Paying your dues is a complicated concept in the skateboarding world. Similar to the real world, there are different currencies available. You can pay in blood, the time you invest into your skating or with dedication to the people and brands that support you. Some people are even born with some extra credit, which can be in the form of style, ability or talent.
Charles Collet has definitely paid his dues in skateboarding. He used most of the currencies listed above and definitely has some credit left to spare. As a result, Charles was recently offered a well-deserved pro model by Cliché Skateboards and you can buy it now.
Bonjour Charles! How is your nose? What's the story?
I just had one of the worst weeks of my life because of my nose. I was in Grenoble and planned to return to Barcelona with Junior (the mastermind behind the new Cliché video, Clé) with the van. I had a lot of stuff to bring to Spain because I’m moving there.
My friend Mimi dragged me out of bed on Sunday morning and brought me to a local contest. So I was in the park and didn't really see what was going on. So I ended up colliding with another skater. Unfortunately he hit his shoulder on my nose and I went down. I was bleeding in front of everybody—kids and their parents. It was pretty ugly. My nose was completely twisted, I was almost screaming from the impact.
I ended up in the hospital. I had to wait five days to get surgery because I was bleeding too much. After surgery my nose was blocked for another five days. I could only breathe through my mouth. When you do that you need to drink about ten liters per day and you piss a hundred times. The worst is at night. You wake up all the time to drink or piss.
But now it's fine? This is a good reminder for people to really have their eyes open at the skateparks...
Yes, you would never think that something like this would happen on a Sunday at a local contest with your friends. You are there to have fun and you end up at the hospital with a crooked nose. My face looked completely different, it was a mess. I will show you pictures next time I see you.
So you were disfigured?
I had five days before the surgery and saw myself in the mirror every day. My spirits were really low, and I got mad.
It's not like a tweaked ankle...
If your nose is completely tweaked, it looks bad. It's like if your mouth is all of a sudden on your right cheek instead of the center of your face. I am glad it's fixed!
So you have to take a break from skating? What's up next? You plan to stay in Barcelona for a while?
Yes, at the moment it's good here. For skating it's still good. I don't think I could find a place where I’d be more motivated than here, but not only for skating; life is cheap here and the weather is good most of the time. It makes me want to stay here. Today is a good example; the sun is out and it's warm. Incredible! Even at night you only need a thin jacket.
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Now that you are going pro you don't really have to worry about living cheap anymore! You’re going to be rich!
I would be, if it weren’t for the crisis. I’ll make a little bit more, but not that much.
I was kidding. But I saw your board. Looks good. You like it?
I like it. It's good. I like the Brophy board, too. I was supposed to do a superhero board, but wasn’t able to use Edward Scissorhands. Because Julian [Furones] had already used it. Do you remember the intro of his part in the Antiz Z-Movie?.
So no Edward Scissorhands board for me. But I’ll get another superhero. I think it's the guy from The Crow.
Are you going on the Gypsy tour this year?
Of course I will go. I would not want to miss it!
Did you go on both of them?
Yes. It's an experience. The first three days you are bummed to be there, you regret signing up for it. Then on the last three days you are sad because it's going to end soon. In the beginning it's a bit chaotic, you don't sleep well, you can't skate because you are tired. Everybody complains and it usually rains as well on the first two days, so you are in the van, wet and smelly. I think we are going to Finland and Sweden this summer.
So you will not get any sleep...
Yes, there's not a lot of night up there in the summer and living off 10 Euros per day will be hard.
You can buy one beer with that!
Yes, one beer. I don't know how we’ll manage.
Which one of the Gypsy tours did you like better?
Both were good. But I preferred the second one. People were a bit tense on the first one… some weird situations. We didn't skate much on the first one. We spent a lot of time looking for spots. The last four days we gave up on the idea of getting any skating done and just went to the beach.
No one left early from the second one?
Not really. Javier was only with us for three days, but that was planned. I am looking forward to the third one. We will have some fun!
So you can prepare yourself to become Gypsy King!
Yes, but to win you have to mess around in front of the camera the whole time. To become Gypsy King, all the nonsense you do has to be filmed, otherwise you won’t get any votes.
Just bring your own camera and film everything you do when you go out and party.
I might do that. I can film with my digicam. You have to be the clown in front of the camera to make sure people see it. There's a lot of crazy stuff that didn't even get filmed, especially with Fred Gall. He was really pushing it and started drinking at 10 in the morning. So it felt normal to get drunk at noon, because he’d already been drunk for two hours.
What else do you have planned?
I’m moving out of this apartment and I’ll probably take Julian with me. The friends of Julian that were in India are coming back and will need the room I’m renting. And Julian wanted to find a solution so I can stay there. I told him that I didn't want to stay there. The kitchen is so dirty I don't want to place foot in there. There's no way I’d cook there because I’m afraid I’ll catch some disease. I’m not the cleanest guy, but the kitchen at the apartment is something else! So I told Julian that I’m moving out and asked him if he wanted to come along. He thought about it for 10 seconds and agreed. So we might look for a place together and move a bit closer to the center of Barcelona.
Full on in the center?
Yes. Because now, after a skate session, no one will ever come to my place (in Badalona) to have a beer. People are too lazy here. You can't get them to come to Badalona and then go back to Barcelona to go out. Too much going back and forth with the train. You always have to take the last metro home, or stay out long and take the first one. But usually if you do that, you’re not in the best condition. You just fall asleep with all the drunk guys in there.
It's easy to imagine you in there...
Yes, whoever wakes up first wakes everybody else up. Fortunately, our stop is the final one. Otherwise we'd be going past it every once in a while. There's probably people that keep falling asleep and are going back and forth a couple of times. Now the challenge is to find an apartment.
That won’t be easy!
No, and it's not cheap to live in Barcelona. Maybe now with the crisis, prices will go down a bit.
That's likely. They say there's an unemployment rate of 15% in Spain.
Spain is bad. Almost as bad as the Italians. We saw it in Sicily. But look at their president. They’re in trouble!
Did you hear what he [Berlusconi] did after the earthquake in L’Aquila?
No, but I'd like to know!
Basically he told the people that lost their houses and are living in tents, that they should consider a trip to the beach to lift their spirits. And they should look at their stay in the tents as a camping holiday.
That doesn't surprise me. When I checked the news a few days after the earthquake they didn't say anything about the steps that the president had taken to help people, send the army to rescue people or authorize some extra funds for the relief.
He's probably still negotiating with the mafia.
Yes, that's quite likely.
Charles recently got stabbed in the ass in Barcelona on the Euro Recognition Tour. Nose... ass... when it rains it pours, huh? Get well soon buddy!
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