Part 3 of Brooklyn Banks week. Couldn’t find any nineties / Banks footage of Charles, but the Lurkers 2 part (alternate edit) is always worth a revisit.
Interviewed by Ted Barrow on August 27, 2006
I first started skating in Staten Island around the neighborhood of my parent’s house. The whole way I started skating was, I lived on a hill, and I used to hear the bearings roll down the hill, and the locals around the hood were skating. I used to watch them roll down the hill and it was a bunch of white dudes, a bunch of black dudes, and two Spanish dudes. They were all going to this one kid Jose’s house like three blocks away from my mom’s house who had like, a piece of shit box with nails coming out of the side.
What year is this?
I guess I was nine or ten. I skated around before that, but on little blue banana boards with crazy wheels and not doing tricks. But I saw them doing ollies out of curb cuts going down the hill, getting this high, and I was like, “Oh I gotta do that.” So I started creeping around that dude Jose’s house and eventually got a Santa Cruz, like, Jim Theibaud board. This is 1990 I guess, in the spring. I started hanging out at that dude Jose’s house all the time, which eventually led me to these other kids at McDonnell Lane Park, where there were people from all over Staten Island skating a ledge and 4 stairs. From there I met some kids that were really good, and I learned a bunch of tricks, and then it started.
I was always going to the city to skate the Banks, but it was only when I was like, “I don’t want to take a bus or ask for a ride to go to this park in the middle of Staten Island and have to come all the way back, I could just skate down the hill to the ferry, take the twenty-five minute boat ride, and be at the Banks, five, ten minutes after that.” Skate with people from all over the world that are super good, get really psyched. That’s what I started doing, all the time. Saturday, Sunday, when I wasn’t in school, it was just like full-on Banks.
How early would you get there on a Saturday?
Oh, I was getting there at like 9:30 in the morning at first, and then it just became like, I would always get the twelve o’clock ferry boat, skate until seven, go back home, eat dinner, maybe go back out, somewhere on the Island, you know, skating around. So I guess that’s how I got introduced to the Banks and skating was just like, 360 flips, impossibles, a few switch things were coming out, but uh, pressure flips…
So this is like, ’91, ’92…
Yeah, by now, by the time the Banks had become a regular thing in my weekly schedule, it was a time of like, I saw the first pressure flip and was like “Wow.” It was at a Blue demo at the banks. There were mad Banks contests. One summer there was a Banks contest like every other weekend.