Interview: Charlie Spelzini
- 25 October 2021
Interview 28 is with Death teamrider and ABC Skateboarding Operations Manager, Charlie Spelzini. Aside from being a sponsored skater and coach, Charlie also works at the Pioneer Skatepark in St Albans where he has been skateboarding since he was 10 years old. To say skateboarding is in Charlies’ blood would be an understatement and the amount that he gives back to this activity of ours deserves some recognition. Take some time to read his mini-interview and soak in some of his enthusiasm.
Thanks to Charlie for taking the time to do this, much appreciated as always.
Can you give us a brief introduction?
Hi, my name’s Charlie Spelzini, I’m 29 years young and I’ve been skateboarding for almost 21 years. I grew up skateboarding in the vast greenery of Hertfordshire and I’m still here to this very day despite moving away from my hometown where I first found skateboarding.
What are you currently working on?
The last few months for me have been pretty manic for me to be fair. I’ve partnered up with one of my oldest friends in skateboarding [Alex Barton] and we’ve been working together to hire more instructors for our skateboard teaching company, ABC Skateboarding. We’re proud to say we’ve been able to offer full-time jobs for people now, which is pretty surreal.
We still get mixed reactions for what we do, but I always say if I can get 1 kid out of a class of 10 to get the same feeling from skateboarding that I do, then I know I’ve done my job right.
Other than that, I finished a full part for Death Skateboards, titled ‘Delirium’ earlier this year, which has led to some awesome opportunities. Being in and out of injuries, personal issues and the busyness of work has put a new project on hold for now, but we’re slowly getting there! My good friend Rum [Dilley] is the one mastering this new project.
Favourite skate related possession
Ah man, I have no idea. I’m not a very materialistic person to be honest. I must admit, my room’s an absolute tip; filled with old skate possessions, but I did keep one thing that still makes me smile and it’s the first deck from the package that Zorlac gave to me when he asked me if I wanted to join the team. That meant the world. Mind you, it’s probably under my bed, covered in dust by now.
Jo, who used to work at Conspiracy, St Albans (RIP) gave me an old ‘CATES IS A CUNT’ sticker that always makes me laugh (Cheers Jo, sorry Dan).
Something about you that is not related to skateboarding that people might not know?
I used to work in prisons for a human rights charity for a couple of years and I used to play drums in a touring hardcore punk band. Those days are long gone now though. Skateboarding won.
What did you do yesterday?
I dedicate my Sundays to helping out the skatepark that kept me sane when I was a kid. I work at the infamous Pioneer Club in St Albans and have done for the last 8 years. That place has been my home away from home since my 10th birthday, as I had no local park where I grew up for many moons. I was there pretty much all day yesterday, so no change there.
Favourite period in skate history that isn’t right now?
I’m incredibly jealous of the generation before me that grew up skateboarding in the 1980s. I remember an old friend of mine gave me a copy of the Santa Cruz Speed Freaks video when I was only about 12 years old and I was so new to skating in parks. I fell in love with Jeff Phillips’ skateboarding straight away.
Other than that, I miss the early 2000s. I miss being the black sheep of modern society. I remember being a kid watching the old Death Skateboards videos and thinking to myself that this is what skateboarding is all about. Nevertheless, I don’t miss the fights you got in for just being a skateboarder haha!
Favourite skate spot of all time past or present
Over all the spots and parks I’ve skated over the years, The Pioneer’s always been there for me since I was a kid. That place helped me through some of the hardest times in my life, so it’d be incredibly harsh of me to not put that here. It’s a love/hate relationship, I guess.
What’s next in skateboarding?
Bionic ankles and a cure for crippling arthritis hopefully! All jokes aside, I have no idea!
I’ve got a few personal things happening in the future that I can’t wait to share with everyone, but I reckon with how progressive skateboarding is right now, we never know what’s round the corner.
I personally think skateboarding is so interconnected and more inclusive than ever before, so I think whatever’s next in skateboarding can only involve good things, right?
Personally, I’m just gonna enjoy the rest of the journey. Still skating; still having fun with my friends and let’s see what happens from there!
Follow Charlie on insta at www.instagram.com/charliespelzini