We’ve already heard about Fran Molina a while ago when some friends used to go skateboarding in Almería, a small town in southern Spain and returned talking about a child who skated so good... “Franillo”. Basically, we've always been aware about him as I myself am from the south. So, when the chance came up I was just happy to help him in his skateboarding career.
Some years have passed, now Fran lives in Barcelona and we’ve had a chat with him so you get to know a little more about his story.
What’s up Fran? Now that you live in Barcelona but coming from a small town like Almería, which was your first impression about the city?
The first time I was in Barcelona with my brother and I didn’t know anything about the city, we stayed close to Plaza Universitat and some guy told us to go to another skate spot that was crowded. We went to Macba, which we knew nothing about. We were so stoked to see so many people skating on the same spot, because the skate scene in Almeria is small, at most we gathered together twenty skaters in the good old days at the skatepark, it was difficult for us to gather all together as everyone was working or doing their things ...
In what way or manner the previous generation helped to create such a skate scene in Almería? Given that it isn’t a large city…
To be honest, when I first started skating I didn’t know many skaters or most of the tricks. I used to see them and get very excited because there were many good skaters for a small town. As time passed I have been learning tricks and progressing, and they have always helped me out a lot, teaching me tricks and so, they all supported me, like Manolo Robles, Antonio “Plaza” Gómez, Cristian Pujola, Javier Paredes, Alberto “Comino” Carmona. They helped me out with very cheap or sometimes even free skateboard stuff, like a skate shop, we were always out filming, we’ve been very hyped about skateboarding in Almería. They have always invited me to join them on trips, spoke with my mother not to worry, assumed all responsibility. So much motivation, it’s impressive to see so good skaters in such a small town.
What project are you working on right now?
I'm TRAVELING and skating a lot filming for a video part, basically getting clips and shooting photos
Click on images to enlarge
What places have you visited to film the video part?
We’ve been in Los Angeles and China, most has been filmed in Barcelona. The truth is I never thought I could be traveling around the world to film a video part and I really appreciate it. It's so cool, traveling, not just staying in your town, experiencing other cultures.
In China we freaked out because we were in the taxi and the driver was falling asleep. Dani Lebrón told me: ‘Hey!, this dude’s closing his eyes and yawning’. Then I noticed the driver has actually closed his eyes and was swerving. We told our Chinese friend to tell something to the driver not to fall asleep. He denied it and grabbed the steering wheel firmly. But we got scared because we were going down the highway and lurching.
Who are you filming with?
With Kike Mayor who makes a lot of effort, he’s always taking us to spots and organizing everything so we can worry about nothing but just skate. He actually saved me from an accident at a gap not so long ago. I was falling backwards, I dropped down thinking that there was nothing I could hurt myself on but there was a flowerpot that I was going to hit right with my head. He grabbed me by the t-shirt, even torn it off, but if it wasn’t for that action I would have injured myself in the head at least. It is not that easy to be aware of those things with the camera.
Nowadays there are so many skate videos that it is hard to remember them all, but a while ago there were videos that marked an era and that we used to watched again and again. What skate period or video reference impressed you most?
I used to watch often TWS “In Bloom”, “Yeah Right” from Girl & Chocolate skateboards, it was by the early 2000’s.
Fran Molina → FS Flip to Fakie Nosegrind
Photo by Roger Ferrero
Fran Molina → Flip BS Smith Grind
Photo by Roger Ferrero
What made you step on a skateboard? Why did you start skating?
I got influenced by my older brother, three years older than me, he got a skateboard, I saw him and I liked it.
How old were you?
I was about 10 years old. At first I didn’t know how to do anything and it was something we did on weekends as a hobby. Then we liked it a great deal more and we've got into it by playing Skateboard video games (Tony Hawk).
Then my brother stopped skating because he began studying but I keep on skating ever since.
How does he feel about it now and about what you've accomplished on skating?
He likes it, he thinks that if I keep on skating, do my things and everything turns out well for me, then great. My family in general is happy about skating. At first they didn’t like it much because skateboarding was not recognized at all in this country (Spain). Now there are more contests and it appears on TV. Nonetheless, my mother has always respected what I did and supported me.
In the future, will you stay in Barcelona or have to live in USA?
Well, at least for now I would keep on living here, but it is fine by me if I have to travel more or spend some time in the USA as well. In fact, it is great because sometimes you are pressed for time to film and you’d like to have some more and take good advantage without time pressure.
Thanks for your time Fran. Is there anything you’d like to add?
I would like to thank to all my sponsors Venture Trucks, FTC, Now Dist. and especially to Nike SB because they are the ones that have carefully planned and managed the trips to film the video part. Thanks to my family for all the support, my friends and everyone who skates.
Fran Molina → Fakie Inward Heelflip
Photo by Marcel Veldman