Franky Morales has been such an influential part of rollerblading for so long that it is tough to remember a time when he wasn’t at the forefront of the sport. The older generation of aggressive rollerbladers remember him coming up through the ranks of the competition circuit, styling his way around ASA street courses with his colourful custom K2 skates. Others first witnessed his prowess on skates thanks to an epic section in Joe Navran’s F.O.R. 2, when Franky absolutely murdered every rail put in his way with the swagger of a Latin lothario. For anyone who blades, it is impossible to hear the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Party and Bullshit” without thinking of Franky. Yes, it was that monumental.
Since that first full street section in a mass produced video, Franky has gone from strength to strength, first as a part of the Rollerblade TRS team, from which he received one pro skate, then with Remz, who graced him with another two pro skates and now with USD, who have already released two pro models and it doesn’t seem too farfetched that more will follow in the future.
Throughout the past ten years Franky has been exceptionally prolific, winning various contests and producing regular video parts, but last year he took productivity to the extreme. In 2013 the Florida native managed to produce ten full online video sections and each one was exceptional in its own way. Hell, one of the edits was filmed in just one day but still managed to clock in at just under three minutes long and was packed with great tricks. That’s pretty good going for a 30-year-old who has seen most of the contemporaries he came up with fall by the wayside over the years.
We are only four months deep into 2014 and Franky is back at it again, appearing in a handful of edits for skate sponsor USD as part of the Winter Olympics Tour, and he managed to film a nice park edit at the first FISE event of the year. It seems like a fairly safe bet that, as always, we are going to be seeing a lot of the Cuban blading wizard this year, so we thought we would find out about some of the stand out moments from his life on eight wheels.
Oh, and here’s a little trivia you may or may not know about Franky:
1. Franky Morales was originally sponsored by K2 Skates and Poynter Footwear, and appeared in one of their print adverts in Daily Bread.
2. He was the inspiration for Joe Navran’s Franco Shade because whenever Joe used to call Franky up his mum used to shout, “Franco!” However, he never actually skated for the company due to contract restrictions with Senate at the time.
3. Franky Morales’ infamous gold teeth cost $2,000.
4. He was once held up at gunpoint in Paris during a skate competition.
5. At the X Games in 2001, Franky Morales took 3rd place at the street event.
First time you saw someone blading: The first time I saw someone blading was in the’ 90. I thought, “That shift looks fun.”
First pair of skates you owned: Rollerblade Lighting TRS.
First trick you learned: Frontside.
First video you watched: The best video of all time – The Hoax.
First magazine you read: Box or Daily Bread.
First skater you looked up to: B Love and Louie Zamora.
First competition you entered: I think it was a skate shop called Skate 2000.
First competition you won: I can’t remember but it was definitely a local competition in Miami.
First time you travelled with blading: NYC for a NISS comp. That was my first time on a plane as well.
First sponsor: Fritz Skate Shop.
First major injury: I was in Philly with Adam Killgore. Shit was whack attack. Supporter rail in the arm pit.
First video section: F.O.R. 2.
First time you got in trouble through blading: Believe it or not, in all the time I have been skating, I just recently got in trouble with the cops and got my first ticket in 2013. Crazy
Photos: Sam DeAngelis
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