. I got into pouring concrete with Sloppy Sam and the 5.9 Crew way back when. I’ve built over half of the Dew Tour courses over the years. As soon as I moved to Portland, I started building public and private skate spots like crazy. First was the original Unheard mini. Thanks for the messed up pile of used wood for that build, Colin!

Who do you like to skate with the most?
The Lifeblood dudes and Dieta dudes. Kevin Kowalski, Cody Lockwood, Bryce Kanights, Steve Reeves and Johnny Turgesen. I also like skating with Scott Koerner, Daniel Evans and new Portland resident, Matt Milligan, when he’s not busting up his knees.

Coolest skateboard graphic?
That Almost Brian Lotti deck took me back.

Best thing you’ve skated in a skatepark?
The T-Rex dinosaur sculpture with kitchen knives for teeth holds it down at Tigard Skatepark in
Portland, OR.

Favorite skateboarders of all time?
Animal Chin, Neil, Blender, Lance Mountain, Stevie Cab, Gonz, Mike V, Natas, Danny Way, Mike Carroll, Dennis Busenitz, Mark Suciu… Too many to name.

Is there anything that hasn’t been built to skate yet that you’d like to see built?
I have an idea for a weird pole jam coming out of the tranny under the coping of a 4’ to 6’. Might have to be over a hip though. I can just imagine all the pole jam grind to grind/slide combo that would go down.

What’s the best road trip you ever took?
I think it would have to have been the Imperial Distribution (Maple, 151, Dynasty) tour in Australia in about 1999. It was me, Chad Knight, John “The Man” Reeves, Donger, Vinne Ponte and Neal Heddings. Vinnie and Neal kept getting naked, John was pouring beers over his head in the van because it was 106 degrees at night, Donger caught and cooked 20 reef fish, I got food poisoning from a shitty burger, and Chad probably hooked up with a girl at every demo.

Any skate-related charities you support?
I’m a fan of Mike Rogers and Grind for Life. I love what he’s doing.

What music have you been listening to?
I’m all over the place with music. Mostly old shit I listened to when I was a kid. Joy Division, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Pentagram, Radio Birdman, Dead Moon, stuff like that.

What do you consider the responsibilities of a professional skateboarder?
Basically to inspire kids and not be a dick. Kids look up to pro skaters, just like I did when I was a kid. You see a kid that needs a new board, give him yours. Don’t sell it to him. You see someone that is just starting out, show ‘em how to ollie, drop-in, or push the right way. I never liked the “too cool for school” skater that does his own thing. There are too many cool people to meet through skating to worry about your image. Also I’m not sure how I feel about the majority of sponsored skaters being walking beer and weed advertisements. I love a good time, but kids are impressionable.

Which skate shops do you support?
The one I actually visit most is Orchard Skateshop in Boston, and that’s across the country from my house. Bro and Armin are the best. They’re doing amazing things for the Boston skate scene. Google “Orchard Bird’s Nest Bowl”.

Favorite skate photo of all time?
Chris Miller’s frontside air at Upland shot by Grant Brittain. Looking at that photo reminds me of just how incredible skateboarding really is.

What is your take on girls skateboarding?
I love it. I always wondered why there weren’t more female skaters. Half the really good dude skaters are skinnier than most girls, so it’s obviously not a physical strength thing. Out here in Oregon, there are a ton of really good female skaters. Join the fun all you girls!

What skateboarding memorabilia do you have that means the most to you?
It’s probably got to be the first board that was given to me when I first got sponsored by Powell. Steve Caballero and Mike V. were at a demo at Z.T. Maximus in Boston and I was skating with them as part of an “interview” set-up by Jahmal Williams. Mike was looking for dudes to rebuild the Powell team and, after the demo, he gave me a board and said that he’d be calling me. For someone who looked up to those guys, that was the most powerful moment ever.

Who contributes the most to your local skate scene?
Being in Oregon, it’s all about the park builders. Dreamland, Grindline and Evergreen are the ones that built the scene here. Dreamland started it off with Burnside and Burnside started a revolution.

Top three favorite skate tricks?
Blunt to fakie, I think I’ll be 70 before I lose those. Frontside Smith grind, fast+long+locked. Egg plant, though those are getting harder nowadays.

Do you think skateboarding should be in the Olympics?
I actually don’t think there should even be skateboard contests. It’s not a sport, there shouldn’t be any “Training Facilities”. Nike, Target, and Bagel Bites should get the hell out of our business. Funny thing is that I’m a hypocrite because I’ve been a World Cup judge for the last 15 years. Plain fact is that there are corporate sponsors in skateboarding now. TF’s do exist and there’s money to be won at these huge contests… a lot of money. It’s much better if a fellow professional skateboarder decides who wins, than a bro-guy who got into “action sports” cause Red Bull likes his resume. To answer the question, I don’t think skateboarding should be in the Olympics, but it will be. There is no avoiding it. Skateboarding to me has never been about making money. I do like the fact that a lot of skaters are actually making some money, but if kids start getting into it (or get pushed into it by their crazy “soccer-dad” mentality parents) with hopes of Olympic gold, that’ll be a pretty sad day.

