Charlie Birch has been on the scene for a while now despite only turning 20 at the start of the year. Thanks to his older brother Ollie, a supportive family, and of course Dave Mackey, Charlie was able to hone his talent from a young age. As a youth he was hooked up by Flip Skateboards through Shiner after Mackey showed his footage to Geoff Rowley, rode for Nike SB’s U.K team and even scored a Kingpin cover in July of 2014. Not bad going for a cheeky young kid from Liverpool.
Things have really accelerated for Charlie over the past two years. In that time he’s moved to London to study finance, left Flip and found himself the perfect home at Yardsale. He’s swapped the swoosh for New Balance, and gone on trips with the international team, not to mention the many Yardsale adventures he’s had. You could say he’s living the dream, which he arguably is, and it’s all down to his hard work and positive attitude - and the fact that he rips.
We met up with Charlie to shoot Lost Art's latest collection, the shop he rides for and coincidentally is the same age as, and also to have a chat about how it’s all going during this exciting time in his life.
How's it been living in London, you visited a lot before you moved here of course, how are you enjoying it?
Yeah, it's been good. Skateboarding is a lot bigger down here, there's a much larger scene. As you say I've been visiting since I was 12, staying at my Aunties, every school holiday I'd come down and stay for a week or two, I made loads of friends. So when I did move down it felt really natural, like I already lived here almost. I've settled in pretty well.
It's given you some good opportunities, getting on Yardsale, travelling…
It's been really good, I'm very thankful to have the opportunity to do all this. If moving to London has made that happen more, then it's pretty banging.
Do you think you need to move to London? Would you have these opportunities if you'd stayed in Liverpool?
I guess that maybe the scene is a bit stronger in London, so it probably does help a little bit, just being around everyone. Being able to go out filming with Austin Bristow. In Liverpool, you kind of are away from the scene, but I don't think you have to move to London. It might be a little bit beneficial.
Are there aspects of Liverpool that you miss?
Yeah for sure, just hanging around with my mates and stuff. It's nice to live here because there's so much going on, but it's also nice to go back to Liverpool and see everybody. It makes Liverpool better, it's such a small city it can get a bit boring, so it's good to go back and make the most of it.
You've been going on a few New Balance trips, things are going well with those guys, must feel good?
Yeah, it's banging. It's so sick going on trips with those guys, they're all so safe, really good guys. Mackey has been helping out so much, I'm stoked.
Where have you been of late? Not necessarily just with New Balance...
I've been on quite a few trips with Yardsale recently. I just got back from Tokyo, and Taiwan, that was really fun. I'd never been to Asia before so it was amazing to have the chance to go there. In February we went to Los Angeles, my first time in LA, that was good. Just before that in September we went to Baltimore, which was my first time in America. So sick to be able to do that with the Yardsale boys, very fun trips definitely.
Are you working on something video wise with all this footage?
Austin is making a video for Thrasher, so trying to film a bit for that. Filming with Yardsale for another video with those guys. The Japan thing we're just going to do a Tokyo edit.
Were you there with other Yardsale guys?
It was just me and Austin, I had an exam so I couldn't go to Taiwan with everyone else. I met them out there, so because I was only going to be there for a short amount of time I thought I might as well go to Tokyo. I'd always wanted to go to Japan since I was a kid so it was banging to be able to do that.
You mentioned exams, are you at University?
Yeah, I'm at University. It definitely made moving down to London a lot easier because it meant I didn't need to get a fulltime job so I can skate more.
What do you study?
I study finance...
Oh wow, damn!
Yeah, it's mad, at the University of Westminster.
A future job in the City then?
I dunno about that (laughs). It's good to have something in your back pocket. But yeah, it was mainly to make moving down to London a bit easier, to be honest. If I was going to go to Uni I wouldn't want to do it in Liverpool so it was a good way to get out.
That recent lipslide you did kind of caused some waves (As seen in Grey vol. 05 issue 01) , people were hyped on it, pretty gnarly as well, I thought you could have ended up in that bin... What's the story behind that, had you been scoping it for a while?
Not really, we just bought out that New Balance marathon edit recently, and we were filming for that. Kev Parrott was showing us around the area, showing us some spots, and filming for it. He said he had this rail close-by so we went to have a look at it. I thought it was pretty sick so I tried to skate it. I thought while I'm here may as well! It looks pretty rough, but the floor is quite good, it's hard to find big rails in London that are pretty good.
The run-up seemed like you had to cut-in?
A little bit, the run-up was a bit weird, but like I said at least the floor was good, glad the landing wasn't too rough. It's nice to scare yourself now and again.
You've been down with Lost Art since you started skating, are they responsible for your skating pretty much?
Mackey was always so welcoming, I always felt comfortable going to the shop and chilling with those guys. That's kind of how I started skating, I used to Rollerblade (laughs), yeah it's all coming out now! I used to Rollerblade as a kid, my older brother Oliver started skateboarding so I got into because he did it. We'd go to the skatepark, Rampworx in Liverpool, and I'd see all the Lost Art guys skating and thought fuck that's so sick. I'd have a go on my brother's board try and skate with the boys. That was when I decided to start skateboarding. I went into Lost Art, Mackey helped pick my first set up. Mackey has always been there, not just supporting me, but the whole scene in Liverpool, he helps everybody out equally, he's the best.
Hey, that's the importance of a skate shop right, what they can do for the local community.
Yeah definitely. For me personally, he's helped me out so much. Definitely would not be doing the stuff I'm doing now were it not for Mackey and Lost Art.
What sort of tricks did you do on blades? Soul grinds?
What's a pornstar?
I don't even know how to explain it, some fruit boot slide.
Were you any good?
I wasn't too bad for my age, I was about 10 when I stopped. I could do a few tricks, but I wasn't really into the scene or the people who did it. Being that age and notice that people were dickheads is kinda funny.
Would the old school Liverpool skaters give bladers shit?
I remember once I went to New Bird DIY when I was really young with my blades and my skateboard. I left my board in the car and started Rollerblading. Russ (Weasel), he was obviously joking with me, said 'you can't be doing that in here, this is for skateboarding'. So I went to the car and got my board and started skating with them.
You've seen Lost Art's clothing evolve, it’s really becoming a brand in its own right now. What's your perception of that?
I think it's banging, it's so sick. The ideas behind it all are great, they don't just bring out clothes for the sake of it. The majority of the time they've got an idea or theme behind it. They've been making banging clothes for a while definitely. I really like the new collection, the De La Cero stuff is really cool. Knowing Mackey means I’ve always been around East Coast hip hop
Shop the Lost Art De LA Cero.
Our weekly newsletter is a regular rundown of what’s happening at Parade including product releases and cultural updates from across our community. Stay tuned.
Stay up to date with a mix of noteworthy news and the best product in skateboarding.