Elliot Zelinskas

When I was in high school, my central skating hub was The P.I.T. Skatepark in my hometown of Rockford, Illinois.  Here much progression was attained and more importantly, many friends were made.  One of these friends was Elliot Zelinskas, a long haired, tight panted kid with steezy backside 180s.  Clearly we both skateboard, so a connection was made.  Little did I know that this friendship would last from cerca 2000 ’til infinity.

In our years as friends I’ve seen him go through eras of greatness.  From freestyling in downtown Chi to babysitting for a Dutch family in Hungary; to say that he’s come a long way is a bold understatement.    If you are friends with Elliot, odds are you’ve only heard of some of what he’s been doing – I was tired of not knowing.  Traveling the world is something not many people get to do, and he’s found himself a comfortable seat on the other side of the world.

I got a chance to talk to EZ for a few to catch up and see what’s really good with this globetrotter.  Read up on this man.

What city are you currently living in?
Shanghai

How would you describe it to Americans?  Is there an area in the U.S. that is similar?

Imagine a very special place that mixes the ancient scent of peaceful tea with sweet spoonfulls of buzzing modern architecture, traffic, and technology. Shanghai dumplings are completely what’s up for food, the night-life is happening, and because the subway is packed full, you just take speeding taxis around the city for about 3 bucks; people are everywhere, and there are nearly 20 Million of them. Living here feels like I’m in an extra large china-town, only a lot further from home.

When was the first time you left the states?

2008. I left to study abroad in Budapest, Hungary.

How many languages do you speak?

One super well, and a few quiete meekly.

Elliot Zelinskas

What kind of jobs have you worked overseas?

I had nearly no money as a student in Budapest, so I babysat two Hungarian children for a family. Haha, looking back it was an absolute riot though. I’ve also taught English in Saigon, Vietnam and Shanghai, China, and I’ve done some chill modeling gigs, too.

What has been your skating routine?

Switch flipping night sessions with the homies.

What’s your favorite spot that you’ve skated in Europe?

Favorites are difficult, but I found my first love in Budapest so I’m going with that – Elizabeth Square.

Gimme a crazy travel story.

I know you got a dozen of them. Traveling Indonesia alone in 2011 with a small hand rigged bag. I got lost, found the most well to do looking woman at the train station. Stranded and planless, she gave me a train ticket, invited me to her hometown 8 hours away, where I crashed at her elderly mother’s crib in the jungle for four nights during the religious week of Ramadan, hearing load chants in each direction from the surrounding villages, before driving a motorbike through the hills and back to the train station, to eventually get to the beaches of Bali and surf.

We met when we were in high school through The P.I.T Skatepark in Rockford.  What do you think of when you think back to that period of life?

I think I was very small then. The comfortable color of grey comes to mind, because of all the sweatpants you killed and hoodies we rocked. I remember playing games of skate at the bottom of the bowl and never wanting the sessions to end.

After seeing the world, what do you think of your hometown in Iowa?

Iowa in my mind is a very beautiful place. Traveling has only enhanced the perspective.

Converse has been getting you out and about.  What trips do you have lined up?

Cons is totally hooking it up. I’ve been on for about six months now, and they’ve sent me on three trips around China. It’s been great; as for the future, I actually have no idea. Usually my homie Eric Lai asks me a couple of weeks before and he just makes it happen – that’s what’s up!

Shout out your people.

Dax, thank you for this interview – let’s make sure we get together one of these days. The whole Shanghai crew – Eric at Cons, Boss, Tang, Jeremy, Didi, Ansen, Banana, San Sei, David, Alex, Jay, Puff-Tuff, Steph, Charlie, Tommy, Dollie, Joel, Peacock, Goose, Tall Joe, Lim, Kris, The Dude, Wallner, Pip, JR. Japan homies – Shinsaku, Laurence, Kos, and Koji. Lithuanian blood – Soulius and Sandrews. Le French friends I miss dearly – Leo Valls, Yoan, Matty, and Claude Masaki. Budapest – ChuChu, Zsomba, Michael, Peter. SF – Capps,  Mr. Seen, Ando, HUF, Bone, Boneyard, Bay, Travis, Abass, Raf, Norris, Taylor, Cam. NYC – Billy, Herrington, Tucker. CHI – D.R., Millz, Stacey, G, Modest, Leary, Grind, Graig. DBQ – Ma’s, Gma, KasMan, Danny, Shawnie, NateDawg, Juice – and.so.many.more.thank.you.

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One Response to “From Iowa To China – The Elliott Zelinskas Interview”

  1. The extended version of the Indonesia story is awesome! That could be a book on its own.

    Great interview DMillz!

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