What is your proudest moment in skateboarding so far?
Just getting the opportunity to become sponsored and ultimately pro. I never thought a kid from Boston in the late 80’s/early 90’s would ever get that chance. I feel lucky and privileged for everything skateboarding has given me.




When we started Juice Magazine 22 years ago, you could count the number of skateparks on one hand and grindable pool coping was mostly a distant memory. Now there are thousands of skateparks all over the world, along with a vast quantity of DIY spots built to skate. In 1993, the majority of skateboarders listened to punk rock or hip hop exclusively. Now skateboarders listen to almost every kind of sound created. Two decades ago, skateboarding related charities were non-existent. Today, there are numerous non-profits giving back to skateboarding in many ways. One of the most important differences between now and then is that, 22 years ago, there was a clear division between old school and new school skateboarding. Now that wall of separation has followed the same path as the Berlin Wall, allowing for an unprecedented unification of skateboarders all over the globe. Great strides have been made for girls that skate as well as the acceptance of skate history and long overdue recognition for skateboarding’s pioneers and its artifacts. At the same time, the current generation of skateboarders is taking skateboarding to new heights, previously unimaginable. As the landscape of the skateboarding industry changes on a daily basis, and the topic of skateboarding in the Olympics rears its head once again, along with the disturbing subject of who controls skateboarding being tossed about by corporate entities, we decided it was time to take a good look at the State of Skate. We asked 20 questions to 100 skateboarders, ages 8 to 58, and found that skateboarding is as diverse as the skateboarders that are addicted to it, no one controls skateboarding except skateboarders, and the State of Skate is savage and strong. Now get out there and skate tough!

JUICE MAGAZINE STATE OF SKATE features interviews with 100 skateboarders including: Tony Alva, Dave Hackett, Chris Strople, Duane Peters, Steve Olson, Dave Duncan, Steve Alba, Tony Magnusson, Pat Black, Jesse Martinez, Bill Danforth, Jim Murphy, Ric Widenor, Lester Kasai, Glen Charnoski, Bryan Pennington, Peter Furnee, Jeremiah Risk, Ryan Smith, Jason Jessee, Omar Hassan, Cam Dowse, Jen O’Brien, Depth Leviathan Dweller, Brett Roper, Travis Beattie, Chris Gentry, CW Dunn, Chris Albright, Charlie Wilkins, Cairo Foster, Pierre-Luc Gagnon, BJ Morrill, Dr. Lenore L.A. Sparks, Sid Melvin, Jesse Irish, Packy Fancher, Greg Lutzka, Jimmy Larsen, Adam Dyet, Luis Tolentino, Greg Harbour, Frank Faria, Ryan DeCenzo, Dave Bachinsky, Johnny Turgesen, Casey Meyer, Edward Sanchez, David Gravette, Ben Hatchell, Brian Geib, Felipe Gouveia, Eric Santos, Kyle Smith, Cameron Revier, Josh Stafford, Justin Grubbs, Etienne Eden Archila, Sanzio Piacentini, Josh Elder, Eddie “Mighty” Moreno, Kevin Kowalski, Otto Pflanz, Jeremy Smith, Adam Wiggins, Jimmy Wilkins, Danny Gordon, Jake Hilbish, Corey Blanchette, Adam Legassie, Nick Santos, Trey Rounds, Curren Caples, Justyce Tabor, Andy Anderson, Sarah Thompson, Coral Guerrero, Collin Graham, Derek Scott, Ace Pelka, Sonny Rodriguez, Jarren Duke, Mikayla Sheppard, CJ Titus, Noah Schott, Emily Earring, Julian Torres, Wyatt Wisenbaker, Josh Forsberg, Nathan Midgette, Roman Pabich, Yago Dominguez, Jack Winburn, Jonas Carlsson, Kiko Francisco, Bryce Ava Wettstein, Desmond Shepherd, Matty Jessee and Luke Kahler.


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Juice is an interview magazine featuring skateboarding, surfing, art and music. Since 1993, Juice has been independently owned and dedicated to the core. Juice Magazine specializes in coverage of core skateboarders, surfers, musicians, skatepark builders, artists, photographers, rock n roll, metal, hardcore, pools, pipes & punk rock. Keep Skateboarding A Crime.
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