With the ink on his recently signed contract with IPATH still drying, Puerto Rican-born Manny Santiago has a lot coming up and a lot to look forward to. He's got a Street League stop victory under his belt, a pro shoe in the works and new video project with Dave Bachinsky that's about to drop. We linked up with Manny this week to find out more.
What are you doing down in Puerto Rico right now? That's where you're from, right?
Yeah, I'm down in PR for my birthday and to also film. I’m trying to get clips for SALTnPEPPER which is a shared video I'm doing with Dave Bachinsky. Hopefully Spanish Mike and I get something good because Dave got a banger here!
How often do you get back? Do you still have family there?
I come at least three times a year. I throw a contest every December called Prince Of Puerto Rico and this year will be the 3rd annual event. Yeah I have family here, but my family is all over the world—the skaters!
What was it like growing up there? Did you skate when you were growing up there? What was that like?
It was cool. I have lots of random memories. I left right before I turned five so I didn't skate. I actually started skating when I was fourteen. It’s always amazing to come back and see all the homies though. There's a kid here named Yariel Melendez who's winning every contest and getting so good. He gets flow from Girl which is dope.
The ink on your IPATH contract is still drying. How does it feel to be a part of the team?
It feels dope to be part of a company that cares what I think and let's me put my input in on matters. There’s nothing more important than that. We have some dope stuff in the works and some things up our sleeves. You'll see soon enough.
Did you know a lot of the team guys before you got on? Who are you closest with on the team?
Yeah, I have met most of them. I would say Shuriken because he's always been a G and we always get along—nothing but love!
Can we expect a Manny shoe in the future?
It’s already in the works. It's going to be a game changer on some next level stuff. I don't want a shoe that's going to rip right away. I want a shoe that would last for the kids and for parents to be satisfied with their purchase, but I also want something that's gonna be fly!
What's the latest with MSA? Do you have plans to continue growing the brand?
It is what it is—just random accessories and cool 5 panel hats. It will grow into whatever it is one day, but for now it’s just stuff for all the "slayers". We should do a MSA x CCS Collab hat. Now that's a good idea! Holla at me. You have my contact [laughs]
How'd the Street League circuit treat you? This was your first year on the tour right? How'd that Select Series win feel?
It honestly was a feeling I can't describe. I have won contests before here and there, but nothing felt as good as the first stop in Brazil when Lutzka bailed and I knew I had won. I felt a numb feeling from my head to my feet. In Barcelona it was just about doing what I wanted and having fun. Street League is the coolest and hardest contest I have ever skated.
What's coming up for you between now and the end of the year?
Just a couple of contests, but really the focus is on SALTnPEPPER and trying to get it done. I have four clips and Dave has 230,000 [laughs]. I have a lot of work to do!